In this episode of the Web3 Marketing debate show, James and Joseph cover the best form of online marketing return on investment for your website. Its Search engine optimisation vs Google Ads Pay-per-click facing off back to back.

James is on the Google Ads side and Joseph is covering all things SEO and why SEO is better for small to medium businesses.

Who do you think wins this debate? What is the best marketing ROI for your business? Is Search Engine Optimisation or Google Ads Pay per click the better option for your website?

SEO VS Google Ads episode show notes

James: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the the marketing debate show. We’ve got an absolute fire starter of an episode today. An age old, old as digital marketing, old as the history of digital marketing debate SEO versus Google ads. Which one is better? we’ll be debating that today. I’m your co-host James Banks.

Joseph: and I’m your co-host Joseph Chesterton.

James: And I’ll be taking the Google ads side off the debate.

So without further ado, let’s kick things off. I’ll throw the question to Joseph. So Joseph out of Google ads and SEO. Why is SEO better than Google ads for small to medium businesses? Why is it better?

Joseph: Okay, well, firstly, Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to your website. Now that we got that out of the way, with SEO it is far longer lasting than paid ads. With paid ads you have to keep putting money in to keep your ranking in wherever it is the ad is being positioned, whereas with SEO, you do the work and maintain it with, if done right with minimal effort, and it lasts almost infinitely.

SEO works best with your marketing strategies, so as you’re creating content and marketing to your audience. If you do SEO correctly, then the pages that you want to rank and your website will rank really well, and will stay in front of your target keywords and audience that you’re trying to get in front of.

So with SEO, there’s a formula to it but as long as you follow the formula, then you will get the best results long term for spend, whereas with Google ads, it’s based on cost per click and the more money you put in, then the more clicks that you get. But that’s not always the best solution for businesses a lot of the time.

Where does it actually end? If you have to keep putting money in to be positioned where you want to be positioned, why don’t you just use SEO to get there and stay there?

James: Well, it shouldn’t end as long as it’s making the business money. That’s the bottom line. And here’s the thing is because SEO takes time. You don’t just snap your fingers and you’re automatically at the top of Google search. It doesn’t work like that. Google ads, however, allows you to be at the top of search by simply paying your way there.

The businesses don’t have to wait. And let’s face it, small to medium businesses are often in a rush. We need to grow. We need to get more leads. We need to get more sales. We need to get more people to our website. And that’s why Google ads gives you the facility to get in front of your audience for the keywords that they’re searching for that you select that you control.

Yes, there’s a paid factor to it. But you can start getting people to your website immediately and start turning that traffic into leads into sales as long as you know what you’re doing and you doing it right.

SEO is like the turtle, you have to wait for it. And some businesses don’t have the time to wait. They need to hit the market right now. So with that said though, you mentioned earlier before about Google ads isn’t necessarily the right solution, or is SEO the right solution for every business. I agree. But why would SEO be better than Google ads to start with Joseph?

Joseph: Well, the thing is, SEO, it lasts far longer than Google Ads does by having to put money in to get yourself ranking, whereas, of course, SEO will cost money but once you are ranking highly, especially if you’re in a niche industry where there is less competition then chances are, you can stay there almost infinitely as long as you keep maintaining the ranking, which is not that hard if you know what you’re doing.

If you’re a start up business, then SEO is definitely worth your while. A lot of start-up businesses obviously don’t have the funds to invest like medium or large enterprises. So SEO can be incredibly effective to get yourself in front of businesses that you otherwise wouldn’t.

So the best case scenario is you get ranking at number one and you stay there almost infinitely. I don’t know if you can do that with Google ads as long as you keep paying for the ranking.

James: Well exactly. I mean, you can stay there infinitely with Google Ads. You can stay at the top of search with Google ads, infinitely as long as you’re happy to pay for the clicks and to pay for that position.

And let’s face it with SEO, it still requires ongoing work it still requires someone to maintain it and to be at least the very least tracking your rankings. So should any competitors or threats enter the market, then you can optimise accordingly, like there’s still a cost associate. Whether it’s not a direct advertising cost, there’s still a cost associated with having someone do this for your business.

And let’s face it for new companies, startup business, they need to get to market quickly. They need to get the wheels turning. They need to validate. They need to get customers in the door. Cash flowing, waiting 6 to 12 months for SEO to kick in, in my opinion, is not a good idea. Unless they’re working on a very, very, very long term strategy, and I hope they are and they are cashed up, and they’re willing to sort of ride that timeframe through to be able to see the SEO start to produce a return on investment. But most businesses, that’s not the case.

So what do you say to that Joe?

Joseph: There’s obviously a place for both, but SEO is the better solution for businesses with a long term strategy, because SEO is a long term strategy that once you utilise, is incredibly powerful for your business.

How would you say ROI is compared to SEO and Google ads?

James: Well, it depends ultimately. I mean any channel, as long as it’s set up and measured correctly and is performing correctly, and has executed correctly can provide a return on investment. However, with Google ads due to the extremely detailed analytics suite that the Google, ads platform provides you can, track it down to the keyword bit level. Which you can do it on an arbitrary level with SEO, but not at the granular level that you can through search advertising, which actually allows you to genuinely track and manage your results and return on investment a lot more accurate than SEO.

Not to say that SEO you can’t do this, but the in-depth data suite that you get through Google ads allows you, to genuinely truly give you a good arbitrage between what you’re doing versus what’s producing the leads. What’s producing the sales and what’s producing the money for the business, which is something you just cannot do, as simply and as easily nor as accurately with SEO.

What do you say to that Joe?

Joseph: Of course, with SEO, there isn’t a black and white, yes and no, whether you’re doing the correct thing. But if you follow the common sense best practises and utilise the tools available, like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and any other third party platform then, of course, you’re going to get the results that you require.

With SEO it’s all about long lasting results. So as long as you’re doing the best practises with best search engine optimisation practises like keeping your website fast, making sure that there’s meta description, title tags, all the key words and things that you are targeting for the pages are correct, then you are going to see long term results.

Whereas with Google ads, it only lasts as long as you are spending. So with SEO, improvements are made, and years later you will still see an ROI whether that’s high or low depends on how much SEO you are doing.

Take Web3 for example. When we first started, we were targeting Web design Brisbane and within a short period of time got it to number one that’s had a huge, millions of dollars worth of ROI for our business, and it still continues to play a huge role today, so we could have done that with you Google Ads, but we would have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on getting that same result.

James: Well to reply to that and to, I guess, start to conclude this debate. The thing is, is that as an agency, we actually do both. We do both SEO and Google ads. It’s not an either or play its not an either or gambit. Search Engine Marketing and being able to grow a business through search engine marketing successfully really does require a combination of both organic SEO and Google Search advertising.

Both play hand in hand together and both are used to propel a business forward with its greater marketing digital marketing campaign needs.

So ultimately, where we stand on the subject, it’s not an either or play. In fact, it’s both. Being able to invest into both channels allows your business to grow and scale more rapidly than putting all of your eggs into one single basket.

So with that said, that is another episode of the Web3 marketing debate show.

Hope you learned something new and, as always, have a nice day.

Joseph: And we’ll see you next week for another episode where we talk social media. See then.