SEO vs Paid Ads


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If you’re reading this article, you might be interested in how you should promote a new business, or you might be reviewing your current marketing strategy. 

Either way, you’re probably asking yourself the question – “what’s the best option to go with first: SEO vs Paid Ads?” 

You might even be feeling a little brave. And wondering if you should do both of these marketing tactics at the same time! 

Well, whichever camp you fall into, keep on reading. Because, in this article, we’re going to take a good look at why you might want to focus on SEO first. 

Now, that might sound like a bold claim. But by the time you’ve finished this article, you’ll understand where we’re coming from. 

SEO VS. Paid Ads — Should you really focus on SEO first?

Okay to begin with — let me just say that paid ads are awful and you should never use them ever, ever, ever. 

Just kidding!

Don’t get me wrong — paid ads are amazing. I mean, you could turn them on and generate your first customers within the hour. What’s not to love? 

But, should we just end here? Is that it? Discussion over — debate settled? Why bother with SEO when paid ads are so awesome?  

Well, it’s also worth remembering that if an ad platform decides to ban you from their platform (which can happen even if you’ve done nothing wrong!) you can end up with no way to generate customers.

Plus, if you turn off your paid ad campaigns, you’ll simply have no way to generate revenue. And your business will come to a stop.  

But, okay, both of these things explain why paid ads aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. But they don’t really explain why you should focus on SEO first. 

So, with that said, why should you focus on SEO first? 

Well, the main reason you should prioritize SEO is that it takes a lot of time to actually ‘kick in.’ 

Now, that might sound like a negative thing about SEO. And it kind of can be — but stick with me here. 

In many cases, it can take a number of months to see SEO results. And that is once you’ve decided to create and stick to an SEO strategy. 

It’s because of this, that you should sort out your SEO efforts before you focus on PPC. In doing so, you can then rest easy. As you know that the SEO side of your business is taken care of.  

In some ways, I guess dieting would be a good comparison to draw here. You can create and stick to a solid dieting plan. But it might take a few months until you begin to hit your target weight. 

Now, does that mean that nothing is happening in the time between you start your diet and the time when you hit your target weight? Of course not! It’s just that sustainable progress often comes slowly, and things don’t happen all at once. 

SEO is a lot like this. You create a solid SEO strategy, and then you implement it over the coming months. If you stay consistent, you’ll eventually see results that are meaningful. 

Okay, but why bother going through this effort if SEO takes so long? 

Well, SEO can bring you targeted customers at a very low cost when compared to paid advertising. 

Therefore, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will experience these amazing benefits. 

  • So, if you focus on SEO as soon as you can, your website will slowly gain authority. And improved keyword rankings as the days go by. As this happens in the background, you can then tinker with other marketing methods so that you can generate customers in the meantime. 
  • Of course, once you start ranking for your keywords, you can then think about doubling down on your SEO and perhaps stopping your paid ads.

SEO is Also Your Insurance Policy

Something else I want to touch on here is that SEO can also act as a great ‘marketing insurance policy,’. And this is a big reason as to why you should focus on it first. 

That might sound a little odd — but hear me out…

Now, look, marketing is perhaps one of the most important parts of running a business. I mean, it doesn’t matter how good your product/service is. If you can’t market your business, your bottom line isn’t going to look too good. 

So, if you’re just relying on one marketing strategy, it’s fair to say that you’re putting your business in a really dangerous position. 

As we talked about earlier, paid ad platforms can be very temperamental. 

One day, they’re sending you lots of lovely customers at a decent price. And the next day you’re dealing with tons of competition, and high ad prices that eat into your margins. 

Worst case scenario, they decide they don’t like something about your ad/business and they suspend or ban you.

Now, if you focus on SEO first, you will at least have an insurance policy. In the event that a paid ad platform decides to make life difficult.

And so, the sooner you focus on SEO, the sooner this insurance policy will kick in. 

For example, if you focus on SEO first, you will at least be ahead of the curve if your ads suddenly fail. 

After all, suppose that it takes six months to achieve decent rankings. 

If you don’t focus on SEO, this six-month timeline will start whenever you decide to switch your attention from paid ads to SEO. If you’re unable to generate customers without paid ads or SEO, this waiting period might just shutter your business. 

However, if you focus on SEO first, you might have to only wait a few months, or you might not have to wait at all. All of which means that your business will keep ticking along nicely. 

Can’t SEO go badly as well?

Now, after hearing all of this, you might be asking yourself “can’t SEO go wrong too?” 

After all, what if things are the other way around — what if you do SEO first and then you end up getting delisted by Google? What then?  Did you just waste a lot of effort? 

Well, that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to consider. But it’s important to remember that if you do things the right way, you shouldn’t really have to worry about this. 

But now you might be thinking “I don’t have the time to learn how SEO works and what actually counts as the right way to go about things” 

This is often the issue a lot of business owners run into. After all, most people are so busy running their business, they don’t have the time to learn the various intricacies of a particular marketing method like SEO. 

If you find yourself in this position, you might want to book a free consultation call with us. We’ve helped lots of businesses achieve success with SEO, and there’s a good chance we can help you too. 

Either way, hopefully, you now understand why you need SEO and why it’s a good idea to focus on SEO first. 

I hope this article has been helpful for you, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Take care!

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!


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