SEO vs Adwords: Which Works Better for Your Business?

There's been an ongoing debate on which marketing channel is better for driving traffic and value for your business -- SEO or Adwords.
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There's been an ongoing debate on which marketing channel is better for driving traffic and value for your business -- SEO or Adwords.

The answer greatly varies and depends on the nature of your business. Before anything else, let's first define SEO and Adwords before so you get a better idea which would work better for your specific marketing.

Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons, DaMongMan

The Difference Between SEO and Adwords
SEO makes use of certain techniques that is meant to tweak the Google algorithm so that a person's website will have a good ranking on the search engine. These techniques include using relevant keywords, linking content to authority websites or other related websites and using meta descriptions.

Adwords makes use of paid advertising wherein website owners will pay a search engine like Google to place their website at the top of the search results. Adwords makes use of a pay-per-click type of system wherein you will have to pay every time a person clicks on your ad.

Comparison By Characteristics

1. Price
First of all, let's talk about price. SEO may be initially free (apart from the time spent when you're personally working on it) because you don't have to pay for any program to help you with SEO techniques. You must just simply know the best SEO techniques for your website and apply them. However, as soon as your business grows, the competition along with many challenges may prove to take more time than it initially required you. You may have to opt for professional SEO services to further boost your page so you can stay relevant. Companies such LYFE Marketing, leading Atlanta SEO company, that specializes in the area and have insights from having been working in the same industry for many years can provide your business the attention and efforts it actually needs.

As for Google Adwords, I've mentioned above that it has a pay-per-click type of scheme. With this scheme, you will have a certain budget wherein you will pay every time someone clicks on your ad. With this payment scheme, the more people you can get, the more you will have to pay. Although it may seem a bit costly to some at first, it actually isn't if you compare it to print ads and magazine ads.

2. Number of Viewers/Leads
When looking at the ROI, you have to look at the possible number of viewers or leads each method can give. Both can give you a decent number of viewers or leads. However, if we were to talk about a period of time, Adwords can get more viewers or leads in a short period of time. If we look at the long term though, you will notice that people will flock more towards organic results since this is what they're looking for anyway. To sum it up, Adwords will give you leads or viewers right away but it is not as sustainable as SEO as SEO can get you more viewers over an accumulated period of time.

3. Speed
For speed, definitely Adwords would be the better choice. Unlike SEO, wherein it would take some time for people to see your website through organic search results. For the Adwords though, you can get leads almost right away because Adwords can target your chosen demographic. SEO though, does not target demographics. What SEO can do is make sure that your website is relevant and your desired target market will find it.

Which One is Better for You?
Now that you know the benefits of each, which one is better for you? Well, if you want fast leads, than Adwords is the best for you. However, if you want your business to have steady growth, then you must invest effort in employing SEO techniques. Having both marketing efforts may prove to be useful as long as you set your KPIs and continue to measure the success of each marketing efforts.

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