Should I Learn SEO or Google Ads First: Key Insights

Should I learn SEO or Google Ads first? That’s a question many business owners ask themselves when trying to improve their online presence.

With search engines loving optimized sites, it’s essential to understand the difference between these two digital marketing strategies and how they can benefit your business.

In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each approach, helping you decide whether focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) or Google’s advertising platform, Google Ads, is the right move for your company.

So if you’re ready to decide which strategy will best suit your needs and bring higher Google rankings, keep reading as we dive into the great SEO vs. Google Ads debate!

Table of Contents:

Understanding SEO and Google Ads

Let’s dive into the world of SEO and Google Ads, two powerful digital marketing strategies that can propel your business to new heights.

Differences between SEO and PPC campaigns

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): This organic approach focuses on improving your website’s content, layout, design, and behind-the-scenes elements to rank higher in search engines like Google. It’s a long-term game with lasting benefits.

Google Ads (Pay-Per-Click): A paid advertising platform where you bid for specific keywords to appear at the top of search results. Great for quick visibility but requires ongoing investment.

Pros and cons of each strategy

  • SEO Pros: Sustainable growth, increased trust from customers, no ad labeling or costs per click.
  • Google Ads Pros: Immediate visibility, targeted traffic based on user interests and demographics, easy performance tracking.

The Not-So-Good Stuff:

  • SEO Cons: Takes time to see significant ranking improvements; patience is key.
  • Google Ads Cons: Potentially high costs over time; ads labeled as “Ads” may deter some users due to lack of trust.

Actionable Steps: Choose Your Path Wisely.

So, should you learn SEO or Google Ads first? Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

  1. Analyze your goals and budget: Consider the time and resources you have available. If short-term visibility is crucial, start with Google Ads. If long-term growth is more important, invest in learning SEO.
  2. Test the waters: Experiment with both strategies on a small scale before committing fully. Monitor results closely to determine which approach works best for your business.
  3. Combine both strategies for maximum effectiveness: Use Google Ads for immediate exposure while investing in ongoing SEO efforts – this way, you’ll reap lasting benefits from organic traffic while enjoying instant visibility through paid ads.

Intrigued? Ready to dive deeper into these digital marketing tactics? Stay tuned as we explore each strategy further.

Key Takeaway: 

This section discusses the differences between SEO and Google Ads, including their pros and cons. It advises readers to analyze their goals and budget before deciding which strategy to focus on first, but it also suggests combining both for maximum effectiveness.

The Benefits of Using Google Ads First

When it comes to kickstarting your digital marketing journey, Google Ads is the way to go.

Why? Let’s dive into its benefits:

Cost-effective method for immediate visibility

No need to wait months for results – with Google Ads, you can instantly appear on top of search results.

You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it a budget-friendly option.

Testing consumer response to specific keywords

Google Keyword Planner, anyone?

This tool helps you identify high-performing keywords and test their effectiveness in real time. A goldmine for data-driven decisions.

Limitations Associated with Relying Solely on Google Ads

All good things come with some drawbacks. Here are a few limitations that come with solely relying on Google Ads:

High costs can add up over time

Paying per click might be cost-effective initially, but as competition grows, so do the costs.

A long-term plan, such as SEO, can be beneficial in terms of cost over time.

Limited trust rates among customers due to ad labeling

Studies show that 94 percent of users recognize and ignore ads in search results.

Organic search results are viewed as being more reliable compared to ad labels, with surveys demonstrating that 94% of users can identify and ignore ads in the results.

Advantages Gained Through Implementing an Effective SEO Strategy

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. But it’s worth every step:

Higher customer trust levels than PPC campaigns alone

Your website ranking organically means you’ve earned your spot – customers know this and appreciate it.

The result? Increased credibility and trust among potential clients.

Sustainable long-term growth and organic traffic

No more paying for clicks.

A well-executed SEO strategy leads to lasting benefits without constant investment in paid advertisements. Cha-ching.

The Time Investment Required for SEO Success

Rome wasn’t built in a day – neither will your online presence be with SEO:

Patience required for noticeable results

You’ll need to wait about 3-6 months before seeing significant improvements in rankings.

