SEM SEO: comparison of Search Engine Optimization and Google Ads.
Which solution is better for lead generation and why?


seo sem optizing google ads

SEM SEO: what does it mean?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the activity of optimizing a website’s content and metadata according to Google Search guidelines to make the website more visible in Google’s search engine.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is paid advertising via text, visual (display), or video. For lead generation, the most popular paid advertising on the Internet is Google Adwords, now called Google Ads.

Marketing professionals often refer to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) as a necessary evil. PPC is how much advertisement costs per single user clicking on the ad content. Initially, Google ads were based solely on PPC. Today, PPC is one of the billing options for google ads. Since Google Ads is an auction, it is quite difficult to determine in advance how much a user will be charged per click. Therefore, SEM strategies generally use the maximum PPC amount that an advertiser is willing to pay for a single click for a given type of ad and audience.


Ad Rank, or the order in which ads are displayed, depends on several factors. The first factor is the amount of PPC, i.e. the price the advertiser is prepared to pay. Another factor taken into account is the quality of the ad during the auction based on the CTR, the relevance of the ad and the experience from the landing page (bounce rate) Google also assesses the match between a person’s search intent and the content of the landing page. Thus, if a competing ad has a higher PPC rate declared then it is still possible to win a higher position for a lower price, through a better and more valuable match between the ad and the search user.



SEO is difficult because Google is constantly improving its algorithms, and so-called black-hat SEO (SEO techniques banned by Google, such as buying links from other sites) are becoming less and less effective. In addition, SEO specialists with high-quality services are rare in the market, and the advent of artificial intelligence has caused sites written by AI to lose SEO. As a result, many companies are opting for Google Ads, although the price of this advertising has increased by 50% in 2021/2022 due to high demand and a small number of ad placements. Although Google Ads is more expensive than SEO, it offers faster results and better control over the ads. It is therefore worth considering the choice between SEO and Google Ads, taking into account your objective, budget and business goals.


What is Google Search Positioning?

Website positioning is the activity of optimizing content and metadata to the requirements of the Google search engine. Guidelines for search engine optimization (SEO) are contained in Google Search documentation. Google search positioning is a process that involves optimizing the content and metadata of a website according to Google Search guidelines to make the website more visible in Google search. 


SEM SEO which is better

What is the purpose of SEO?

The aim of the positioning is to achieve a high position for a website in Google search results for specific keywords or phrases. Positioning can increase traffic to a website and increase the chances of gaining new customers by making the website more visible in the search engine. For effective international SEO, it is important to optimize both the page content and metadata, such as title, description and keywords, according to Google’s guidelines. It is also worth considering other factors such as page load speed, usability, and mobility to ensure a good user experience and increase the chances of ranking highly in search results.


seo vs sem for b2b

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is the former name of Google Ads, or paid google search ads. Initially, the functionality of Google Adwords focused on displaying text ads when a user typed in certain keywords, referred to as adwords. As it evolved, google search increased its range of advertising forms to include display and video ads, while also changing its name to Google Ads.


SEO vs SEM: which is better positioning or Google Ads?

Although the concept of SEO is generally known in the high-tech and SaaS sector, there is still a large proportion of companies failing to use this growth-hacking technique. This is because SEO is constantly evolving as a result of the race between so-called black-hat SEO and Google developers. Black-hat is otherwise known as SEO techniques banned by Google, which dominated the SEO agency sector until a few years ago. The main technique banned by Google is buying links from other sites. However, Google has become increasingly effective in detecting banned techniques, rendering them ineffective. This results in the majority of SEO services offered being simply ineffective. High-quality SEO specialists who can position effectively according to Google’s rules represent a small percentage of the market. The situation ‘improved’ in 2021 with the advent of artificial intelligence. AI-supported SEO became effective again, but it did not take long for Google to react. As a result of the algorithm change, sites written by artificial intelligence lost positioning.

Since SEO services are not cheap, and as it turns out in many cases not stable, many companies choose Google Ads. However, data shows that in 2021/2022, advertising on Google has become 50% more expensive, which has to do with the very high demand for this service. Currently, the search engine page (SERP) is dominated by paid advertising, which surrounds the organic search results on every page.


How much does Google advertising cost abroad?

