Episode 106: Google Ads vs. SEO. What is the better ROI for your business?

Google Ads, otherwise known as Pay Per Click, are a huge market for Google. And a lot of SEO agencies will offer you pay per click ads as an added fee. But what is their return on investment? And what is their return in the long run? Let us break it down for you! We’ll give you the pros and cons of SEO and Google Ads so that you can make the best decision for your business that will benefit you long term.

Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today, I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: Today we want to talk to person- to entrepreneurs and business owners about when you are promoting your business, and today what you’re looking for those ready to buy customers. They’ve gone through the entire journey, John, where they’re looking, how- what kind of message they can get from them, where we’re doing this.

John: I think we’re going to talk about search engines, right? So if you think about search engine, there’s two ways to be found. There’s either the paid portion which is Google ads, right at the top… and right at the top of the maps, or the organic part which is, people call it “search engine optimization.”

Roger: So that’s where they naturally appear and as a business owner, or maybe you’re new to this whole concept but to get a sense of how it works, the Google ads, John, could talk, how can you tell their ads.

John: Typically now, Google’s changing it over the years, right? Typically it used to be a different background, the A-D-S was a different colour but now they’re trying to make it blended in so that it’s very hard to distinguish.

Roger: Sure.

John: Right? So that it becomes natural and when users… what they’re trying to do is generate as much revenue, and increase the click-through rate so that the users wouldn’t know the difference, and just click on the ad versus thinking that it would be the organic.

Roger: So if you’re… if you’ve never looked at it before, take a look at Google results page on anything right now. The first two, three, or four at the top, depending on how big the industry is, you’ll see the top left corner each of the ad… the lines, it’ll say A-D-S, it’s a little box around it that’s how you know they’re paying Google or are paying Google everytime someone clicks on that, not when it just appears but when they click on that it. So that is an idea where you kind of go, “Okay listen, I can buy my way by X numbers of views and clicks per month, John, to hopefully reach out to people that are ready to buy my service.”

John: I think… I guess the big thing here is you’re just paying to play, right? You’re not paying for every impression but you’re paying for every click, right? And what constitutes why a website or a listing is above another one, right? There’s a lot of criteria in terms of why a web… you know there’s ad, there could be hundreds of ads, right? Competing with certain terms, right? But why are certain ones upright at the top, right? Typically it’s a quality score, it’s the price, it’s a… you know, specific… intent, right?

Roger: Yeah.

John: So the higher conversion rate, the better in the bid, right? The more you spend, the more likelihood you are going to be at the top.

Roger: So the juice is no matter what you got a poor or a great website, if you pay more in the Google ad platform, you’re going to actually see what they’re charging to get the top rankings, it’s suggested bid because it is an auction, that’s really what you’re doing, you’re bidding to get your website to appear live. So there’s pluses, minuses, there’s some pros to it. We of course could try SEO in a minute which is the naturally appearing… websites that appear on the search results page. We’ll talk about that next but the idea of a pay-per-click, it does fit the model for a new business, John.

John: Yeah.

Roger: …who’s brand new, who needs to get the message out there.

John: Yep. And you might not know…

Roger: Yeah.

John: …if it works or not, right?

Roger: Right.

John: So it allows you to actually be very specific, set a budget.

Roger: Yeah.

John: A timeline, a geographic area, a batch of keywords, or you don’t know what turn of people are typing in, right?

Roger: Yeah. You can test.

John: Testing. So spend a couple of hundred dollars or a couple of thousand dollars but it will not break your bank, right?

Roger: That’s it.

John: To see if there’s actually a market, to see if you want to invest further.

Roger: Exactly. Also, what we tend to see from our experiences, any type of industry your business that has an emergency style component, it’s a life event that’s happened, and that might be your car broke down, you’ve been… your store’s broken into, you got a broken glass, or the locks went busted. It’s a something where you need someone to come to your site right away to help you up. Those fit well in the model for…

John: Emergency type.

Roger: …Google ads, yes.

John: Yeah. And it allows for you to set a premium terms of a larger margin as well, right? So you’re paying 10, 20 dollars per click…

Roger: Yeah.

John: …and the conversion rate is a lot of higher because it is an emergency.

Roger: Yeah.

John: So it may take you five clicks to get a lead but that lead will typically generate a lot more revenue for your business.

Roger: Exactly. So that’s Google ad and that’s what again, appears at the top on most search pages, and sometimes, John, the very bottom of pages. Once you’ve gone to the very, very bottom, they’ll be some more ads down there.

