Let me be clear, smart people buy ads. If you’re a business, buying ads makes sense. Firstly it allows you to be seen by more people. It generates leads and of course, it shows that you have the money to buy ads. But anyone who has ever run an ad knows that it’s not easy because with an ad there are a few ways people act.
- People ignore.
- People don’t click.
- People do click.
- People click but don’t take action.
- People click and take action.
These reactions depend on the platform and how you purchased the ad, each one of those actions could cost you money. And so, ad buying is a skill, ad creation is a skill, and ad management is a skill.
Difference Between SEO and Paid Ads
How You Should Use Paid Ads
Get a good ad that converts and you can scale to infinity, placing the ad all over the world.
You may have listened many times that someone started with $400 and made $1 million online, simply by using a great ad and scaling it. But these stories are rare because people rarely take action the first or indeed the 20th time they see an ad. So, with ads to reduce the risk of loss, start small, test, and only scale when you have one that wins. This of course is the myth of PPC and direct advertising. That it’s a switch you turn on and like magic, the leads come in.
In reality, it takes time to get right, improve, test, and find the right creativity to generate an ad that hits home. This is why the best PPC people charge a lot of money.
What About SEO?
Firstly SEO is not direct advertising – it’s brand marketing. This is the critical mistake people make. But unlike paid ads where you never own the platform. With SEO, your website is the platform.
SEO builds your digital home brick by brick. When we compare this with ads. You judge paid direct advertising on its ROI. We spent x and we got y. With SEO, you judge it differently.
Sure, you look at traffic, rankings, time on site, and even conversions. It makes sense to keep an eye on those. But your aim is to build a website that matters to the people you seek to serve. Because people are individuals with context-sensitive needs that vary from person to person.
This means your site has to be a lot of different things to a lot of different people at different times. It has to be an educator, an inspirer, a reassurer, an impressor, a salesperson, a customer service advisor, and a helper.
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In fact, SEO is digital business building. And once the paid ads stop, they vanish. This is the difference between SEO and paid advertising.
SEO and Paid Ads – Final Verdicts
One builds you an asset for your business. One rents assets from another business. Smart businesses do both.
Because smart businesses also know that organic supports paid and paid support organic. But SEO builds attention assets. Whereas paid ads rent attention assets. Both have their place and neither should be ignored. But don’t waste all of your budgets renting. Make sure you find the budget to build as well.