To demystify the thought that ‘it has to be one or the other’ what you should be thinking is if you’re really serious about achieving results, then AdWords and SEO really are better together.
The obvious disadvantage to SEO is how long it takes to see a viable return on your investment. SEO takes time! Google AdWords on the other hand is instant, which means it can also be a fantastic testing platform for your SEO efforts.
With AdWords, you can also target your ads on YouTube, the second biggest search engine in the world, where more than one billion unique users visit each month.
You can re-market your ads to people who have been to your site then left, irrespective of if they came via organic or paid. You can also choose when and where your AdWords appear.
On the other side of the coin though, SEO is constant, whereas your AdWords will cease to show once your budget has been exhausted.
Organic listings also aid your business as being seen as a recognised authority within your industry.
Another thing to consider is if your business name is visible because you have Google AdWords running and because you are putting in the necessary time and effort into SEO (or you’re paying someone to do it for you) then obviously, you’re doubling your chances of potential customers seeing your business name and they will remember you.
If you’re running Google AdWords and SEO, you also have access to double the amount of data. What does this mean? You’re better equipped to scrutinise and analyse how your keywords and your ads are performing, therefore enabling you to make better, informed decisions about your marketing efforts.
Don’t forget about social media paid and organic either! Social media platforms are declining more and more the reach of their organic traffic, because the companies which run and own these social media platforms have a vested interest in creating more revenue. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are businesses too.
If your marketing goals differ during different times of the year, the right balance of your paid and organic online marketing will flow and change, therefore meaning that while one avenue may be more useful than the other at particular times, it’s crucial to always keep the right balance.
One cannot exist without the other, like left and right, north and south and time and space. Paid and organic is the yin and yang in the marketing world.
Ben Bradshaw is the founder and chief executive officer of SponsoredLinX, an online marketing agency for business owners in Australia and New Zealand.