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Candid Advice From SEO Pros: Just Pay for Search Ads

I’m not a fan of “SEO hacks.” Instead of spending a bunch of time trying to trick Google, we’d rather improve our product or actually help our customers with AdWords. Too many marketers get lulled into the mistaken belief that someone has a magical secret or keyword tool to bring them tons of customers for free.

Even worse, many will pay for the promise of top organic search results:

Google Search Top Position SEO

Nothing is free for startups for anyone. Products need developers. Customer service takes real people. And … yep … marketing costs money.

Fortunately, the smartest SEO consultants have already realized this and are getting out of the game. We stumbled upon this great Medium post by Ryan Stewart where he lays out the cold, bleak future of simple SEO hacks.

So what changed? Why can’t we just spend $250 to get ranked #1 in Google search results?

It turns out that Google has a lot of awfully smart people who are trying to make sure we can find what we’re actually looking for. And none of us are searching Google for “content” that reads like a pile of keywords written by a gibberish generator.

Instead of trying to outsmart the (seriously f’ing smart) people at Google, Ryan offers 3 alternatives:

  1. Pay for search ads.
  2. Create valuable content.
  3. Optimize your website for the web (not just Google).

What do all 3 have in common? They’re hard. And they cost money.

But of the 3, paying for ads is the most straightforward. It is the most predictable, requires the least amount of ongoing staff time and is the easiest to test and iterate.

There is a reason Google makes so much money off search ads – it works. And with the right advertising tools and smart digital marketing help it is easier than ever before. Marketing costs money and the easiest way to do it is paying for advertising – it really is that simple.

Still not convinced? Just email us, we’ll be happy to get on a call and help you think through your options. We’d much rather help you think through the pros and cons of AdWords than waste your money on SEO pixie dust.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Haslam


Also published on Medium.

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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.