What is the difference between google adwords and search engine optimisation (SEO)?

Search engine marketing

When it comes to online marketing, and Google’s search engine, there are two ways for your website to rank. There is an organic and paid method of ranking your website. This article will discuss the differences between AdWords and SEO, along with their main traits. 

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is referred to as pay-per-click, this means advertisers do not pay for the amount of times adverts appear, but for the number of clicks they receive; advertisers can control this by setting a daily budget. In reference to the search network, advertisers set keywords with a maximum cost per keywords, create adverts and set their location target as desired.

The following screenshot highlights where the adverts appear:

What are the main traits of Google AdWords?

  • Keywords: choose relevant keywords with suitable match types.
  • Adverts: create adverts with adverts unique selling propositions (USPs).  Develop at least 3 adverts to test variations.
  • Optimised landing pages: have adverts land on a user-friendly landing page with relevant content.
  • Conversion tracking code: Paste the conversion tracking code on your website and it will record the keyword.
  • Quality Score: a score out of 10 that is based on Google’s evaluation of your keyword, website and ad relevance. 

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to obtaining organic traffic to be shown on search engines such as Google to view as relevant to their user. In turn, SEO is about controlling your content management system (CMS) and developing a user-friendly website that can be read (crawled) by the search engine’s algorithm. 

The following screenshot highlights which part of Google’s search engine is classified as SEO:

What are the main traits for SEO?

  • User-friendly website:  The point of SEO is developing a website that is easy to navigate, accessible, meaning it be used by anybody, has a clear menu, is visually appealing and loads quickly.
  • Creates backlinks: these are links that refer back to a website. The quality of your links will determine your PageRank on Google. Although Google has recently announced the ‘decreased importance’, Google still crawles your website, and bad backlinks will be negative for your SEO.
  • Blog: Blogging demonstrates that your website is alive and kicking to search engines. You can use the keyword tool and utilise relevant keywords/phrases in your blogs, you can rank organically for your posts.
  • Social media profiles: how many share your content and do they have authority? Refer to the article below to learn more about how social media influences SEO. 

Final Remarks

Hopefully, this article has demonstrated the main differences between Google AdWords and SEO. In regards to SEO, the definition is constantly changing, because search engines are constantly updating their algorithm to make sure their result page is relevant to the user.


Ashleigh Betvardeh

Campaign Statistician at Click Click Media

I am currently working at Click Click Media as the Campaign Statistician. Click Click Media is an online marketing solution for all businesses, with a combined 30+ years industry experience. I am an AdWords account manager that utilises my mathematical background to increase conversions.

Click Click Media

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