Choosing between SEO and a PPC (Pay per click) ad campaign can be daunting, however running both can also lead to higher online success.

Post by
Liza Vermaak
Liza Vermaak

Why do I need SEO if I have Google Ad words?

The other day I was putting together a package for a client when a colleague asked this question: Why do I need SEO if I have Google AdWords?

I would like to start with the premise that you know the difference between the two but just in case you don’t: Adwords and SEO are the main components of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and are your two most valuable tools when running digital marketing campaigns.  Although they are similar they are also different.  Google Adwords is an advertising platform owned by Google.  Companies that take out Google Adwords position their adverts in the Google Search results pages and other webpages that are part of the Adwords program.  SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is about getting better rankings in the search engine results in major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others.  To help you do this you have to make sure that your website is search engine friendly.  With the internet algorithms that change constantly this means it is an ongoing process to keep your website easy to find (or crawl as they would say).

Adwords are paid advertisements that are found on Google sites and websites that use Google Adsense whilst SEO is when you have your website optimised in a variety of ways to rank higher organically on all search engines.

SEO and Google AdWords
Combining Google AdWords and Organic SEO is the best way to increase visibility

AdWords adverts work on a bidding system for key phrases or words to help you appear on the top or bottom of the Google Search results, with SEO you have to work harder to get to that “first” page on Google.  But when you get there in combination of Adwords campaign your visibility is increased and likely hood of someone choosing your site is greater.  Many people do not click on the paid Ad’s but even if they don’t click on them they have already skimmed the page and subconsciously they have seen your company so when they see your SEO ranking again they are seeing it for the second time making it more likely that they will click through to your website.

To rank well organically through SEO efforts is a long term goal because it takes a long time to appear in the organic search results and keeping an eye on your SEO and making the relevant changes impacts your search rankings.

If businesses were able to pay for higher rankings in search engine results, would not be neutral and users wouldn’t be getting the information they are looking for and therefore Adwords PPC (pay per click) marketing won’t help your SEO.

The benefit of Adwords is that whilst you are working on your SEO to get your website to that page one status you are generating sales by getting targeted traffic to your site.  You can measure the performance of your AdWords campaigns and if needed you can increase your budget for a great ROI.  With Adwords you are able to target your audience with a variety of options where geographics and demographics are two of them.

So while it is a good idea to start with AdWords to produce quick results you should also begin working on your SEO. For the best results you would need to use both Adwords and SEO.

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