Local SEO vs. Search ads
Which Is Right For Me?

Have you asked yourself, are SEO or Search Ads better for my small, local business? Or maybe you are torn between the pros and cons of the two which has led you to be unsure as to where you should spend your time and money. The truth is, sometimes it takes more than one marketing approach to deliver the results that you're looking for. And sometimes, it only takes one or the other. All you need is the knowledge to conquer your marketing goals and achieve your perfect outcome. This can be done with a business plan.  Each search marketing strategy offers different solutions for your pain, which is exactly why you need a customized marketing plan. Lets compare the pros and cons between Local SEO and Search Ads to see which is right for you!

Local SEO

Although over 90% of all search traffic is through Google, nearly 91% of websites get no traffic from it because they are invisible in search results. Contact us for more information on how you can drive website traffic today!

Local SEO, or local search, is critical for small, local businesses. It focuses on optimizing your website specifically for customers in your area. Rather than having a wide net, it pinpoints the audience down to the community that you are in.

This is also known as Near-Me technology -

Local SEO helps with visibility in local searches, google maps ranking, organic search results, etc.. This essentially means that when people search for a business like yours (in your area), your business will be “recommended by google”. This results in high traffic to your website as you will be on the first google page and one of the first businesses that a customer will see. 

However, SEO can require maintenance such as holiday hours, updated business information, etc.. This may seem like a lot of work but, as long as you keep up with the latest information about your business, Google will continue to bring traffic to your website.

If you do not keep the business information up to date, google will rank you lower resulting in being moved down the web page. This means that potential customers are seeing your competitors before they see you.

Although it can seem like a lot of work to maintain your SEO, once you achieve a top spot on Google’s search page, it is relatively easy to maintain it. As long as you use the right tools to track and monitor your page performance. SEO is more of a long-term commitment than Search Ads are. 

Although SEO requires long lasting ad positions according to your competitors, and it is an ongoing process, SEO is constantly there. You do not have to pay for a service to keep your SEO up and running. Once you rank high, it will remain there unless you forget to update it.

On the standpoint of expense, SEO also happens to be more owner friendly as it is cost effective. SEO typically costs $500-$1,000 per month to execute a local campaign. If it is a national campaign, expect to pay anywhere from $2,500-$5,000. With the average SEO plan running at $2,819 per month. 

Local SEO is a great organic strategy that helps work behind the scenes to get your business seen, around the clock.

Search Ads

Did you know 45% of small businesses invest in some type of paid ads? 

Did you also know that small businesses earn an average of $3 in revenue for every $1.60 that they spend on Google Ads? 
Paid Search Advertising (Paid Ads, Search Ads), is a marketing technique that places digital advertisements inside of the search engine results.  Search Ads automatically move you to the top of the search engine results page. You can also control how frequently you are found, and where your ads appear. 

You can recognize paid ads by the Ad sign next to them -

Paid ads help with high website traffic by giving you those results that you want to see, fast. There is no waiting game to be at the top of the search page. Search advertising is customizable by the keywords that you chose. This means that you can customize your ads to represent whatever a customer is intended to search for. Some brands prefer this because they can create a greater reach of the audience with a keyword based strategy. Typically, Search Ads are better for multi-location businesses as you can apply the same search advertising across various channels.

Search Ads can be very versatile. Not only are they on Google, but they are within social media platforms as well. Such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat! 

Although faster results could sound better, think about the cost. Paid Search Advertising requires a dedicated monthly budget. As most Ads, you are paying for every click that you receive off of a search engine results page. Yes, every click. In some industries such as insurance, one click can cost on average $20. If you use paid search too frequently, your paid ads could become more expensive than your business revenue. 

On average, small businesses spend $9,000-$10,000 monthly on Search Ads. Wow! That is about $1-$2 per click! Although search ads produce faster results, are you willing to pay the price?

Search Ads are faster and provide almost immediate traffic to your website, it is more expensive and is shut off as soon as you cancel the plan. This results in a fast drop of leads.


Are you still unsure of which is right for your small, local business? Well, that is no problem. Marketing can be difficult to navigate without the knowledge, tools, and the people. Don’t keep guessing which is right for you, contact us today and we will assist you in your marketing journey. 

Keep in mind that 53% of site traffic comes from organic search and 15% of site traffic comes from paid search.