Key Takeaway: 

Google Ads is a cost-effective way to gain immediate visibility and test consumer response to specific keywords, but relying solely on it can lead to high costs over time and limited trust rates among customers. Implementing an effective SEO strategy may require patience for noticeable results, but it leads to higher customer trust levels, sustainable long-term growth, and organic traffic without constant investment in paid advertisements.

Limitations Associated with Relying Solely on Google Ads

While Google Ads can be a quick fix for online exposure, there are some drawbacks to using this approach exclusively. 

Don’t just rely on one source; explore the drawbacks of exclusively using Google Ads.

High Costs Can Add Up Over Time

Although the pay-per-click model might seem economical initially, it is essential to bear in mind that expenses will continue to accumulate along with clicks. 

It’s like pouring water into a leaky bucket; no matter how much you pour, it’ll never stay full without fixing the hole (in our case, optimizing SEO).

Limited Trust Rates Among Customers Due to Ad Labeling

Research shows that users tend to trust organic search results more than ads. 

This means relying solely on Google Ads could lead potential customers to question your credibility or overlook your website altogether because they’re labeled as “Ads.”

Actionable Steps:

  1. Analyze ROI: Keep an eye on return-on-investment from Google Ads campaigns; if it starts declining or stagnating, consider shifting focus towards SEO efforts.
  2. Diversify Marketing Strategies: Don’t rely only on PPC advertising; invest in other channels such as content marketing and social media promotion for well-rounded brand visibility.
  3. Create Quality Content: To build customer trust organically through search engine rankings rather than paid advertisements alone – make sure your website offers valuable, informative content that appeals to both users and search engines.

Advantages Gained Through Implementing an Effective SEO Strategy

By focusing on optimizing your site’s content quality structure & technical aspects, you will experience higher trust rates among customers, lower abandonment rates since visitors find sites through genuine interest, no need for pay-per-click, ranking improvements to happen organically over time, allowing business owners to reap the rewards without continually spending money, advertisements labeled “Ads” within SERPs themselves.

Higher Customer Trust Levels Than PPC Campaigns Alone

The power of organic traffic: When users discover your website through a non-paid search result, they’re more likely to view it as trustworthy and relevant. 

This means better user engagement, which can lead to increased conversions.

Sustainable Long-Term Growth and Organic Traffic

Studies show that the top three positions in Google’s search results receive over half of all clicks.

This highlights the importance of investing in SEO for sustainable growth – once you’ve achieved high rankings, you’ll continue reaping benefits without constantly paying for ads.

Actionable Steps:

  1. Audit Existing Content: Identify areas where improvements can be made; update outdated information or optimize underperforming pages with targeted keywords and better readability.
  2. Create New Pillar Pages & Topic Clusters: Develop comprehensive resources around key topics related to your industry; this helps establish authority while providing value for users searching those subjects online (and it’s great for SEO).
  3. Monitor & Adjust: Keep track of your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console; make necessary adjustments to improve rankings, user experience, and conversion rates.
Key Takeaway: 

While Google Ads can be a quick fix for online exposure, relying solely on them has limitations, such as high costs and limited trust rates among customers. Implementing an effective SEO strategy offers higher customer trust levels than PPC campaigns alone, sustainable long-term growth, and organic traffic through creating quality content, diversifying marketing strategies, auditing existing content, creating new pillar pages & topic clusters while monitoring & adjusting the website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console.

Advantages Gained Through Implementing an Effective SEO Strategy

Are you looking to skyrocket your online presence? 

To maximize your online visibility, investing in an effective SEO strategy is a must. 

Let’s explore why focusing on optimizing your site’s content, quality structure, and technical aspects will put you ahead in the digital marketing game:

Higher Customer Trust Levels than PPC Campaigns Alone

Your customers are smart cookies. 

If they see a genuine search result instead of a paid ad, they trust it more. 

Studies show that organic results get more clicks than ads, so don’t miss out.

Sustainable Long-term Growth and Organic Traffic

Tired of throwing money at Google Ads? 

An effective SEO strategy provides lasting benefits without draining your wallet.

The Time Investment Required for SEO Success

One downside to focusing on SEO is that it typically takes longer than PPC campaigns, such as those run via AdWords – usually 3-6 months before seeing significant ranking improvements. 

However, this time investment can pay off in the form of increased brand exposure and potential growth opportunities down the line.

