SEO vs context

Is it better to use SEO or contextual advertising to drive traffic to your website? Let’s figure it out.

SEO is a set of activities that help to bring a site to the first page of search results for selected target queries.

Your site sells pink elephants of different sizes and breeds – so your goal is that in the search your site would go to the first page of search results for thematic queries, such as “buy a pink elephant“, “pink elephants Kharkov“, “pink elephant online store”, “pink elephant reviews “, etc.

Contextual Advertising – displaying your advertisements on search engine results pages or partner sites. Ads are displayed depending on whether their content matches the user’s search queries.

Advertisements are shown both in search results for given queries and on thematic sites. If the user entered the search for “pink elephant” or went to the site about elephants, he will see your ad, if he is interested in it, the user will click on the specified page of your site. Every click on the ad is paid.

It is not so easy for an uninformed user to distinguish where the advertisement is and where the search results for the query entered by him/her are.
And so, what needs to be done in order to get to the first search page in organic search results:

  • bring the site to technical compliance with the requirements of search engines
  • add unique and optimized content to the site on a regular basis
  • make internal optimization activities – register metadata, link content, etc.
  • make regularly monitoring the external link mass of the site and adjust it

All these conditions are necessary for the site to reach the top for the queries you are interested in, but they do not give any guarantees that you will end up there. This brings us to the pros and cons of SEO

Advantages of SEO

  • the traffic to your site is constantly growing – the payment is fixed
  • the earlier work is started to improve the site, the easier it is in the future to promote more competitive necessary queries.
  • the site is developing smoothly and systematically
  • user confidence in search results is higher than in advertising
  • prolonged effect – a well-optimized site retains its traffic even after the site is switched to support mode

Disadvantages of SEO

  • there are no guarantees in SEO – search engines can change their algorithms overnight, and the methods that worked for the site yesterday may no longer work today. Let remind you that the factors influencing the position of the site in the search results of more than 200, “debriefing” and making adjustments to the site, take some time, and time is money.

Now let’s look at what is needed in order to get into the ad block of contextual advertising:

  • set up an advertising campaign – select target keywords, write attractive ads for them, correctly specify the pages where the ad will redirect
  • fill your advertising campaign account

Advantages of contextual advertising

  • efficiency of attracting traffic – launched an advertising campaign, received an immediate increase in visitors
  • traffic comes for the necessary target requests specified in the advertising campaign settings
  • flexibility of customization according to the geographic parameters of the target audience
  • almost the only way to get traffic for young and low-page sites in some kind of competitive topics

Disadvantages of contextual advertising

  • relatively expensive cost of driving traffic to the site – you pay for each click on the ad. If you need to increase traffic, the advertising costs also increase
  • ads can be “clicked” by competitors – a competitor simply clicks on your ad, knowing that you will pay for it, but naturally you will not buy anything from you. There are even special programs to burn competitors’ budgets to nothing.


So what should you choose? SEO or contextual advertising?

True, as always, somewhere in the middle. Ideally, it is necessary to use all the ways to attract traffic to the site – after collecting data for analysis, it will be possible to decide which traffic channel is the most converting (customer-forming) and thus make a decision to revise the allocation of budgets.

But often the question is “either-or”, since budgets do not allow using both channels, then please answer the following questions:

  1. is your site less than 6 months old?
  2. is your site small (less than 20 pages)?
  3. do you need guarantees?
  4. do you need traffic immediately?

Three “yes” means that in your case, the choice will be unambiguous in favor of contextual advertising. The only thing we strongly recommend is to make some groundwork for the future – to conduct and implement the results of an SEO audit. Thus, once you have allocated a budget for this, you will prepare your site for promotion in the future, moreover, you will receive recommendations for self-promotion of your site. If necessary, you can always use a paid consultation.

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