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eCommerce SEO vs. Paid Ads: Which Has a Higher ROI?

Jun 27, 2022

Ideally, as an eCommerce business, you’re taking advantage of both avenues — paid ads and SEO — for online marketing success. But exploiting every opportunity isn’t always an option, especially for smaller businesses with limited resources. 

In this article, we discuss what exactly these two methods of customer outreach are, why they’re important, and which one you should choose if you can only pick one. 

What Is eCommerce SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” 

Any website with any goal can optimize its content for search engine relevance. eCommerce SEO is designed to bring customers to the site so they can buy a good or service, whether the website targets consumers (B2C) or other companies (B2B). 

Why It Matters 

Proper SEO drives traffic to your site. Since the hardest part of sales is getting people in the door, good SEO gets more people reading about your business. The more people who read about you on your site, the more people who’ll buy. 

Good SEO is even more important than that. Most people only click on the first few search engine results rather than sorting through pages and pages. SEO helps you get as high as you can in the search rankings, which drives more traffic and helps beat out all of your other competitors who are doing the same thing. 

How to Improve Your SEO 

Regular updates that continually put content into the site (such as a blog) prove your site’s active. Activity like this pushes your site higher in the rankings to attract new viewers seeking relevant information. 

While writing this content, constantly research the keywords that people seek out online and see how they move your site to the top of the list. 

Integrate those keywords into blog or landing page copy, but do so carefully. Keywords have to be included in the text in a way that makes sense. It’s a sort of game — put in the words that attract customers to your site without making it obvious which words you used. 

To make it happen, you can either direct parts of your marketing team to do it themselves or hire one of many freelance writing agencies to do it for you. 

What Are Paid Ads? 

Hopefully, you know what a paid advertisement is. Anytime a message appears trying to sell you something, it’s a paid ad. These range from TV commercials and billboards to printed magazine ads and pop-ups online. 

When talking about eCommerce, we refer specifically to ads online. These ads include: 

  • Text ads at the beginning and end of search results
  • Banner ads at the top of web pages
  • Unobtrusive sidebars 
  • Social Advertisements
  • Advertisements that play before or during a video on YouTube

The price to produce and post an ad varies widely by the site you choose to post it on and the types of ads that you choose to make.  

Why It Matters 

Advertisements are a great way to deliver a lot of information fast. They can be tailored to be either completely unmissable or unobtrusive (and possibly easy-to-miss). 

Unlike SEO, they don’t require any effort from the consumer and also cast a wider net. Nobody searches for an ad — advertisements show up on websites and try to attract people’s attention. 

How to Implement Paid Ads 

Marketing firms will help you take advantage of tools provided by major advertisers like Google and Facebook to better target your ads to the right consumers. These firms possess a massive library of information about purchasing behaviors that they can leverage to get your business moving in the right direction. 

The Problems with Advertisements 

When was the last time you saw an advertisement and felt anything other than minor annoyance as you skipped past it or mild amusement if it was particularly entertaining? 

Odds are, it’s been a good, long while since an ad engaged you. 

We skip commercials whenever possible and even pay more money to streaming services to skip them entirely. The desire to bypass ads is powerful; Netflix’s stock plummeted when it announced it planned to insert commercials into its streams. 

Customers ignore ads at best and resent them at worst. This attitude is especially prevalent among the ever-more-valuable Millenial and Gen Z markets, which have well-documented “ad blindness.” 

These digital natives close popups, skip youtube ads and even install one of the many browser extensions that exist solely to block ads from their view before the ads have the chance to load. 

Why invest in online advertising when it’s so easy to ignore, and people hate it when it appears? 

Create Powerful Copy with DigitlHaus 

If your business struggles to create SEO content that drives traffic to your site and resonates with your readers, DigitlHaus is here to help. We don’t just build websites — we create eCommerce shopping experiences that consumers want to buy from and visit again. Grow your eCommerce ROI by reaching out to us today.

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