Persistence Pays Off with Noticeable Results

SEO is like a fine wine; it takes time to mature. 

Forbes Agency Council estimates that you’ll see significant ranking improvements in 3-6 months with proper SEO implementation.

Long-term Benefits Outweigh the Initial Waiting Period

Sure, waiting can be tough – but oh so worth it. 

Search Engine Land explains how investing in SEO now will bring increased brand exposure and growth opportunities down the line.

Combining Both Strategies for Maximum Effectiveness

Incorporating both Google Ads and SEO strategies into your overall digital marketing plan will maximize SERP real estate leading towards increased brand exposure online. 

Using Google Ads to quickly increase visibility while investing in ongoing SEO efforts provides a more sustainable solution with lasting benefits.

The Perfect Pair: PPC & Organic Search Optimization

A dynamic duo, indeed.

Data-driven Decision Making Through Insights from Both Approaches

Dive deep into data heaven by leveraging insights from both PPC campaigns and organic search optimization. 

Search Engine Journal shows how using data from both approaches can help you make smarter, more informed decisions for your digital marketing strategy.

Key Takeaway: 

Learning SEO is crucial for business owners to optimize their site’s content, quality structure, and technical aspects leading to higher customer trust levels than PPC campaigns alone. Implementing both Google Ads and SEO strategies into your overall digital marketing plan will maximize SERP real estate leading towards increased brand exposure online, while data-driven decision-making through insights from both approaches can help you make smarter decisions for your digital marketing strategy.

The Time Investment Required for SEO Success

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to achieving SEO success.

Let’s break down the waiting game and why it’s worth playing:

Patience Required for Noticeable Results

In this digital age, we’re all about instant gratification – but with SEO, you’ll need to pump the brakes.

You see, unlike Google Ads, which can deliver immediate visibility, SEO takes time (usually 3-6 months) before significant ranking improvements are seen.

Long-Term Benefits Outweigh Initial Waiting Period

The good news? This investment of time pays off in spades.

Your website will enjoy increased brand exposure and potential growth opportunities that last far longer than any short-lived PPC campaign could ever provide.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Enduring the Wait:

  1. Analyze Your Competition:
  • Dig deep into their content strategy and backlink profile using tools like Ahrefs. Learn from them and improve upon their tactics.
  • Create High-Quality Content Consistently:
  • This isn’t just about quantity; focus on providing value by addressing your audience’s pain points. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to find topics relevant to your niche.
  • Earn Those Backlinks:
  • Reach out to industry influencers, write guest posts for reputable websites, and create shareable content that others will want to link back to.
  • Optimize Your On-Page SEO:
  • Title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags – these are just a few of the elements you’ll need to optimize. Don’t forget about image optimization and mobile-friendliness.
  • Analyze and Adjust:
  • Use tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush to track your progress. 
  • Identify which strategies are succeeding (and those that aren’t) to make decisions based on data.

The bottom line? When it comes to SEO success, slow and steady wins the race.

In fact, think of this waiting period as an opportunity: while competitors may be tempted by quick-fix PPC campaigns alone, you’re playing the long game with a sustainable strategy that delivers lasting benefits.

Key Takeaway: 

SEO takes time and patience, unlike Google Ads, which delivers immediate visibility. The investment of time in SEO pays off with increased brand exposure and potential growth opportunities that last far longer than any short-lived PPC campaign could ever provide. To achieve SEO success, one needs to analyze competition, create high-quality content consistently, earn backlinks, optimize on-page SEO, and track progress using tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush.

Combining Both Strategies for Maximum Effectiveness

Let’s talk about joining forces.

Merging Google Ads and SEO strategies into your digital marketing plan will create a powerhouse of SERP real estate, skyrocketing your brand exposure online.

Complementary Nature of PPC and Organic Search Optimization

Synergy is key.

Paid ads can bring in quick traffic while you invest time and effort into building up your SEO game – think of it as the best of both worlds. 

You’ll get that instant gratification from paid campaigns while also laying down the groundwork for long-term organic growth.

Data-Driven Decision-Making Using Insights from Both Approaches

Data is power, my friend.

Analyze data gathered from both PPC and SEO efforts to make informed decisions on future marketing strategies – like an unstoppable marketing machine.

