I put together the PowerPoint deck below to answer a simple question: if you invest a sufficient amount in SEO, is AdWords really necessary? This is a question that I get a lot.
Some people think that AdWords is a great short term tactic, but long-term you should aim to get traffic for free. Other people think that AdWords is unnecessary because more clicks tend to go to organic results.
But my opinion is different: I think it comes down to real estate on the search engine results page, and how Google allocates organic results and paid results for companies in your industry. Take a look at the slide deck below and flip to slide #7, and observe that for the hotel industry, 80% of search engine results are for paid ads. For any type of hotel, it would be crazy to NOT use paid ads, because there is virtually no chance that they would ever appear on page one, given that only TWO organic results are showing up above the fold. Meanwhile, if you look at slide #8, you’ll see that if you are interested in capturing 100% of the personal branding results for the term “Will Marlow,” you can do so with a 100% organic strategy.
The point of this presentation is to show that you should think of AdWords and SEO as two sides to the same coin, and you should use each to generate the maximum amount of profitable traffic to your website, and you should let the data speak for itself.