Google Ads allows advertising virtually anywhere in the world. Advertising rates are converted to the local currency. The amount you pay for ads depends on your competitiveness (the number of searches and the number of competitors taking part in the auction). The lowest rates can be obtained in India and South America (PPC around 25 cents). The highest rates are English-speaking countries: USA, UK, Australia, Canada (PPC around $2).


seo sem ads cons

What are the pros and cons of SEM?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is paid advertising on the internet, in particular Google Ads. The advantage of SEM is the ability to precisely define the target audience and direct the user to a conversion-optimized landing page. It is an effective way to reach the right audience and increase website traffic. However, the disadvantage of SEM is the advertising fee, which in many cases can exceed the ROI (return on advertising). In this case, the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than the revenue from the purchase that this customer makes. Therefore, it is important not only to set up Google Ads appropriately but also to regularly monitor and optimize the campaign to ensure that the advertising is effective and produces the expected results. It is worth remembering that although Google Ads uses artificial intelligence, this alone is not sufficient to achieve advertising goals. It also requires conscious optimization and regular effectiveness checks so that the entire budget is not consumed without achieving the desired results. When combined with the right marketing strategy, SEM can be an effective tool to generate leads and increase conversions.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of SEO?

Compared to SEM, the effects of positioning (SEO) last longer. This is because paid Google Ads do not directly affect the positioning of a website in the organic search results. Once the ad is turned off, the traffic it generates disappears from the search results. However, world-class positioning takes time and money, which can be difficult for some businesses. In contrast, paid Google Ads (SEM) produce quick results and can be effective for a similar financial outlay. However, in the long term, SEO can provide a better return on investment. The downside of SEO, however, is limited control over the target audience and where the user will end up. For this reason, the best marketing results often come from a combination of SEO and SEM. A mix of these two techniques allows you to effectively reach the right target group and increase website traffic and conversions.

How to evaluate the effectiveness of SEO and Google Ads?

The primary KPI for SEO and Google Ads is the number of users who came from both channels during the duration of the advertising campaign. In practice, if the number of users oscillates around 50 percent, it means that the strategy of mixing SEO and Ads has the best results. The second KPI is the CTR (Click Through Rate), i.e. the number of clicks to ad impressions, which assesses the attractiveness of the entry for the target group. The standard CTR for High-tech and SaaS is 1-2%, anything above is a good result. If the CTR falls below 1% it means that the ad or SEO content is not properly tailored to the audience. Another KPI is the cost of the ad divided by the number of users (not clicks). This is an important indicator to scale your investment by providing an idea of how many users you will get by spending a given budget. Finally, a key indicator is a web-to-lead conversion, i.e. how many of the users who visited the landing page completed the lead form. Here, the conversion rate depends on the landing page and fluctuates between 2% and even 20%. The last conversion indicator is the number of leads that purchased a product or service. In the high-tech and SaaS industry, well-optimized customer paths generate lead-to-sales conversions of 8-22%.


target group remarketing

What is a target audience?

Google Ads allows the identification of common characteristics of the target group of the ad content. The basic segmentation criteria are demographic, such as age and gender, and geographical, such as location. An important element of segmentation is also the ability to narrow down the target group based on Google search phrases.


What is target audience optimization?

Google Ads allows you to access historical ad campaign data within your target audience. This data, such as age, gender and time of interaction with ads, can be very helpful in optimising the advertising budget and targeting the segments that show the most interest in the content. Such optimisation can reduce campaign costs and increase campaign effectiveness by reaching the right audience. It is worth remembering that effective lead generation requires not only a well-chosen target group but also a well-thought-out advertising strategy and interesting content that encourages the audience to take action. With Google Ads and the right marketing activities, it is possible to effectively generate leads and increase conversions.


Remarketing in Google Ads: an effective tool to increase conversions in combination with SEO

Google allows a combination of Analytics and Ads databases, which enables ads to be displayed to people who have visited a company’s website through remarketing (also known as retargeting). Remarketing is an advertising technique that involves displaying ads to people who have already visited a company’s website. It is an effective way of reminding people about the company and encouraging visitors to revisit the site or make a purchase. Remarketing is often cheaper than classic search ads because it targets people who are already interested in the company’s offer. Remarketing in Google Ads in combination with SEO is an effective tool in growth hacking strategies for rapid business growth through the effective use of various marketing techniques. Combining remarketing with SEO can increase conversions and benefit the business by reaching the right target audience and encouraging them to revisit the site or make a purchase.


search engine marketing and optimization

SEO vs ADS: which to choose?

If you are the owner or manager of a B2B company, you surely realize the importance of finding effective ways to reach your customers. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two effective techniques that can help to increase your company’s visibility on search engines, thereby increasing website traffic and attracting new customers. If you are wondering which of these options will be best for your business, we recommend consulting with professionals who can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions and match them to your business goals. Whether you choose SEO or SEM, remember that both tools can benefit your business if used effectively and strategically. Consult with us and we will help you choose the best lead generation services for your B2B business.