“So, why would I do AdWords when I can just do SEO?”
A common question. The reality is, they are both quite different and both have their own place. In an ideal world you would do both because when it comes to traffic generation, 1 + 1 = 3. In this case, the combination of AdWords and SEO together gives you three times the traffic, not double as you may think.
So what? I still don’t get it!
Here’s the difference. AdWords will put you on page one instantly, but you pay for it – handsomely. The higher the competition for the keywords the more you pay per click. By contrast, SEO will not put you on page one straight away but with a slow concerted effort you’ll get there and you’ll most likely stay there, without having to pay per click. Put simply, AdWords is a light switch and SEO is a snow ball. When you stop paying for AdWords, your traffic goes away instantly and if you stop paying for SEO, the snow ball doesn’t stop rolling; it slows, gradually.
How does the pricing work?
AdWords – you set a budget and pay per click. Every time a consumer clicks on your advert, you are billed. The price is determined at the time of the click taking place and is based on the current market price for the particular keyword.
SEO – you pay a fixed monthly fee for smart people to do smart things to your website to make Google recognise your site and learn that your site is better than your competitions. Once Google sees that, your site will start to rank better. Luckily for you, Google doesn’t forget quickly so even if you no longer invest in SEO, Google doesn’t drop you off the list, you’ll stay there until your competition decide to try and leap-frog you.
So 1+1 = 3?
I know it doesn’t immediately make sense – but the combination of AdWords and SEO together gives you triple the traffic, not double the traffic. Essentially what happens is Google sees the keywords that people are clicking on to get to your site (using AdWords) and then assumes that your site is relevant for those keywords and improves your organic ranking (SEO). For the period of time you run both together you will find increased traffic to your site.
What’s the right strategy for you? Well it’s not just a case of do everything and pray – it takes a bit of consideration, both technical and budgetary.