If you are trying to figure out how to spend your online marketing dollars, two of the most common terms you will hear are; Google Ads (PPC) and SEO. While both Google Ads and SEO are forms of digital marketing they serve distinctly different purposes.

Google Ads

Google Ads are paid advertisements which allow a business to bid on the opportunity for their ads to be shown when people search for certain keywords. The bid range for Google Ads can vary dramatically depending on the keywords that are being used.  For example, the keywords, “personal injury attorney” are popular when someone searches for this type of attorney in their area.  The cost per click for that phrase could be as high as $150.00. This means every time someone uses those keywords and clicks on your ad, you pay $150.00.  To reduce this cost, a business may use keywords like “denver car accident attorney” which would have a lower cost per click price of $85.00. Determining your “sweet spot” for Google Ads requires diligent monitoring of your campaign, continually trying new keywords and landing pages, and regularly analyzing your campaign data.  This is why most businesses hire Google Ad experts for their PPC campaigns.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of creating content on your website that can improve your site’s visibility to search engines. Google search listings are free and you cannot pay to have a higher listing. Google has made it a policy to keep their search listings authentic and provide a level playing ground for SEO. There are several ways you can create content that improves your SEO for your site.  The most important 1st step is to make sure that any content on your site is concise, clearly written and helpful to the viewer. The 2nd step is to use keywords in our content and to make sure that you are writing for your viewer, not google algorithms.  The 3rd step is to limit the amount of keywords you are using.  Google will penalize your site and move it lower in the rankings if you are arbitrarily throwing multiple keywords into your content. There are many ways you can improve SEO. To learn more about SEO strategies I encourage you to read some of my previous blogs that discuss SEO in more detail.

So Which is Better for Your Goals, Google Ads or SEO?

Basically the decision to use Google Ads or SEO is unique to each business because they serve different purposes. For most law firms and professional services, a combination of both is necessary for generating business through digital marketing. While Google Ads will not directly improve your SEO, it will help you identify the most popular keywords for your industry which can provide guidance for the keywords you utilize on your website.

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