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Paid Ads VS SEO: Which One To Choose for Lead Generation?

You can create tons of leads through various channels, but they aren’t all the same. This brings the real question: are paid ads or SEO better for lead generation? 

Paid ads are an amazing way to get results in the short term. You can send targeted traffic to your website right from day one, but all of this comes at a hefty price. On the other hand, SEO can bring you traffic to your website; there definitely is a cost involved; but though the leads may not arrive immediately, eventually the efforts will pay off, and the leads will continue to flow in for longer periods of time. In other words, you will still continue to get the traffic, even if you stop spending money on SEO; retention of your SERP positions is entirely dependent on the strength of your competition’s SEO efforts. 

So, before diving into finding which one has better return on investment, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each of them. 

Paid Ads

A stand out pro of paid ads is fast results. You can start getting clicks as soon as you begin the campaign. Might not be profitable always, but you still can get clicks. The data that you get back from the campaigns is amazing and you can get access to the data fast. You can get a clear picture of what is best for you from a demographic standpoint, the keywords that are performing well, and this way you can optimise for that in real time.

You can have as many options with targeting as you wish, using paid ads. You can also target country specifics or city specifics , even if it is within a certain radius of your business. You can also personalise almost every single area of your segmentation, allowing you to fine tune relevant messaging, according to each form of segmentation.

We’ve gone down the pros, there are a few cons as well. You’re not really going to get anything from it until you spend some money. Needless to say that if you do not have any money to spend on ads, then ads aren’t for you. But keep in mind, if they weren’t profitable people wouldn’t keep doing them. And if you’re willing to just spend a little extra money up front, you’ll be able to figure out fairly quickly if paid ads can generate money for you. 

But here’s another con. Even though you can scale up really quickly and you’re generating revenue from it, it usually starts costing more money as you start scaling up. Obviously, you’re going to spend more money because you’re scaling up. But your cost per conversion, your cost per lead, your cost per visitor, typically keeps going up with time when you’re scaling up.


First off we need to understand that SEO is scalable. Once your efforts begin to pay off, they usually keep paying off. As long as you just keep doing the right things and doubling down, or at least put it on maintenance mode. SEO results tend to compound more over time. And the more authority you have in the space, the more authority your website gets, the better off you’re going to do. With SEO, you don’t need to add extra budget to keep your campaigns on daily, but you keep getting that traffic.

According to a study conducted by a reputed research agency, SEO creates much better brand loyalty in the long run, and is more engaging. The cost per acquisition is pretty low when compared to paid media, which makes SEO very attractive for the long run.

Now let’s understand the cons as there are cons to SEO as well.

First off, we have to understand that it takes time. And it can also be super competitive, getting more and more competitive by the day because it produces a higher ROI.

The other problem with SEO is that SEO traffic doesn’t convert very well. You tend to write lots and lots of content, to rank really well in Google. Those pages don’t convert very well when compared with pages that say, “ Looking for auto insurance? Put in your address or your zip code and click the next button”. It’s not possible to do that with SEO. You have to actually create new content on the page. Google can abruptly also change their rules and algorithm with a snap of their fingers, which can end up hurting your SEO efforts.

So which one has the better ROI? Paid ads or SEO? If you’re looking for immediate response on your campaigns and also have a budget to spare, then we recommend you go ahead with paid advertising. But if you’re in no rush and have a tight budget that you have to stick to, it’s recommended to concentrate on your SEO efforts. But it is advised that you should keep doing both over time. Try focusing on SEO for the long run, and paid ads on the short run and long run. Although the ROI is better in SEO, it doesn’t mean that there’s not an ROI if you do both. So don’t worry if the ROI is low in one of the cases, you could be doing both.

Widepool Creatives is an innovative Digital Marketing agency that truly believes in the power of digital marketing as a whole. At Widepool, we create content for clients on a daily basis. Widepool knows the potential of social networking platforms, and does its bit in order to contribute effectively on all platforms on behalf of its clients. 

The contributions that Widepool makes on behalf of their clients ensures that the right audience sees the creatives, and eventually convert into customers for their respective clients. Widepool puts to good use the best of technology that’s readily available, together with the conveniences brought forward by the various social networking platforms. Widepool thus figures out the best possible means of utilising technology to serve the purpose of the digital marketing initiatives they undertake on a daily basis.

Get in touch with Widepool (9019676890) to get your Digital Journey started!