Some web marketing experts believe that there is no need to pay for both Google AdWords and SEO simultaneously because paid ads upstage the results of organic searches. They figure that AdWords and SEO are mutually exclusive, which means that spending money on both marketing channels is a bad strategy.

In this article, we’ll talk about both Google AdWords and SEO to help you see whether you need one or the other. Or maybe both.

Google AdWords

While many forms of paid advertising exist, the majority of companies focus on Google AdWords. It’s the most accessible service with excellent support in many languages. By using Google AdWords correctly, it’s possible to attract numerous visitors to your website.


However, the service comes at a certain price. So if you don’t manage it correctly, you may end up paying large amounts without any ROI.

Google AdWords charge on the pay-per-click (PPC) basis. Meaning that you only pay when someone clicks on the ad and is transferred to your website. You make a payment regardless of what the visitors do next. They may leave the website immediately or stay there to share information. You pay anyway.  

You pay higher amounts for popular search terms than for those which aren’t as demanded. The rate depends on your niche and where you wish to rank. If you pay $0.30 per click, you have little chances of ranking above a competitor that pays $0.40 per click.


When you launch a PPC marketing campaign, you should have a crystal clear idea of what your clients are searching for when looking for services similar to yours. You can often pay less for longtail search keywords than for popular short search terms.

One of the biggest advantages of paid ads is that you can control the list of which keywords your website is listed for. It’s useful when you are trying to figure out which keywords are the most useful for your marketing efforts. Google AdWords helps you find out which terms bring you the most visitors. You can use this information for further marketing efforts.

The best part about AdWords is that if you are ready to pay large amounts, your ad is guaranteed to appear when the user types in a certain keyword. It can be of great assistance for getting the word out about a new company or new services.

Overall, you get more control over your marketing campaign with Google Ads but the results could be short-term. Meanwhile, the cost may be high.


SEO is a completely different approach to marketing. The main advantage of it over the AdWords approach is the cost. A company can start its SEO efforts without any investment. Numerous free SEO tools exist to help you with content tweaking, keyword searches, etc. However, eventually, you would have to hire an SEO expert to help you with the process.


The difference between SEO and AdWords is that the former is a slow process, which eventually provides more solid results. AdWords is a certain quick fix that can bring you numerous visitors. However, you can’t be sure they’ll stay. When your website appears on top of the search organically, you are likely to get visitors who are truly interested in your services and achieve higher conversion rates.

When the competition is extremely high, standard SEO efforts can’t be as effective as AdWords since climbing to the top of the search engine results is nearly impossible. However, you still need to spend time on SEO if only to help clients find you.

SEO for local companies is a must because it makes the business visible. When the client searches for a certain service, the company should pop up on such websites as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and the like. AdWords can’t help with that.

Using Google Adwords for SEO

It’s worth noting that Google Ads offers a variety of tools that can help you with your SEO efforts without launching a PPC campaign simultaneously. For example, the Keyword Tool helps with the keyword search, which you can use for SEO purposes. You can also take advantage of Google Ads tracking options to measure the changes in the flow of visitors to your website.

Google provides a variety of free tools, such as The Search Report in Google Analytics. It tracks which keywords are bringing more clients to your website even if you aren’t using AdWords.

SEO vs. Adwords: The Google Experiment

Google ran a short experiment to figure out if AdWords and SEO cancel each other. For a short time, the search engine paused the paid ads to understand how it affects the number of clicks. During the experiment, it was discovered that even when AdWords don’t provide them with paid content, users don’t start clicking on the organic search results more often.

The experiment proved that by not spending money on AdWords, you can’t increase the number of organic clicks substantially.

The results of the organic SERP affect the AdWords result in a less obvious manner. The number of clicks on the paid ad can grow by about 50% if the organic SERP contains similar results. Meaning, when the website promoted in the Google Ad appear s in the organic search results as well.

Does Google Adwords improve SEO?

Google also found that the link to your website in the Google search results rarely appears on the same page as the paid ad. Which means that by using both AdWords and SEO you can attract a much larger audience than by using just one of the methods.

What if You Have to Choose Between Adwords and SEO?

If, for some reason, you still have to choose between Google Ads and SEO, consider the following. If you are trying to experiment with a small number of keywords or want to achieve short-term visibility and traffic, you can consider sticking with AdWords and ignoring SEO efforts.

AdWords are also excellent for e-commerce companies, which have to work with a vast competition. If your chances of getting on top of the Google search are nearing zero then AdWords is for you.

If you are looking for long-range results, implementing the right keywords for SEO is a must. If you are planning to be in business for a long time and work with specific products, SEO is the way to go. Another major benefit of the SEO is regular visibility and an unlimited flow of visitors, which can’t be achieved with AdWords.

Since SEO appears to be cheaper than Google AdWords, many companies prefer to start with this method. However, it’s important to consider both approaches if you want your marketing campaign to achieve top goals.  


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