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SEO & Google Ads: What is the difference?

by DarahAlbesa
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SEO and Google Ads

What’s the Difference Between SEO and Google Ads?

Many businesses don’t have the funding to implement multiple digital marketing strategies and have difficulty choosing where to invest their money. We compare Google Ads and SEO to highlight the core differences.

What is SEO?

After investing in SEO, businesses of all sizes and across several industries have seen successful results. A successful SEO strategy convinces the bots crawling your site that it is providing reliable and relevant information to improve your rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Site Content

Good content is vital for SEO—don’t make the information hard to find. Your website should be easy to navigate, with reliable content to build trust with users and search engines.

Relevant keywords sprinkled through high-quality content and a user-friendly website are part of a successful strategy. If you’re doing it right, this will improve your rankings organically.



Well-optimised content will help in link building. The more links back to your website, the more trust search engines will have in it.

Link outreach and guest blog posts for other sites are great ways to get links back to your website. SEO is about quality; links won’t help your rankings if they come from unreliable places like spammy websites.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads (previously Adwords) isn’t about getting organic rankings. Instead, you’re paying to have your brand seen. The program allows you to display ads across other Google platforms while driving paid, short-term traffic.

PPC Advertising?

Google Display ads allow you to target keywords, bidding on them for a spot at the top of the search results. Pay-per-click ads enable you to target specific groups easily using the Google database.

PPC advertising won’t impact your organic rankings but give you flexibility on who you want to put your ad in front of and when. A Google Ads account is easy to manage and offers fantastic opportunities for improved visibility.

Display Ads Network

Aside from search results, Google Ads allows you to have your ads shown across Google’s Display Network to further your reach. Your business can appear on YouTube and other sites in the network. Google Ads has several options to help drive web traffic through flexible paid advertising.

How Do Google Ads and SEO Differ?

Ultimately, it comes down to the results you’ll get. SEO strategies are ideal for organically pushing your content in front of the people searching for it. It enables more and more people to discover your brand. It takes some time to start seeing results, especially with a smaller brand, but it is effective as a long-term strategy. Investing in SEO services can help develop and implement a long-term plan for search engine success.

Google Ads, on the other hand, is about paying your way to the top. There is no shame in paying to put your business on display; it’s an accessible and effective tool for businesses. Pay-per-click allows websites to specifically choose when they want their ad to be on display, with easy access to adjust any elements.

Choosing Your Strategy

To decide between SEO and Google Ads, the best thing to do is consider your goals. Are you looking to draw in organic traffic and improve your authority score through a long-term strategy? Or do you need your business visible now, with more flexibility but only short-term results?

SEO and PPC working side-by-side will help you achieve short and long-term goals at the same time. Together both paid and organic strategies will create a more streamlined path toward success. If you can only afford to spend time and energy investing your resources into one, establish your priorities and what you want to achieve.

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