Is SEO Better than Google Ads for Business?

Is SEO Better than Google Ads for Business

Table of Contents

In the digital world, the race for the top ranking in the search engine result pages demands laborious and continuous efforts. Search engine optimization (SEO) is time-consuming, but it gives you long-term results at a very low cost. In contrast, Google ads give you quick results but are heavy on the pocket.

Both have their importance, and it is very hard to decide which is better. On the one end, SEO gives you a high ranking after manipulating many on and off-page parameters, and these efforts have no end. On the contrary, Google ads give you immediate results as soon as you run the ads as planned.

Before digging deep, let me explain both SEO and Google ads with the help of three different scenarios. Imagine running a business, and you could have any of the following three goals.

  • Top Ranking for a Short Term: In this case, you want the top ranking in the SERPs, so if you have some time, like 3 to 6 months, then you can go for SEO, and if you do not have time, ads are the best option.
  • What is your Budget?  In this case, your only constraint is the budget. If you are low on your budget, SEO is your only option; if you have no budget constraints, go for ads for immediate results.
  • Top Ranking for Long-Term:  In this scenario, you want to play long-term and rank for the long term. If you have abundant time, then SEO is the best option, giving you a long-term ranking in SERPs. On the other hand, if you are not flexible in terms of time, go for Google ads.

Read | What are the common SEO mistakes to avoid

How SEO Works?

How SEO Works

SEO is not as simple as it might look; rather, it requires work on more than 200 factors that Google evaluates to decide the ranking of a website. And icing on the cake is each one of these factors, it’s a separate field.

So, you have to work on these parameters so that Google can easily recognize your website niche and its content, visitors have a great experience at your website, and your peers pass the authority to your work.  When all these things are aligned as per Google’s guidelines, your website will rank higher and give you a high rate of return.

Following are some of the main factors that SEO experts work on for better ranking;

Content: Your content is the king. So, in order to rank high, content should be well-written, relevant, informative, short and precise, and endorsed by the stats and infographics. The content should have the relevant keywords so that it is properly indexed and appears in the relevant search intent.

Backlinks: Backlinks from authoritative websites pass the links juice, showing how authoritative your website is. More backlinks mean more authority and more authority gives you a high ranking.

Website Optimization: One needs to optimize its website so that Google bots can easily crawl and index it. Quick and proper indexing gives you a high ranking.  So, try to add a sitemap to your website for quick indexing.

Mobile Friendly: Since 2015, Google has looked at the mobile optimization of a website, ranked it higher if found, and penalized those platforms that are not mobile optimized.

User Experience: Google places a very high value on the user experience. So, the traffic, retention of the traffic, and the bounce rate determine the user experience. The better the user experience, the higher the ranking, and vice versa.

Other Parameters: Apart from those mentioned above, other valuable factors are website layout, URLs, color scheme, loading time, retention time and bounce back rate, meta-tagging, referring domains, and many others, which also play a role in the ranking.

The picture below shows the ranking of the website against a searched keyword “sports items in London.” The top must have worked on SEO to reach the top.

Other Parameters

How Google Ads Work?

Google ads are display advertisements where you bid for your relevant keywords. If your bid is higher, then your ad will appear at the top whenever someone searches that keyword. The figure below shows the sponsored link at the top when I search “sports items in London.”

How Google Ads Work

So, a top trending keyword will be more expensive than a less searched keyword. There are three main options for bidding.

Cost per click: It is the cost that you will pay whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Cost per mile: It is the cost that you pay for displaying your ad to a thousand visitors.

Cost per Engagement: In this case, you pay Google when a visitor takes a predetermined action at your ad.

Read | Mobile First vs Responsive Web Design 

Types of Google Ads

Following are types of Google Ads

Shopping ads: These ads will appear when a relevant keyword (end-user product) is searched. It shows the picture of the product along with its price and details.

Search Ads: These ads are shown when a relevant keyword is searched. These will be shown at the top when the tag “ad or sponsor” is used.

Local Search Ads: These listings will be shown when a business is searched with the locations. One must register for Google’s business profile to appear in these ads. These listings will show your picture (if added), map, contact information and business hours. The figure below shows the local listing for the keyword “sports items in London.”

Local Search Ads

Google Display Network: These ads will appear on the different websites that are part of the Google Display Network.  Millions of sites can be reached through these ads. The best thing is you can limit your ads concerning location, relevancy and demography.

Difference between SEO and Google Ads.

Difference between SEO and Google Ads

Following are some of the differences between Google ads and SEO.


SEO continuously generates traffic even if you stop working on SEO for some time. In contrast, traffic from Google ads will stop as soon as ads are stopped. Moreover, Google ads will give you immediate traffic, whereas SEO will take time to generate traffic.


