Invest in best possible SEO rather than using AdWords?


From stratup MicroISV perspective, the way I look at the possibilities for advertising, it's much better, as a long-term strategy, to invest and work on the best SEO possible for your web site rather than invest/burn :) money in AdWords/AdCentre schemes. With good SEO strategy you will always be on page one, without paying for AdWords. What is your opinion/advice for small MicroISV with 20$ utility product?

Marketing Adwords Advertising SEO

asked Jun 5 '10 at 02:06
105 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

7 Answers


SEO is just one form of marketing. Saying you will only maket your software in one way will limit your sales. Imagine a grocery store that says it will only sell items to people who drive up to the store in SUVs. Does that make any sense? Will that grocery store make less money than a similar store that sells to everyone?

If you study how people use search engines to purchase things you will see that people fall into one of three groups. When using say Google to search for an item to buy people will do one of the following things:

  1. click only on links from natural search results
  2. click only on paid search ads
  3. click on both paid and natural search links

It's pretty easy to see that your strategy completely skips item 2, AND people who follow item 3 will be less likely to click on your link (they have other choices).

Exactly how well paid clicks will work depends on your product, your ads, and your keywords. It's impossible to tell without trying.

answered Jun 5 '10 at 09:11
Gary E
12,510 points
  • Hi Gary, Thank you (and also to Keith and Jacqueline) for your thorough answers. I completely agree with all of you that, the more forms of marketing the better. But, the crucial point of my question was the following. If I sell 20$ software and conversion rate is (TRADITIONALY for MicroISV Shareware software) 1-2% from my downloads, even if I get 100% click on adwords/download ratio, how could I justify the cost of bidding for 0.5$ AdWords? Even less attractive/costly words would canibalize my profit in a minute and make me loss even more, right? Do I miss something here? :))) – Spiro 13 years ago
  • Yes, you are missing a **lot**. First you do **not** sell downloads. This is the biggest mistake MicroISVs make. They build web sites to encourage people to try out their software. You are in the business of **selling** software- not getting people to try it. The point of an ad on Google is to get people to click on the ad and then imedaitely **buy** your software. You build your landing page for that ad to get people to **buy**. – Gary E 13 years ago
  • Second, there is **no** such thing as traditional conversion rate! That's like saying the conversion rate for wheeled vehicle purchase is 5%- so what are the odds this guy in the Segway shop is going to buy a Segway. You need to look at your product, your competition, current Google ads, and your keywords to determine whether this will work for you. Many MicroISVs **underprice** their products. This is a mistake. – Gary E 13 years ago
  • You might want to consider attending the 20th annual Software Industry Conference in Dallas this July. (15 - 17). It is designed for MicroISVs and gives you everything you need to know about pay per click ads, web site design, product pricing, and much more. Checkout: http://sic.orgGary E 13 years ago
  • Hi Gary! THANK YOU very much for this valuable lessons. I really appreciate your answers, and answers of Keith and Jacqueline. On first tought everything seemed so simple. Obviously it is more than skin deep. :) – Spiro 13 years ago


SEO is rarely a replacement other forms of marketing. It is a complement. Remember there is a significant cost to an SEO marketing strategy as it requires consistent efforts over long periods of time. We have to work very hard on multiple fronts to remain competitive in our advertising.

answered Jun 5 '10 at 03:10
Keith De Long
5,091 points


Given that basic SEO is all about making your web site easy to use, e.g.

  • Good page titles
  • Pages that can be book marked and linked to
  • No contents hidden side of flush
  • Using the words your target choose to use themselves
  • Landing pages that match what a person is interested in
  • Useful content
  • Etc

    I think basic SEO must be a part of all web site design, without it AdWords etc will not give a very good return on investment.

answered Jul 6 '10 at 20:01
Ian Ringrose
406 points


It is difficult to give you specific advice without knowing more about your product and your competition. Is it uniquely named? Do people search for the terms surrounding the functionality of your product? Are they searching for answers to specific questions that your software addresses? etc

As Keith says, SEO is compliment to other forms of marketing. There are a lot of various factors for ranking so there's no guarantee that your site will be #1 on everyone's computer for the particular keywords you are targeting. There are also different intents to searches, where are they in their decision cycle? Where in the decision cycle do you want to capture them?

A simple test for you would be to do searches for all the ways you think people would look for your product. Which of those search engine results pages have Ads on them and which of them don't? The ones that don't are probably not "money searches". Look at your website analytics and compare to see where there may be opportunities.

What you may want to consider is SEO to capture branded traffic, informational traffic and investigational traffic and using PPC for transactional traffic.

answered Jun 5 '10 at 03:47
Jacqueline Urick
31 points


SEO is important because when properly done it tends to have some of the highest conversion rates when compared to other forms of marketing you will try.

The reason for that is if the person's search intent matches what you offer, its a good match. Same with AdWords.

You should also not forget to leverage any part of social aspect that your business has.

answered Mar 26 '11 at 06:00
1,821 points


For any website that deals in e-commerce or any sells anything online; the foremost consideration should be to make your website SEO friendly at first and then other paid advertising channels and services like AdWords should be conceived. Even AdWords suggests you to get your landing pages ready before the visitors reaching your website.

A paid Ad using AdWords will help you to get the users landed on the given page of your website but just getting the traffic landed is not enough and it solely does not make sure to increase CR (Conversion Rate). The reason being is; CR depends upon many factors;

  • Landing page should be SEO ready
  • The content should be more Human than SEO friendly
  • The navigation of jumping to other important pages should be easier by considering that the landed user is raw and have not more technical background
  • Images and Videos can possibly be listed on the landing page(s) for better Web 2.0 look
  • The page content should be relevant to the services/products that a user wants to buy/know about.
  • If you offer some special deals or discount; don’t forget to make them visible on that landing page.

So in short, AdWords can generate better ROI if your own website and landing pages are ready for SEO first. Else, CTR (Click Through Rate) and Bounce Rate will shoot but CR will suffer.

answered Sep 15 '11 at 22:03
Usman Sarfraz
1,326 points


Use Adwords as a driver for your SEO: start with limited Adwords campaigns to see which keywords drive the most traffic, then adapt your SEO strategy accordingly.

You win twice:

  • You get qualified traffic through Adwords;
  • You spend less time optimizing your SEO strategy (with regards to keywords).

So: whatever small amounts you want to invest in Adwords, it'll certainly pay off one way or the other.

answered Sep 16 '11 at 21:48
Laundro Mat
191 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Marketing Adwords Advertising SEO