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SEO or AdWords - Which is the best?


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One of the most common questions we are getting is about SEO and its twin AdWords brother. What are the similarities, the differences between them and which is the best?

The biggest problem with twins is that you know them, you're a friend, and you get along well with both of them, but you often mess with them and you have no idea what. Just like with SEO and AdWords, at least we understand the questions you have.

What's really going on?
Google AdWords is the system through which you can place a pay-as-you-go creative ad in the sponsored ads sections on Google's search engine as well as on the Google Display Network. The component that comes into our discussion is the one on the Google search engine.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the effort to optimize the platform and the presence of a website in the online environment with the clear goal of attracting more traffic and moving forward among Google 'organic' results (or using a 'free' ).

AdWords is based on an auction system that ultimately determines the position of ads placed on Google's search engine, the cost per visit, and ultimately the number of visitors attracted to the site with a pre-defined budget.

The principle behind the AdWords auction system is that of Cost Per Click (CPC): Displaying ads is cost-effective only when visitors click on them, basically paid only if the visitor arrives on the promoted site.

SEO optimization is based on iterative iterations that the Google hierarchy algorithm does on its results. In practice, key areas of the website are also gradually changing which determines the search engine to consider page content more relevant and more valuable to the search terms introduced by customers. Once the changes are sustained in a constructive direction, Google is beginning to move the website among its results. The advantage of AdWords is that once advanced among organic results, the website no longer attracts direct traffic costs.

To recap, we have established so far that AdWords works with:
  • Pay Per Click (CPC)
  • An auction system
  • Ads section on Google or the Google Display Network
And SEO is based on:
  • Changes in key areas of the website
  • Regularly redefining Google results
  • Organic Results Section of Google's Search Engine
So which is better SEO or AdWords?
The answer, as you probably expect if you've gotten here, is that everyone is good in his own way. The explanation is the implementation times, the costs involved later and the type of traffic attracted.

From the point of view of implementation time, implementing AdWords campaigns can take even a few days, so the results can begin to come almost immediately. Because AdWords is based on the cost per visit, the principle is that as long as there is budget, the ads appear, and when the budget ends, the ads stop appearing. This usually means allocating a monthly budget that needs to be sustained in the medium or long term to benefit from the real potential of the action.
Due to the fact that the ads appear immediately under the eyes of the clients, the traffic is attracted to the sales one and the visitors are at an advanced stage of their acquisition process.

In the case of SEO optimization, things change because the iterations of the organic hierarchy algorithm have intervals between them for several weeks. So any changes you make today can be validated or invalidated only after redeveloping the results. This means that SEO optimization can start delivering results after a few months of work, but once improvements have been made, there is no more cost per visit than AdWords.
Costs attributed to SEO optimization are all monthly, but often lower than AdWords.

Due to the fact that the traffic is coming from the area of organic results, the generated traffic is one that is at the stage of documenting the existing solutions, and the effects produced are for sale and branding.

So AdWords:
  • It has lower implementation times
  • Provides sales-oriented traffic
  • It has monthly costs that condition the view
And SEO:
  • It has higher deployment times
  • Provides targeted traffic to branding
  • It has monthly costs that condition the stability of the attracted traffic and the positions obtained
As a conclusion, the long-awaited response is that each approach is good in its own way, and the choice of the most appropriate one is made at a strategic level, depending on the target market niche, resources, duration of the acquisition cycle, and long-term goals.

In the ideal case, it would be advisable to attack both channels because the implementation steps and the results obtained are mostly complementary.
In practice, however, resources make us choose only those channels that have the best chances of success, and the decision must come from a careful analysis of each business scenario.