Google ads are quite expensive and will be quite heavy on your pocket. In contrast, SEO requires buying some tools to analyze your strategies.

So, Google ads will cost you per click or other package, whereas in SEO, you need to pay a monthly or annual subscription for your tools. In addition to tools, you might also pay for the backlinks if you opt for them.


SEO will take 3 to 6 months and even more to show some results, whereas Google ads will immediately attract traffic to your website and give you business.

Position in SERPs

Google ads will appear at the top of the SERPs, whereas your website will not immediately appear at the top using SEO. It will take months or even years to reach the top. Reaching the top of the ranking is not a piece of cake; it requires well-directed efforts.


SEO requires immense laborious, well-directed, and continuous efforts to achieve a position in the SERPs. Moreover, your ranking will be progressively reduced if you stop working on your SEO.

Google ads do not require immense effort. All you have to do is design an attractive ad, run it, and enjoy the results.

Read | How To Promote Your Business Locally

How to Decide between SEO and Google Ads?

How to Decide between SEO and Google Ads

Both of these have their importance when it comes to the digital world. The following are some tips that could help you decide between them.

New Business: If you are a new entrant in a business and need immediate response, then you should go for Google ads at the start. This will give you some immediate business to boost your morale. Meanwhile, you can also work on SEO to build your reputation.

Time Constraints: So, if you are short of time and need immediate results, then Google ads are good to go, and if you have time of more than six months, then you can build your reputation using SEO.

Budget Constraints: If you are short on budget, then SEO is your only option. On the contrary, if there is no budget constraint, go for ads or a hybrid approach for a good return on investment.

Shelf life of Your Product: If you are selling a product that has a short shelf life, like dairy products, then you must use Google ads; otherwise, your product will be wasted on the shelf.

Number of Competitors: If you have tough competition and already have many competitors in the market, you need to add ads to your marketing strategy. Low competition can give you some breathing space to build a reputation via SEO.

Business Type: A B2C type of business requires immediate access to the customer, so Google ads are inevitable, whereas a B2B type of business requires authority and reputation, so SEO is a good option.

Read | What is the Difference Between Brand Taglines and Slogans

Final Words

In a study comprising approximately 500 businesses and marketing personnel about using SEO and Google Ads, approximately 87% agreed that SEO is an effective tool for high ranking. Similarly, 90% were also of the opinion that Google Ads are equally good for getting more leads and engagement.

Google Ads and SEO are both important in digital marketing, and deciding which is useful for your business requires expertise and insight into digital words and SEO. The following are some of the points that could help you decide which one will work for your business.

  • If you are launching a brand, go for Google ads for immediate results.
  • If you are short of money, then go for Google ads.
  • If you need immediate results, then go for Google ads.
  • If you already have tough competition, then go for Google ads.
  • Regardless of the scenario, never ignore SEO; keep working on it and organically build your authority and visibility. This will help you to get more organic traffic.

So, the best strategy for any business is the hybrid strategy, where you keep on working on SEO while running some ads as well if your budget allows you. This hybrid approach will keep driving traffic to your platform and give you business.

About Dlinx Outreach

Dlinx Outreach is an SEO agency known for optimizing your digital strategies for better ranking and business. Our agency has expertise in every attribute of SEO and Google ads, and it can formulate customized strategies that will give you ranking and will not be heavy on your pocket as well.

Our agency works for on- and off-page SEO, web design, link-building, competitor analysis, page speed, and more to improve your ranking in SERPS.

Furthermore, our team is well-versed in the recent trends and SEO tools that could help you earn unbeatable publicity, visibility, traffic, popularity, and long-term business. Feel free to contact us for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does SEO WORK?

SEO is a field that optimizes parameters like content, backlinks, keywords, referring domains, and many others to get you a better position in the SERPs

How does Google Ads Work?

To run Google ads, you need to bid for your relevant keywords. After bidding, you must choose your ad package, such as pay-per-click, per-mile, etc.

When should Google ads be used?

You should use Google ads when launching a new product, are short of time, and have no budget constraints.

When should SEO used?

SEO should always be used regardless of whether you run Google ads. SEO is a long-term solution for ranking in the SERPs.

Does Dlinx help you to optimize your strategy between SEO and Google Ads?

Dlinx is an SEO agency that is an expert in all trades and Google ads in one of them.

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Haiqa Saleem

Haiqa Saleem

Haiqa is head of content at Dlinx Outreach. She is an avid writer and bookworm and has been with Dlinx since 2019. As a true tech geek and an extraordinary content strategist, she leverages her passion for the digital sphere and love for writing to share her knowledge through insightful content. She writes with a data-driven perspective.

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