Advertising vs SEO, Which Is Right For Your Business?

by Justin Lewis

To get right to the point, both advertising and SEO should be things every business considers and sets aside some sort of budget. Whether it’s a budget to put towards the tools, resources and adspend, OR you budget to have someone else do the work for you to save time.

First, why should your business advertise and how much should you spend?

If you’ve never advertised your business online my recommendation is that you should, at the very least, dip your toes in the water. Advertising can be one of the most profitable investments you make. To get started I always suggest businesses atleast spend $1-$5/day on various ad networks.

Wait a second… $1/day?

Think of it like investing, if you aren’t investing a single dollar into an investment account in 1 year you’ll be in the same position. However, if you invest only $1/day passively into an investment account you’ll be $365 ahead. That $365 could compound into more than $7,000 if you consistently invest $1 a day for 10 years. Investing $1 a day for 20 years would equal more than $20,000 and so on.

Point is the compound effect causes your investment to be worth more later. If you invest $1 a day into advertising VS doing nothing with advertising, then in 1 year you’ll be 365 days ahead with data you or a marketing professional/agency can learn from.

On top of that $1/day could be all it takes for many small businesses to get results. Is it guaranteed? Absolutely not. Is it possible you could acquire business with $1 a day invested? Yep.

So here’s the deal, if you can’t invest $1/day into advertising by yourself then you might want to reconsider how you invest your time. $1/day is nothing in the grand scheme of things and you can reallocate money to make $365/yr work.

Oh and just to be clear, $1/day is the bare minimum cost of entry. It’s definitely not the suggested dollar amount you should invest to get results. Many times advertising can cost $500-$5,000/mo before you see results, but once you do it’s amazing.

Okay so then what’s the point of SEO, if I can just advertise?

As I write this post I’m sitting a sauna that’s over 165 degree Fahrenheit. So I’ll drive this point home with one very straight forward example.

Advertising gives a return NOW, while SEO gives a return for many many years.

Yep it’s as simple as that. When you advertise you spend money right now to get results asap. SEO on the other hand gives your business long term results by helping your business rank organically in the search engines.

The longer you invest into SEO the longer and more powerful the results become. Many businesses can have a website developed with SEO in mind and then rank near the top of the search engines without long term investment. However, it’s suggested to invest consistently in SEO as the results can compound each and every day/month into a stunning ROI.

It’s much harder to calculate the ROI of having an SEO campaign help your business rank, but one simple method to figure out if it’s working or not is to ask your leads and customers how they found out about you. If they say they went on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. then that very likely means they found you because you rank highly for whatever search term they typed.

So let’s recap.

Advertising is for the now. Spend equals results.

SEO is for the long term. Time equals results that could last for years, even when you don’t have money for advertising.


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