SEO or Google Ads: Which is better?

September 18, 2023

Choosing to invest between SEO or Google Ads can be a tough question. Both strategies offer distinct advantages and cater to different aspects of online marketing.

SEO aims to optimize a website’s organic search ranking, enhancing its visibility in search engine results over time. On the other hand, Google Ads allows businesses to instantly place targeted ads at the top of search results, driving immediate traffic to their websites.

Understanding What Google Ads Mean for Businesses

Many known services offer pay-per-click (PPC) advertising tools to increase a site’s visibility and revenue. Among them, Google Ads is the most secure, trusted and chosen one by thousands of organizations.

Google Ads is a site where clients pay for their advertising (clicks or impressions). The cost per click varies depending on the keyword bidding process. These searches appear along with the normal searches on the web browser, located at the top and bottom sides.

Besides being shown after search results, other factors can affect an ad. It depends on the bidding price, quality, timing and user experience.

While it can be very useful, Google Ads cannot fully replace the benefits of Search Engine Optimization. Still, it provides some perks, such as customizing individual ad campaigns, ad distribution across Google platforms, detailed analytics and easy access to users to convert.

Differences Between Google Ads and SEO

Although they serve similar purposes, SEO and Google Ads are very different and can be hard to compare. Marketing agencies and their SEO tools are essential for planning and carrying out long-term strategies to build an audience. This can provide a reliable network of customers in the future.

On the other hand, Google Ads are an “optional step” within an SEO strategy, which can be extremely valuable, providing quick and timely traffic. Besides that, there are other clear differences between both concepts, such as:

  • SEO is an ongoing work that requires time, planning, execution, maintenance and improvement. Google Ads are a paid service that can show content across the web.
  • SEO strategies tend to take a lot of weeks to show real results. On the other hand, Google Ads deliver almost instantaneous traffic, working as a simple short-term solution. Keeping it longer can be very expensive and less effective than SEO.
  • Service tools like Google Ads can be stopped at will; meanwhile, SEO services will still deliver constant traffic and results for a while, even if they are not working on them.
  • The elaborated strategies from SEO do their job better when a smaller target of keywords or phrases is chosen. Meanwhile, Google Ads does not have a limit on how many can be targeted with its tool, although results get labelled as “ad”, which is often ignored by users.

These differences are very important to acknowledge, especially for experts developing business marketing strategies.

What Service Should You Choose for Your Company?

Deciding what to choose is very important based on the type of organization. Marketing campaigns depend on the business goals; for some, SEO strategies are much better than Ads, or vice versa.

Google Ads is known for providing a short-term and quick solution, especially for those looking to focus on some leads and fast sales. This is great for immediate results that reflect efforts as soon as possible.

On the other hand, SEO is a much more professionalized service that requires constant care from experts. It’s the perfect solution for organizations that want to generate a steady traffic flow over time while building a business brand.

Although it requires more effort and time, SEO is a must to develop a successful business that can establish itself as a trusty organization for clients. Google Ads can work as an addition to provide a noticeable boost to visibility while experts carry the SEO strategies.

The Importance of the Company’s Budget

Choosing the right service doesn’t only matter regarding the type of organization or its goal, but also the allocated budget.

While Google Ads can provide a quick result and a lot of visibility, it comes with a lot of cost. Establishing goals based on marketing and competition is advised before deciding to move on ads. Analyzing results and starting with a small budget that gradually increases is very recommended.

Most of the marketing strategy budget should be allocated to specialists who can develop an effective strategy for SEO. Time and resources must be given beforehand, and while it takes more time, the long-term benefits are immensely better than those from Google Ads.

It’s highly recommended to allocate a percentage of the budget to SEO activities. This includes content creation, link building and many other services.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Google Ads

After understanding how both methods can complement, it’s important to address each service’s pros and cons. Google Ads has clear distinctions regarding why it should be acquired and why not. These are some of them:

Instant Results

The best benefit of Google Ads is its ability to generate instant results. This is vital for traffic generation strategies, including blogging, articles and social media, which can take years to build up their passive followers base.

Can Be Used to Test and Experiment

These ads also allow experts to try out and experiment with strategies to get results quickly about what works and what doesn’t. Since all strategies are different, having such a quick method to prove them can help to know which ones work better.

Does Nothing By Itself

As for the cons, Google Ads is like any other advertising system: it doesn’t do anything alone. Without a website structure and landing pages to convince customers to purchase, not even the biggest ad campaign will succeed.

Needs a Lot of Investment

The required time for managing Google Ads strategies can be very time-consuming. The need to invest in high budgets to achieve impressive results comes with much planning and management. Organizations, such as marketing agency experts, need staff or designated members to handle these tasks.

The Pros and Cons of SEO

SEO is the best way to build a site’s visibility, revenue and engagement. But just like anything else, it has its good and bad perks. These are a few remarkable ones:

Greatly Increases Small Business Revenue

Regarding SEO, small businesses always have a very clear disadvantage compared to big companies. Their high budgets can spend a lot of money on marketing, which seems unfair for new organizations.

SEO comes in to give a hand to these small companies. It can drive the attention of many potential customers from local searches, being way more effective than email or print advertising marketing methods.

Builds Trust Easily

One of the benefits of SEO is that it can build up a site’s reputation, making it appear at the top of the searches. This makes it more relevant and trusted in customers’ eyes, who often decide to buy there. Consumers aren’t aware of the SEO strategies that made it happen, so they rely on the site’s reputation.

Results Can Take a Lot of Time

While Google Ads can do it instantly for a higher budget, SEO strategies tend to look forward to the long term, taking weeks, months or years. Results are not provided overnight and require an ongoing process where a specialist must manage, administrate and provide maintenance.

Patience is key for this process, and while taking a lot of time can be seen as a disadvantage, it’s vital to ensure a successful long-term strategy.

How to Choose a Marketing Agency?

Choosing a suitable marketing agency that can carry this growth is also deciding the correct SEO strategy. Not all agencies are the same; some have more experience and knowledge and provide specialists who are used to these plans.

Understanding the whole picture of an organization is a must to decide what agency to pick. The planning, design and strategy phase is very important to increase the visibility and revenue of a site. Some provide SEO services, while others are more focused on ad monitoring.

Our experts from Kala have an advantage over other specialists due to the wide range of options provided: from multilingual SEO to enterprise SEO, there’s a strategy available to each type of business. Since most options are offered, this makes it easier for clients to decide what agency to choose.


The choice between SEO or Google Ads ultimately depends on the specific goals, budget, and timeline. SEO is a long-term strategy that can yield sustainable organic traffic over time, while Google Ads offers the potential for immediate visibility and results but requires ongoing investment.

A balanced approach that combines both strategies can maximize your online marketing efforts. Also, hiring a marketing agency like Kala can help you understand your target audience. This way, you’ll get regular analysis of performance metrics to make informed decisions.

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