SEO or Ads? Which One Should You Prioritize?

There are 2 potential reasons why you’re reading this: Your budget’s strapped. You’re confused. Either way, the answer requires proper analysis as choosing the wrong action to prioritize on might delay important goals, or,…

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SEO or Ads? Which One Should You Prioritize?

There are 2 potential reasons why you’re reading this:

Your budget’s strapped.
You’re confused.

Either way, the answer requires proper analysis as choosing the wrong action to prioritize on might delay important goals, or, worst of all, burn cash.

In order to help you out, we’ll measure the weight of SEO and Ads against your business’s needs. Here are our findings:

Measurement #1: Deploying Campaigns


When it comes to deploying online campaigns, SEO doesn’t come close to the campaign power of ad usage, regardless whether it’s on Google’s search engine or on various social media.

SEO merely serves as a support system that capitalizes on the foundation your ads provided throughout the campaign. Regardless whether your ad is PPC or other variation of it, nothing beats the immediate attention and exposure they bring which makes campaign deployment effective.

Winner: Ads

Measurement #2: Organic Performance

Getting people to click their way to your site on their own is the domain of SEO. While ads rely on visibility to generate user action, SEO is all about having the right keywords at the right place at the right time. SEO doesn’t influence users, it lies in wait, knowing that they have the correct keywords that users would type in.

While Ads can imitate SEO’s function on Google by being on the very first row of a Google search result, being organically ranked first helps a lot in generating trust and reliance from users. But this heavily relies on a business ranking first. Unfortunately, everyone cannot enjoy the same ranking.

Winner: SEO

Measurement #3: Social Media Penetration


Social Media is where SEO’s limits lie. The SEO techniques that work on search engines don’t translate to the same effect on social media. Yes, social media can help boost your rankings on search engines. But SEO inside social media, not so much. Social media heavily focuses on user engagement that you need to be viral in order to replicate the top place in search engines.

On the other hand, Ads bask in the spotlight as social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have unloaded its ad services which proved to be effective on their respective platforms. The only downside to this is that business owner should really know where their target market is lurking so they can focus their ad budget on that specific social media site.

Winner: Ads

Measurement #4: Total Cost

SEO is all about time, consistency, and effort. Dedicated business will probably hire SEO experts to help them navigate their way, but generally speaking, SEO is virtually cost-free. It will take time, yes, but it shouldn’t cost you a dime.

Ads, on the other hand, will cost you in every step. But when you look closely, you’ll find that the generated visibility and sales outweigh the upfront costs. These result would even be better if you’ve optimised your ads for your target market.

Winner: SEO

Measurement #5: User Reach


This is a close fight for the two.

SEO’s user reach is a two-way street. SEO’s organic positioning show itself to the right users and the right users will find its way to your business, provided that you have optimized SEO. But this is all about grabbing only the customers who perfectly fit your target market profile.

Even with the simplest budget, Ads’ user reach count is unrivaled. Increase your budget a little and you’ll see that the exposure and visibility increases in exponential terms. Ads don’t only help you find and attract your target market, it also increases the odds of converting casual users, and other users in varying levels of brand awareness, into loyal customers.

Winner: Ads

Overall Winner: Ads

Ads take home the trophy with a 3-2 win over SEO.

It was a close fight, as it should have been.
But businesses that are strapped for time and focuses on mobility and exposure will find that ads will always be the first thing they’ll prioritize if they want to gain a serious advantage over their competitors.

And so should you.

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