  1. Create a list of high-performing keywords from Google Ads campaigns that resonate with your target audience (hint: use Google Keyword Planner)
  2. Incorporate these golden nuggets into your content strategy by creating engaging blog posts or informative pillar pages centered around those specific terms (hello, topic clusters.)
  3. Analyze user behavior metrics such as bounce rate, average session duration, and conversion rates to identify areas where improvements can be made – no stone left unturned.
  4. Leverage insights gained through A/B testing in ad copywriting or landing page design tweaks to optimize your organic content for better engagement and conversion rates.
  5. Track the performance of both PPC and SEO campaigns over time, making data-driven adjustments as needed to keep things fresh and effective – remember, digital marketing is an ever-evolving landscape.

Pro Tip: Don’t just settle for one or the other – combining Google Ads with a robust SEO strategy will maximize your online presence, ensuring you’re always ahead of the competition.

So why wait? Start blending these two powerful approaches today and watch your brand soar to new heights in SERP rankings.

Key Takeaway: 

Combining Google Ads and SEO strategies is a powerhouse of SERP real estate, bringing quick traffic while building up long-term organic growth. Analyzing data from both approaches helps make informed decisions on future marketing strategies for maximum effectiveness. Don’t settle for one or the other – combining them will maximize your online presence and keep you ahead of the competition.

FAQs in Relation to Should I Learn Seo or Google Ads First

Google Ads or SEO: Which One Should You Learn First?

Start with Google Ads for quick visibility and testing, then invest in SEO for long-term growth.

Why You Should Combine Google Ads and SEO

Using both strategies increases brand exposure and maximizes your presence on search engine results pages (SERPs).

How Long Does It Take to Learn Google Ads?

Most people can grasp the basics within 1-2 weeks with consistent effort and resources like Google Skillshop.

Is Google Ads Hard to Learn?

While there is a learning curve, beginners can master Google Ads with practice and guidance from resources like WordStream tutorials.


 Which Should You Learn First?

Understanding the differences between SEO and Google Ads is crucial for any business owner looking to increase their website’s visibility.

While Google Ads can provide immediate results and allow for the testing of specific keywords, relying solely on PPC campaigns can become costly over time and may not generate as much trust among customers.

An effective SEO strategy, on the other hand, offers sustainable long-term growth and higher levels of customer trust, but it requires patience and a willingness to invest time in achieving noticeable results.

Ultimately, combining both approaches through data-driven decision-making can maximize effectiveness in increasing organic traffic and improving search engine rankings.

If you would like to discuss your business marketing options, contact SEO Pillar Master today

About Joe Crivello-Sorensen

About Joe Crivello-Sorensen

Joe Crivello-Sorensen is an esteemed digital marketing expert with a wealth of experience in the field. With a passion for online marketing strategies and a keen understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape, Joe has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.

As the founder and CEO of, Joe has been instrumental in helping numerous businesses enhance their online presence and achieve remarkable results. Through his innovative strategies and comprehensive approach, he has enabled clients to boost their search engine rankings, drive targeted traffic, and maximize conversions.

With a strong focus on search engine optimization (SEO), Joe has a deep understanding of how to optimize websites to attract organic traffic and increase visibility. His expertise extends beyond SEO, encompassing various aspects of digital marketing, including content creation, social media marketing, paid advertising, and conversion rate optimization.

In addition to his role at, Joe is also the driving force behind Through this platform, he provides invaluable insights and resources to aspiring digital marketers and entrepreneurs, empowering them to navigate the complexities of the online world successfully. Joe's dedication to sharing his knowledge and helping others thrive in the digital marketing realm has earned him a reputation as a generous mentor and thought leader.

Joe Crivello-Sorensen's proficiency in online marketing, coupled with his constant pursuit of industry trends and innovation, sets him apart as a sought-after consultant and speaker. With a knack for identifying opportunities and delivering results-driven solutions, he has garnered the trust and admiration of clients and colleagues alike.

Whether you're a business owner looking to expand your online reach or an aspiring digital marketer seeking guidance, Joe Crivello-Sorensen's expertise and proven track record make him the go-to authority for all your digital marketing needs. Stay tuned to his blog posts and keep up with his latest insights to stay ahead of the curve in the dynamic world of online marketing.