Google AdWords vs SEO – Which is the better marketing investment?

Which is better for driving traffic to your website – SEO or AdWords? This is an ongoing debate amongst business owners who are looking to invest money in online marketing. When done correctly, both SEO and AdWords can get you in front of your target audience for your selected keywords. However, each has its own respective pros and cons.

Before you decide where to invest your marketing spend, you need to know the ins and outs of both SEO and AdWords.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the art of optimizing your website to achieve the highest possible rankings in the organic search results.

Businesses cannot pay Google to place their website higher in organic search results. Websites appear at the top of these results when Google recognises them as relevant and authoritative.

By correctly using SEO strategies involving keywords, content, backlinks and other technical components, you can convince Google to put your website on page one.

What is Google AdWords?

AdWords is an advertising platform run by Google that allows businesses to advertise their website above the organic search results to users actively searching their products/services.

These are also called Pay Per Click (PPC) ads because you fork out money every time someone clicks on one of them. The great thing about AdWords is that you get to choose your daily budget and the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click, keeping you in control.



When it comes to speed, AdWords is the clear winner. It can take a few months before you start to see your SEO working, and it will take even longer to get your website to the top of the organic results. On the other hand, AdWords can get your paid ad on the first page of the search results instantly.


As previously mentioned, AdWords runs on a pay per click scheme. You are able to choose your daily budget which will dictate how often your ads appear.


If you are looking for instant gratification, then look no further than AdWords. AdWords will deliver you instant results. However, as soon as you stop paying for an AdWords campaign, these results will instantly disappear.

It will take longer to see results with SEO. However, when you finally start ranking on page one, you will see a definite increase in traffic to your website, and you will be not charged for the clicks. To sum it up, SEO will not provide instant results, however, it will provide you with more affordable and sustainable results.

So…which one is it?

A robust SEO strategy is the backbone of a successful website. Although it requires time and hard work, the end result is worth the effort. AdWords, on the other hand, can be better described as the icing on the cake. Whilst it will generate an immediate influx of traffic, you will have to continually hand over cash to keep it going. If you want your website to shine, implementing both an AdWords and SEO strategy is the way to go.