SEO or Google Ads? Which Is Better?
Let’s face it, running a small business has never been harder. Keeping your business to your high standard, while at the same time ensuring social distancing, safe working conditions for employees, and working through difficult clients, the last thing you want is to worry whether or not you are spending your company’s profits on a site that is not giving you a worthwhile return on your investment. Being the prudent business owner that you are, you decide to invest your time into learning about SEO and Google Ads. Only, where do you even begin!? Do SEO and AdWords not go hand in hand? Can you do one without the other? What does Google prefer? Should I hire a team?
All these questions are overwhelming, you’re a business person, not a tech guru. That is exactly why we put together the newsletter to set you on the path towards search result success!
Ranking on the first page of Google
Let’s start with why? Why do you want to rank first on google? Some would answer with, “increase page views or traffic”, “grow your website” or “get more people interested in your business instead of your competitor’s”. To put it as simply as possible, you want to rank number one on google to make more money off your site.
Think about it, how many times have you actually gone to the second page of the Google search results ON PURPOSE?! It is pretty common knowledge that people do not go to the second page of the search results, in fact, according to a Moz study, “On average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks, and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.”. So you only have one page of results to work with. On that page, you will find about 3-5 ads that display at the top and bottom and up to 10 different organic search results posted in the middle.
What’s the difference?
SEO is the process of adding relevant keywords and content to your site so that Google’s search algorithms, or “spiders”, crawl through your site and naturally bring you to the top of search results based on the content of your webpage. This type of SEO can be done by yourself by filling out all the meta info on each page with unique content that helps the crawlers match search queries with your site. Experienced SEOs are even able to provide backlinks to your site to provide “upvotes” from external websites. Sure you can get these from freelancers but buyer beware! Geotagging images to locations you are targeting can give you an advantage over local competitors, website interlinking helps as well, and user experience monitoring all mesh together to provide you with truly effective SEO.
DIY SEO can be tricky because your competition can come in at any time with the content of their own and take your spot. That being said, SEO is an infinite game. It’s not one and done or set it and forget it. That’s why SEO requires constant upkeep and monitoring so that you stay ahead of the competition. Though there is no price to adding content, is this really the best use of your time or should you be applying that time towards other areas of your business? If you want to be able to track your progress it is highly encouraged that you invest in SEO software that will streamline the management of your site’s SEO. However, learning the software is a course all on its own. Because of this, hiring an experienced team of SEO professionals may cut into a small portion of your short term profits but the time, money, and customers brought in by correctly managing your site will prove invaluable if you are running a business and you’re not an SEO whiz or just don’t have the time to properly learn it. Click here to learn more about how Google uses SEO to rank your site.
Pay Per Click (PPC) services such as Google Ads provide an advertising solution that allows all businesses to bid on the possibility of showing ads at the top or bottom of the Google search results. This allows you to skip the line and be seen at the top of Google from the beginning. WITHOUT THE NEED FOR SEO.
You only pay when someone clicks on that ad and is directed to your site or calls your business. This can allow you to be seen by a wider audience, especially if you do not have a great organic presence on Google. Although you will increase your traffic volume, you will do nothing to increase your site’s SEO. Click here for more information about Google Ads directly from Google.
If Google Ads are done properly, this can be a great solution for driving traffic and sales to your site to business owners in the early stages of their business. Especially if you have a limited budget for advertising.
How much does each click cost?
This is a frequently asked question when getting started with google ads. The problem is, the price of each click varies depending on factors such as keyword volume, industry, and their Google Ads quality score. Google tabulates these numbers and gives you a price typically ranging from pennies to $3 or more per click. This may be a fair value, but it only guarantees that customers will arrive on your site, not necessarily buy/rent anything!
Therefore, if you did not target your ads correctly, and/or where you are sending them on your site isn’t relevant or the page isn’t set up for a great user experience, those 300 page views you got yesterday will only increase your bounce rate, your Google Ads trust score may go down, and you end up paying MORE for people to look at your site.
Is this money well spent?
The good thing is that Google allows you to set a budget that will stop displaying your content once your limit is reached, keeping you from going bust with over advertising. Learn more here.
Leverage organic results for long term ROI
Even if you decide to focus exclusively on Google Ads rather than SEO, it is recommended that you still include relevant content for your site. Adding relevant content for your site could mean that you explain your product to your customer with as much detail as you can. What is the product (don’t use industry jargon here)? How does this product help your customer? What benefits does it have? Where do you deliver to? Do you offer any guarantees? Do you have pictures of the product? Adding relevant content that is made for people rather than algorithms will only help you improve your customer experience which naturally leads to more conversions and better site rankings from google for long-term results. Here are five tips that leverage Google’s SEO ranking factors to rank your page
- Site Speed: adding large images and videos will slow your site and no one likes waiting for a site to load. Pro tip – compress image files and don’t forget to geo tag them.
- Strong Headline – you may have good content but if the headline isn’t catching attention, your audience will look right past it and so will the crawlers.
- Valuable Content – you have a smart audience, they know what they are looking for, tailor your content to create the most value possible! How? Answer questions they may have, give the information no competitor is giving out. This will give your site the edge it needs to stay on top long term.
- Fill in EVERYTHING – when creating a web page, remember, the spiders all crawling through EVERYTHING on that page, leaving meta info blank, duplicating meta info, no having an H1, etc., will signal as incomplete to the spiders and will rank you lower than you should be.
- Unique Content – whatever you do, don’t copy and paste one meta description and paste it to another page. Spiders see this as “duplicate content” and will begin to ignore the value of the page that has the duplicate and mark it lower. After all, you’re telling the spiders, “these pages have the same stuff”, thus making it confusing for Google when they have to decide what content to show. If both are the same, nothing may show. Pro tip – DO NOT COPY YOUR COMPETITORS CONTENT. Yes, it just shows them that you are 10 steps behind and not willing to put in the work, but even worse, many hide hyperlinks in their content pointing right back to them. Be respectful, just don’t do it. ;)
Should I use Google Ads or SEO?
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which option is best for your business, but it is worth considering the pros and cons of each option. SEO, while being a long term play to see great ROI, requires a lot of your time and attention to reach the first page on top of constant maintenance to be sure you stay on top of your competitors. PPC, though a short term to see great ROI, requires a constant injection of money to keep going.
Operating with a mix of Google Ads and SEO is often the best option for most businesses but finding the right balance of ad spend and SEO becomes more of an art than a science. For more information, feel free to contact BestLyfe Group to help you find that balance you may be looking for.
Bonus: Don’t forget Google My Business. It’s FREE. It’s a very valuable tool and studies have shown that it can get up to 30% of link clicks/traffic from the first page of Google. Don’t underestimate this powerful FREE tool. If you haven’t fully set yours up and optimized it today, you’re missing out!