SEO or Google Ads: Benefits and Downsides of Each

Google is a major powerhouse in the online advertising space.

What separates Google from competitors (like Facebook) is the meteoric rise of the SEO industry, a ‘free’ path to getting your business more leads and sales… all from organic and passive traffic.

A Forbes article recently claimed that the Search Engine Optimization industry will reach $80 billion in the years to come. As you might expect, the concept of ranking on the first page for competitive search queries is a very attractive prospect.

Although Google Search is technically free, in order to compete with the big guys and rank #1 for profitable search terms, your SEO must be perfect. Likely, you will have to spend a lot of your marketing budget just to get your website pages on the first page, assuming you have competition.

Google Adwords allows you a bit more control to predict how much you need to spend in order to show up on page one; Google makes a point to tell you what the ‘top of page’ cost is, as well as provide you with an idea of how many clicks you might get based on your ad budget.

That said, Adwords does not remain consistent.

Certain days may yield many more clicks than others, even if your budget stays the same. Although you can set maximum CPC (cost per click) prices and limit your daily budget, the results may vary, for no apparent reason.

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits and downsides of both SEO and Adwords.

Google Adwords

If you have yet to incorporate Adwords into your business’ marketing budget, you should take steps to fix that in 2020 and beyond.

Adwords give you much more control over exactly what search terms you rank for, and you know exactly (to an extent) how much it will cost you to put your website on the front page; this results in more targeted traffic and a consistent influx of leads, day by day.

The obvious downside is that Adwords charge per click; similar to SEO, more competitive terms and industries will have higher CPC’s.

Sometimes it can be so expensive that you simply cannot afford to place yourself higher than the corporations you’re going up against.


Search Engine Optimization is, to be frank, massively competitive and hardly free anymore.

If you are in a competitive industry or trying to rank your website for search terms with lots of volume, you will often need to perform tasks that go beyond simple on-page SEO tactics (such as link-building).

Also, your keyword research needs to be intensive and strategic; you will not be able to rank without pre-planning your target keywords, titles, secondary keywords, LSI’s, etc.

All that said, if you manage to push yourself to the front page or, even better, in the top three results for a good keyword or search term, you will get tons of traffic day in and day out that will lead to more sales.

If you can hold onto the top spots, this will continue for as long as you stay near #1.

A major downside is the Google Algorithm Updates; often, the company will make tweaks or overhauls to how they determine how pages rank on Google Search. Sometimes, a simple update in the algorithm can wipe out a lot of your rankings and you can lose thousands of traffic ‘hits’ basically overnight.

All in all, you should be using both SEO and Google Adwords services in your marketing campaigns; they each have their own set of pros and cons, but both can be massively successful in generating more leads and more sales for your business.

If you want help getting more customers for your business from SEO and Google Adwords, contact us for a free expert consultation.