“I NEED to get better SEO to start selling more products!”
I hear this too often, and almost every time, we barely touch their SEO. We use advertising on Google and Bing.
“My ads aren’t producing me any new sales or leads!”
I hear this too often as well. Guess what, we completely ignore ads and put all of our efforts into SEO.
How do you determine which is better for your business? Well, there are a few different tips I have for you to determine which is best.
E-commerce vs Services
Now, for the most part, if you are trying to gain more sales in e-commerce, ads are your friend. Just think, if you want to sell someone a sweater, and someone wants to buy a sweater, what are they going to do?
They are going to go on Google and look up “Blue Sweaters.” With ads, boom! You’re first on the list, and that means you have a 100000000% (actually 21%) higher chance of being clicked.
Now, the buyer has intent, you have what they want, if you have a good website, there’s your sale.
This is not the same for services.
Do services excel with Google ads, yes. But most of the time these businesses are very large, and they can afford the high price tag of Google ads for services.
What do I mean?
Well, for the search term “web designer near me” the average CPC (cost per click) is $14. Depending on your industry/conversion rate, this may be great. Within the web design industry, this puts around a $200 price tag on a single warm lead.
Let’s say you have a ridiculous 50% warm lead to client conversion rate. That means one client will cost you $400.
For most small businesses, this is high. For me, it’s high.
Here’s a secret, you won’t see Render Results on a Google ad anytime soon.
For the sake of this article, let’s say it is $400 for a client. Let’s see what you can do with $400 in SEO.
- One month of Ahrefs ($100)
- Three 2,000 word articles (assuming the industry standard $0.05 per word)
With proper SEO, that could probably get you around 100 visits per month. What’s great about that? It’s sustained. Unless someone decides to try and outrank you, you will get those 100 visits every month without paying another dollar for SEO.
That means for $400, you can get 1200 visits to your site every year. While they may not have buyer’s intent like with ads, you can utilize the content to sell a service, give a free service, or grow your email list. All of which can turn into revenue.
In short, e-commerce = ads; services = SEO.
There are exceptions to this method. One of which I encountered with a client very recently.
Some things you cannot advertise (legally) on Google Ads. One of which is CBD products. Now, I am not sure why, but Google forbids advertising CBD products on Google Ads.
So, if you are a CBD online shop, you are going to need to use SEO because ads are not an option.
Another exception is if you are a very niche eCommerce store because more than likely, you won’t have that much competition. Another bonus is you can form somewhat of a community around your niche.
The same could go for services if your service somehow has an affordable CPC, by all means, run the ads! It all really comes down to you and your business. It varies for everyone.
Another good way to determine which is better is A/B testing.
What is A/B testing? Well, it’s pretty simple.
You have two test groups, A and B. Let’s say A is SEO and B is ads. For a small business, $1000 would be a good budget. You will spend $500 each and test to see which works better.
This not only tells you ads or SEO but what benefits each has compared to each other. Use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Data Studio to view your data and truly compare which is better.
In conclusion, it is completely dependent on your business model, your services or products, and your target audience. I cannot tell you which is best, you need to test and find out for yourself!
Hi! My name is Carter Stroup. I am the founder, president, web and SEO professional at Render Results. I have been a web developer for over four years and currently hold five professional certifications. My number one goal is to provide custom websites for an affordable price to help grow small businesses.
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