SEO vs Adwords

SEO vs Adwords

David Jemison

Oct 8, 2012
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3 min read
SEO vs Adwords

When it comes to internet marketing where should you spend your budget? One of the longest standing debates when it comes to online marketing is if SEO or Adwords deserves the bulk of the budget.

We put the two of them in a ring. Let's see who wins the fight.

SEO vs Adwords

SEO Star Cog

SEO

SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of ranking a site. In any case, the goal of SEO is to be at the top because statistically this is the link that most people click.Before trying to rank any site using SEO, the owner must come to a decision about their keywords. For instance, a site from London trying to rank for website development may choose; website developers in London, website developers and web design.Then, the company would explore various methods of both on-site and off-site optimisation. On site optimisation would include; adding Meta titles and descriptions, equal keyword distribution and unique content. Then, off-site techniques like; directory submissions, article spinning and building back-links.

The benefits of SEO

  • Ranking highly for a tough keyword can bring any site thousands of hits a day.
  • A well-run SEO campaign will bring in a higher return on investment than any Adwords campaign.
  • With SEO, once you obtain a position then you can expect to sit there for a while, even with limited on-going work.

The negatives of SEO

  • Ranking for a good keyword can take months of work.
  • When up against bigger companies with larger budgets and more man power it is hard to outrank a site.
  • The algorithm for how Google decides where a website appears is confusing. Unless you are a professional, it can be hard to know exactly how to rank a site even with hours of research.

Adwords

Google Results for SEO Company

Adwords campaigns have gone from strength to strength over the last decade. Now, there are millions of companies all around the world taking advantage of this type of advertising. In general, Adwords campaigns are easy to start up. Furthermore, due to several tools that Google has developed, on-going management, even for somebody with limited experience is simple.

The benefits of Adwords

  • Google provides those who use Adwords with a good level of customer service.
  • If the budget is high enough a new site can rank among the big names in the industry instantly.
  • The tools available from Google make managing any campaign simple. Plus with tools like First Page Bid Estimate, it is easy to work out exactly how much money it will cost to get to the first page.
  • The algorithm for Adwords is simple – Position = quality score x max CPC (cost per click).
  • With Adwords you only pay when somebody clicks on your link.

The negatives of Adwords

  • Campaigns can be expensive, and competing with the largest companies for the big keywords is almost impossible unless you have a huge budget.
  • Adwords results are not permanent and as soon as payment is stopped for a campaign the site will disappear.
  • While Adwords may be simple to set up, a correctly managed campaign will take up a lot of time and will require micromanagement.
  • Some searches instinctively skip Adwords results.

As you can see from the above, there are plenty of benefits and negatives to both campaigns. To surmise, it is impossible to say if SEO or Adwords is better because the simple answer is that it depends on the goals of the site. This is why it is imperative that the site owner spends a good amount of time researching the method first.If you would like to talk to us about your company's online marketing strategy, please get in touch.

We're curious to hear your goals and eager to help you reach them.

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