Despite a few technical hiccups, last Friday’s live Google AdWords training was a huge success.  On Saturday, I received the email below from an attendee, Jorge Diaz, who thought it was the “best spent money in training.” :)

Jorge Diaz Live Training Feedback

We’ll be sending the recording this week to all registrants, so don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend live.  After the presentation, I realized there was one topic I didn’t address because no one on the line brought it up.  I’m very surprised because almost every time I present about Google AdWords, I get some form of this question:

How does Google AdWords impact search engine optimization (SEO)?”

Since I didn’t touch on this during the training, I’ll answer the question in this article.

Does Advertising Boost Your Website Search Rankings?

What do you think?  Does Google give preferential treatment in their search results (i.e. higher organic rankings) to websites that also advertise in Google AdWords?  If that were true, then advertising in AdWords would directly boost your website’s search rankings.

The answer is no.  Advertising does not directly affect your website’s organic search rankings.  This is a very common misconception, but the reality is, SEO does not directly impact AdWords, and AdWords does not directly impact your SEO.  They are completely different beasts.

If you’re paying close attention, then you’ll notice I used the word, “directly.”  Did you catch that?

While advertising does not directly help or hurt your website’s search engine rankings, AdWords can (and should) impact your SEO strategy. In fact, I often advise businesses to launch a Google AdWords search campaign before investing in SEO.

Let’s take a look at why that’s a good idea…

How AdWords Impacts Your SEO Strategy

When you invest in SEO, then one of the worst case scenarios is to rank #1 for a keyword that generates little to no sales.  Imagine that for a minute.  You invest time (often months to even years), money, and resources to rank #1 for a relevant keyword only to find out that the traffic does not convert to sales.  That would be difficult to accept, to say the least.

That’s why keyword research is so important for SEO.  You absolutely must optimize your website for the right keywords or else all of your efforts will be wasted.

But even with the best keyword research, there’s still some risk that your chosen keywords might not convert well for you.  That’s where a Google AdWords search campaign can be helpful.  With AdWords, you can launch a search campaign and within days or weeks you can determine which keywords are worth targeting for your SEO.  Sure, it’ll cost you some money to advertise, but isn’t it better to know right away instead of months into the future?  Time is money, after all.

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