AdWords or SEO? A Pay Per Click Agency Manchester Guide

AdWords or SEO

AdWords or SEO

As a pay per click agency in Manchester, we are often asked the question – which is best for my business – AdWords or SEO? Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy answer to this question. Every single business is different, even those that are in the same niche, and so what works for one won’t necessarily work for all – so you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each approach. Also, there is a tonne of information out there about both subjects, and not all of it is correct – for example, an agency that specialises in SEO will tell you that SEO is what you need whereas an agency who specialise is AdWords will tell you that is better for your business.

What you really need is an agency, like ourselves, who offer both services – as we will give you an unbiased opinion of which is best. We have used both many times and so are best placed to give you advice on what will work best for your individual business. So, firstly, let us take a closer look at the two options:

AdWords & SEO – Are there any similarities?

Well the first thing to get clear about both AdWords and SEO is that yes, both of them will improve your ranking on the search engine results pages (SERP) and in fact Ads will always appear above organic results. However, you can’t just rest on your laurels and let the ad do all the work – your landing page text needs to be relevant to the text that you wrote in your ad – so there is a little bit of SEO work involved in AdWords as well!

The key difference is that even if you optimise your landing page fully, and it is accepted in AdWords and performs well – it still won’t rank organically. You would expect this though, right, because if it did you wouldn’t ever pay for an ad!

What are the differences between AdWords & SEO then?

We have spent a long time on PPC management Manchester and this has taught us one thing. The real difference between AdWords and SEO boils down to this – time and money. If you invest money into your AdWords campaign from day one and work with the right team, including SEO copywriters, then you will start to see results from day one of the campaign. The Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Click (CPC) you achieve will depend on your industry and your competitors – but you will see results quickly.

With SEO on the other hand, you have to be prepared to play the long game.  It can take as little as three months to see rankings change as a result of SEO work – but it may take up to a year, or even longer. Again, it depends a lot on your industry and your competitors.

However, there is a flip side to this. If you decide to stop paying for ads then you will lose your rankings. With SEO, however, you will still carry on seeing results for years to come.

So, how do you choose between AdWords and SEO?

It all boils down to how competitive your industry is really. If you are in a saturated industry, such as any in the e-commerce space, and you want results fast then you are best off investing your budget into an AdWords campaign in order to attract customers to your business quickly. We quite often recommend AdWords to our e-commerce customers as it is a great way to achieve a good return on investment, as long as you have a well-written landing page, and good CTR and CPC rates.

On the other hand, if you are in it for the long run, then you should focus more on SEO – even if you are in an ultra-competitive industry. Working with a great SEO agency will mean that you start ranking for keywords that will ultimately bring you more traffic to your website.

This may seem like we are saying that SEO is better than AdWords, but we are not. SEO will take longer to get results, and you have to invest time in it. SEO is a commitment – you need to produce quality content consistently and work on improving it all the time.

AdWords is about speed and getting customers into your business quickly to improve your cash flow, while SEO is about playing the long game and giving the customers reasons to keep coming back to your site.


Really it shouldn’t be a choice between one or the other – AdWords and SEO need to work together to give your business the best opportunity to succeed. Run AdWords to get people to your site quickly, but make sure that every landing page you produce is produced with SEO in mind as this will not only help with the positioning of your ad but will give you a better score overall. Whilst your AdWords campaign is running, however, you should be working on building up your SEO content on your site and therefore improving your domain authority. Once you start to see results from your SEO campaign, you can stop the AdWords campaign, or perhaps change it to focus on something else.

If you need help with any aspects of SEO or PPC, then talk to us here at SEO MCR. We have a team of both SEO and PPC specialists available to help you to get the best possible results. Get in touch with us today.

About the author

Simon is best know for Co-Founding, a portal for student accommodation which attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Simon has 17 years online digital marketing experience and has widespread knowledge of building and/or optimising websites in most industries.

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