The Verdict: How SEO Stacks Up Against Google Adwords


When you’re running a local dermatology office, you need to attract a patient base looking for skin-related healthcare services.

While this doesn’t sound so difficult, many dermatologists find that it is more complicated than they thought.

This is where Internet marketing comes in. Internet marketing such as Google AdWords and search engine optimization (SEO) cut help dermatologist expand their patient base.

And yet, one question remains: are Google AdWords or SEO better for website traffic?

We’ve looked into the data to answer this question. Keep reading to find out!

Search Engine Users Trust Organic Results

The data seems to show that people searching on the web 10 to trust organic results paste on search engine optimization more than Google AdWords.

Even before the Internet was created, people tended to look past advertisements and rely more on customer reviews or their friends’ opinions.

There may be some industries where Google Adwords get a higher rating and more trust. Yet, patients seeking dermatologists like many other customers are more likely to rely on SEO and organic search results.

Research from Mallee Blue Media shows that users are more likely to open up the first five organic search engine results before they click on a Google advertisement.

In fact, reports show that at least 75 percent of all clicks in search engines are on organic search results.

Another report from Enquisite details that organic results are 8.5 times more likely to be clicked on that Google advertisements. Users continually trust and respect organic results more than Google banner ads.

The data doesn’t lie. Users trust organic search results more than advertisements. This means that search engine optimization beats out Google ads.

Companies creating banner ads online are essentially wasting their money. Also, pop-up ads can actually create harm to a business since they are considered much too intrusive.

Investing in SEO such as blogging and answering consumers’ questions could prove to be a much better marketing strategy.

SEO and Google Adwords: The Costs and Return on Investment

The results show that the return on investment is higher among SEO as well. The ads on Google tend to have only a 2 percent click-through rate while even the third organic search result on a page has a 10 percent click-through rate.

Even if you have a conversion rate of about 25 percent and you spend around $3,000 on a Google advertisement, you will still end up in the red in terms of your return on investment.

SEO, on the other hand, costs much less and could get you more click through rates. If you can get the second place organic search result for a long tail keyword, you are more likely to get a good return on investment.

Thus, your dermatology office would benefit from investing in search engine optimization instead of Google banner ads.

SEO Brings Better Quality Traffic

Are you still wondering whether to invest in pay-per-click or paid media marketing? The need for quality website traffic may change your mind and get you to consider SEO instead.

People who are searching organically are more ready to become your patients. The quality traffic leads are more important and these users have often trained themselves to ignore Google ads.

Data shows that users who end up on your site through an organic visit are more likely to trust you and your healthcare services.

If you’re looking to expand your patient base, SEO may be your best bet. It should bring you higher quality website traffic.

SEO Isn’t Free

Even if it seems like SEO is the way to go, be prepared to understand that SEO is not free. It may not be called paid media advertising, but it does cost in time or money.

You can spend your own time learning about SEO and writing content for your site based on popular keywords. You can also spend money hiring an outside contractor or agency to manage your SEO strategy.

One way or another, it will cost you to invest in SEO. Despite this, the return on investment should be higher than in paid Google ads.

Google Adwords May Help During the Startup Phase

Is your dermatology office brand new and you’re working to attract patients and website traffic? If so, Google ads may still be a relevant investment since your website is new and it would bring in those early website visitors.

Yet, be sure to invest in the right training and certification to make pay-per-click a worthwhile investment. Google offers free training for all businesses.

If you don’t have the time to take this training, you may want to hire someone experienced in Google ads to handle this for you.

Companies that need faster results and more immediate jumps in their website visits should consider Google advertisements. Adwords are great for startups and new companies.

Remember: pay-per-click could still get you more website visitors when you’re just starting up your practice.

Why a Combination May Be Right for You

At the beginning of starting up a medical practice, it may work well to invest in Google ads. As time goes on, be sure to transition to more SEO-based practices.

For better results, you should invest your Internet marketing in SEO, social media campaigns, and content generation.

Content marketing will bring you more website visitors interested in reading blogs while the keywords will work to boost your SEO rates. Social media will help bring your website pages in front of a larger audience.

Adding multiple types of advertising including Google’s pay-per-click ads should be a more effective, multi-strategy way for widening your patient base.

So how does SEO and Google advertisements compare? It truly depends on multiple factors, but SEO tends to have greater trust among users, lead to a better return on investment, and generate better quality website traffic.

Nonetheless, a combination of the two strategies may generate the best results especially if you’re a new dermatologist in town.

If you have any tips and strategies for improving your Internet marketing, please let us know in the comments below!

And, don’t forget to contact us for all your digital marketing needs.

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