SEO VS GOOGLE ADS | RANDBURG | SANDTON | JHB
Over the years, there’s been a lot of debate and speculation on the subject of utilizing SEO vs Google Ads. Generally speaking, both are great strategies for businesses, but not everyone agrees to the usage of one over the other or taking advantage of both.
Businesses and marketers ask: Is SEO dead or dying? Is competing on Google Ads too expensive or even worth it? Let me put it this way, you’re still able to use both for years to come. Shocker, but seriously there’s no need to worry about SEO dying, that isn’t happening anytime soon – no matter what anyone says. So, which strategy fits the build of your business?
HOW IS SEARCH ENGINE RANKING CALCULATED?
Let’s not joke around, Google is the most used search engine across the globe, so this is where SEOs focus the majority of their time and where everyone should be focusing their efforts.
Ranking pages for Google’s search engine will depend on a lot of factors, in fact, there’s 200 of them.
A few things Google calculates when ranking a page depends on:
1. The age of the domain and web page
2. The number of links referring to a page
3. The search term (focus keyword) associated with that specific page
4. How many times the keyword is used within a page
Remember, there are over 200 factors to consider when optimizing for SEO, so I suggest running through the list first to get a good idea for what to expect.
SEO strategies: Local vs National vs International
There’s a major difference between how a local business vs an international company should handle their SEO strategies. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Type in the keyword “restaurants in Johannesburg” or “restaurants near me” and Google will provide you with what’s known as the “map pack” (aka 3-pack aka snack pack) along with other search results.
Most likely, you’ve come across the map pack when looking for a petrol station or even a nice restaurant that’s close to you. The matches to your search term will be local restaurants within your vicinity or the city you’ve chosen. That being said, this is local SEO. These businesses have made Google My Business profiles for their restaurant locations so Google can tell searchers where they’re located along with their rating, phone number, hours of operations, and more.
Depending on your exact location and search term, Google will try to find the most relevant locations for you within the area. From here, a searcher can decide which place looks best for their business. This is just one example of local SEO.
National vs International SEO
There are distinctive differences between national and international SEO.
National SEO requires knowledge of that particular country, province, or continent in which the SEO professional is optimizing the website. Let’s take the U.S. for example. If your business sells shoes and ships them from your warehouse in Tennessee, then you’ll need to seriously consider what keywords should be included on your web pages and optimize your site to inform Google’s search engine that you deliver nationwide. An SEO professional must be clear on this point.
International SEO takes SEO to a whole new level. If your shoe business delivers internationally, you have to think about where! There’s way more to consider in regards to optimizing your website for international SEO. Some things you’ll have to start thinking about are:
1. Who are my audiences?
2. What language(s) do they speak?
3. Should I change my website’s content to reflect their culture?
4. Do I need to change my website’s page layout, copyright, and color scheme?
These are all considered in international SEO along with many other factors. You’ll have to know who your competitors are for each region, how their SEO efforts are looking, what tactics they’re using, who are the top competitors in the first page positions, and a lot more. Not so easy as ranking in a local city, huh?
Whichever geographical area your business services, be forewarned of the above mentioned.
GOOGLE ADS: CHOOSE YOUR BUDGET AND DEVICES
Now, let’s talk about Google Ads and what are the things you need to consider to succeed on this platform. Get a budget ready because this is where things kick-off. Google Ads is spread across a variety of networks (as previously stated) and these networks are on all devices. Desktop, mobile, and tablets are devices that use Google Ads networks. When you’re on Chrome, using a Google Play Store app, or whatever other Google-operated (or affiliated) product, you’re allowing Google to show you advertisements.
Google Ads’ new focus is on device bidding. What does this mean? Google has now allowed bids on desktop, mobile, and tablets to be both distinct and dependent upon another. Now you have the ability to segment a proper budget for each device your ad campaign runs on or can bundle it all together, allowing you to have free range on how you spend your money.
To get the most out of your budget, perform a campaign analysis on what keywords you should be targeting for your campaigns/ad groups. You’d be surprised just how fast that thousand dollars go. Think smarter, not spendier; you’ll end up being the business that beats out your competitors because you’re thinking about your audience’s needs and problems more. Then, you’ll need to start focusing on which ad format you’re going to provide your audience (call-only, text, responsive, image, video, etc.).
After you get your budget, keywords, and ad format figured out, that’s when your ads will start reaching your target audience.
WHAT ARE SOME CHANGES TO GOOGLE ADS?
Google relies on ads for revenue and providing the best searches for users on all platforms. When Google Ads got a rebranding, some massive changes came to 2018. Google Ads has adapted with Google Maps. Yep! Google decided that it was time for their beloved maps tool to include advertisements. This includes their app, desktop version, and mobile version of Google Maps.
Google had first introduced experimenting with this idea a couple of years ago, but it’s now become an official part of Google Ads. As users are searching for local locations, they’ll get ads showing promotions, sales, deals, and more and some with the business’s logo included, letting users quickly scan through the ad and remember where the ad came from.
With this update, when using Google products, there’s no way to not reach your audience. This is going to be a massive trend for local PPC marketing; you should start considering how you can target your audience using Google Maps.
WHICH IS IT, SEO OR GOOGLE ADS?
I hate to disappoint, and I know you don’t want to hear this, but this decision is really up to you. You’ve got to do some research and analyze your business before you go out and choose the strategy that will function the best for your business.
Again, both SEO and Google Ads are terrific for increasing your web traffic and, hopefully, sales. What you need to be looking at before deciding is your budget, your goals, and if you want to rank organically on the SERPs or through paying directly for advertisements for certain keywords.
I hope outlining some of the strategies and benefits of both SEO and Google Ads have helped you with your dilemma of choosing aside… or has made you think that both are preferable, which we personally choose to do both. Good luck!