This is one of the most common questions I hear when consulting with clients.  Companies don’t know where to invest their money… sometimes they only convinced that SEO is the way to go and other times I’ve heard companies say they will only do Adwords because they’ve been burned with SEO.

So what should you do?  What one is better?  SEO or Adwords? (by the way, Adwords is the same thing as pay-per-click marketing in case you are wondering)

Well, the truth is that the answer will actually vary depending on your situation.  In some scenarios SEO is perfect, in other scenarios Adwords is the right choice and then there are times where a combination of both is best (in my opinion a combination is almost always best).

What you need to know is that they are NOT the same.  Yes, they definitely have similarities but they are not the same.  Both of them allow you to get targeted traffic from Google but one is a long-term investment and the other is more instant.  Let me give you the advantages/benefits for both:

SEO or Search Engine Optimization Advantages & Benefits:

  • Not pay per click – at first SEO might be a lot more expensive but over time it might be a lot cheaper
  • Long term – SEO can drive results for years
  • Better traffic – SEO is considered organic traffic and is always better.  Just think about it, how many times do you click the ad or go to the search results?
  • Higher conversions – people who see your website high up on Google automatically think you must be the best.
  • Stable cost – you might pay a monthly fee to a SEO company but as your traffic increases your cost doesn’t.  You don’t need to bid or worry about rising costs based on competition

Adwords or Pay Per Click Advantages & Benefits:

  • Instant – you can get an ad up today and have targeted traffic rolling in
  • Total control – your traffic is like a tap, you can turn it on full blast, turn it off or just have it slightly on
  • Can change budget on the fly – you don’t need to commit to a certain budget
  • Easy tracking – you can see what keywords are performing better
  • Split testing – you can test ads and get higher click thru rates

As you can see both have benefits.  And from my experience a combination of both is usually best.  You don’t necessarily want to rely 100% on SEO since it can be finicky and long term.  But you definitely don’t want to just use Adwords since the best traffic is organic traffic and the cost per click will always go up over time.

Either way, you will want to make sure if you spend money online that your leads are automatically going into a CRM that allows you to easily manage them.  ClickHook lets you tag your lead with a source so you know if it is Adwords or your organic, etc.  That lets you easily see where most of your leads are coming from.