John: And usually, you’ll also see ads right in the three packs as well so the Google maps and this is where Google’s now playing with… to see if they can monetize local businesses on their Google My Business so that you can actually be listed at the top. Google’s local services is there’s a lot of another thing where if you’re writing a service-based company, they actually have a motto where you can guarantee a lot of leads on a monthly basis for you as well. So ads is typically what Google makes in majority to their revenue on and their platform is Google…

Roger: Yeah.

John: …search engine, right? So they’re monetizing it through ads.

Roger: Now, you as a business owner or entrepreneur who are listening to this podcast today. You’re probably thinking, “Well, if it works like this, why not just do the Google ads?” You pay, you get your clicks, you… you know get your calls, you make your money. The rest of the story is, and this is the space that we play in, and we specialize in but we just want to lay it all facts for you today — search engine optimization, and that is where you naturally earn ranking with Google that they put your website on page one. The reason that is so effective, John, is because it’s virtually, somewhere around 80-20 rule, only 20% approximately, of divine public will look at an ad, 80% go organic so you as a business owner, right now you’re saying, “Oh, so ads, I get one, I can get four more, four to one, if I go after organic.” So you open your market and so much more by going organic.

John: Yeah, and then you also take a look at why a website ranks on the first page and what is your goal, right? Because at the end of the day as a business owner, you — everyone wants to be on that first page of Google.

Roger: Yes.

John: Right? However, there’s a scarcity effect and not everyone will appear on that first page. How do you dominate Google? It takes time so you have to know how to get there or do it yourself, work with an agency, or figure out how to do it. But ultimately, why is Google putting websites on that first page, right? They’re looking to make money or they’re trying to make sure that whoever is searching that term, they’re match with the best website for that given search query, right? They’re matching user intent with the website that best satisfies the query, right?

Roger: And that… if that sounds confusing it really is so straight forward and not 90, well over 90% of North Americans use Google for searches, we do it because we trust the results, it’s fast, it’s reliable, and so Google knows it, they’re trusted with this type of, provided this type of search results therefore, they’re forever changing their algorithms, John, the machine learning, only that so that they only put the very best websites that will answer that query on page one. So…

John: And the more you use Google, I’m sure everyone uses it multiple times a day. You’ll realize that you’ll probably moving away from the ads because you understand that people are just paying to play, right? The ones that Google trusts which is the organic ones high up on the search…

Roger: Yes.

John: …are the ones that you will eventually trust as well because of other factors — good reviews…

Roger: Yep.

John: …good reputation.

Roger: Good content.

John: …good content, good authority that they built, they’re trusted, they are positioned as the expert for that given keyword that you’ve type in. I mean, there’s a lot of other factors, right? And you as a business owner, you have to realize like ultimately what you’re… you know, competing with is relisting. There’s a limited amount of relisting and your website, you’re trying to attract most visibility in the marketplace, right? And not everyone is going to click on your website, what they do is search, right? And you know, there’s- you’re competing with 10, 15, other websites on that first page.

Roger: Yeah.

John: The whole point is just being there as an option.

Roger: Exactly.

John: Right?

Roger: And the big picture… very, very, very few go to page two, or three, or four, on search results. They tend to stay on page one so you’ve got Google ads to choose from, and you’ve got Google organically placed websites to choose from. One gets way more action than the other but they all fit on that page and that’s where all the buying activity really goes on.

John: And I always use this analogy, either you want to rent space on Google which is Google ads, or do you want to own that real estate which is 80% of that traffic.

Roger: Sure.

John: People are clicking on that organic section and yeah, they’re gonna navigate throughout your website, and touch upon all the service pages, above pages, reviews, guest comments, etc. but where do you want to be positioned, right?

Roger: Exactly.

John: Where do you want to play? You could invest short term ads or long term SEO.

Roger: Exactly. And your business, you’ll determine, you have to do your analysis. What is your business model? Is it an emergency style business or is it one or more people are going to do a journey and uncover, and discover, and explore… it depends, and that’s where you’re gonna find the right fit between an optimized website and/or the clicking Google ads.

John: Yeah, so hopefully that this is a great topic.

Roger: Yes.

John: SEO versus AdWords and really determine it as your small business, see what’s best suited for your purpose.

Roger: Exactly. So, John, thank you for your time today.

John: Thank you, Roger.

Roger: Thanks for watching and listening today, to Local SEO. We’ll see you again.

John: Thank you.