AdWords vs SEO – What’s the difference and why both are important

What’s the difference and why both are important?


SEO Search Engine Optimization.


You get your website all set up and running. You list your services, products, and all the reasons your potential customers should be using you over your competitors. You launch and wait, no one comes or the ones that do bounce off your page.


The problem is probably with your SEO or search engine optimization. You need to let search engines know who you are, what you do, and do it in a way search engines can understand.


Things like Metadata, Schema, and backlinks are important and having a good handle on them or hiring someone who knows how to use them is important. You may get lucky and Google will crawl your pages and you will rank well, if you are in a non-competitive niche, however for most of us, that is not going to happen without some work.


AdWords and PPC


If you don’t know what AdWords and PPC are, it’s how businesses advertise on Google and other websites on the Google Search Network. You probably see these ads every day and don’t even notice.


search engine marketing


These ads can show up all over the internet, anywhere the Google Search Network is, and are a great way to target customers and potential leads. AdWords is an amazing tool for reaching your potential customers.


Not only can your ads be customized to fit your needs and business, you can also track conversions and other metrics. This allows you to get a better picture of not only who is looking at your ads, but also what devices they are using, where they are, and if they are your intended audience.


With AdWords, you can tell if your ads targeting people looking for high-end area rugs are actually attracting people looking for carpet cleaning in Tampa Fl. You can also see if you are paying too much or not enough in the bidding process. Maybe your keywords are going to cost too much for what you’re selling?


AdWords VS SEO

So what’s the difference and why are they both important?


Imagine your website is located in a city. Your “store (website)” is new to the neighborhood. No one really knows you, what you do, or if you are even trust worthy. On top of that, you couldn’t afford prime real estate to the point that your store is 20 miles from town with no roads, just a dirt trail leading to your store.


As you can see from the situation you would need serious work if you ever hoped to be successful. You need some roads, a reputation, some advertising, etc. Your product is really good, and the dirt road going by your shop is adequate that advertising will get customers in the door. However, as soon as the advertising stops the new customers stop as well. This is the picture of why SEO and AdWords/PPC are both important.


AdWords and PPC are like sticking up a billboard in the middle of your “town” and a flier in your potential customers pocket (in a non-creepy way). AdWords will work as long as you can afford it money and is probably going to work well if you invest enough time into learning what you’re doing (or hiring a company like Prairie Giraffe Marketing ;). However, as soon as you stop, the billboards and signs come down and the next person willing to buy those spots get put up. It’s the Pay-to-Play option. It gets people in the door and it does it well, but if AdWords is your only strategy, you will pay forever.


SEO, on the other hand, is building roads to your store, larger, faster, smoother than your dirt trail. Gaining trust from those in your “town” and a good reputation (Links and Domain Authority). The more search engines know who you are, what you do, and that you are the best person for their (the search engines) customers needs, you will get traffic and people coming to your store. The best part is once your SEO has been taken care of and is in good shape, you don’t have to pay as much to keep it up.


Granted you should always be working on your SEO, but unlike AdWords, you don’t have to pay per click or impression. You start gaining more and more organic traffic.


Both are important, but which one should I start with?


Short answer, Both!


Get customers to your site using PPC advertising. But, your long-term strategy should include incorporating SEO best practices into your website from the beginning. Start including the right headers, metadata, and schema where applicable. Start getting local citations with websites like Yelp, Angie’s list (if applicable), Google My Business, Apple Maps, etc. Use content marketing and blogging to show your audience and Google what you do and that you know what you’re talking about. 


Look for opportunities to get links to your business. If you have a business where you are an authority on something and not just selling a product, see if other complementary businesses would be open to guest blogging opportunities. Also if you aren’t already, start blogging on your own business website. Nothing tells search engines and audiences that you know what you are talking about better than talking about it.  


Start building those roads and authority today for the long term while getting customers to your site with AdWords and PPC.


If you need help getting started with any of the concepts we have talked about here, or if they sound great, but you just don’t have the time, feel free to reach out. We would love to help you get started or take it off your hands.