Facebook Ads or SEO?

When I started my first online business almost 5 years ago we were pretty cash strapped. I wanted to learn a lot of the basics so we would understand where our money would be going. I was doing all the marketing myself, which meant learning many new things that weren’t familiar to me at all, having come from a conventional retail background.

When you run any business there is one essential thing needed to make it work: traffic. This can be website views, phone calls or foot traffic, but without customers or clients coming in, your businesses would be dead!

I did a bit of research and found that SEO is an important long-term strategy. If you can rank in Google it drives plenty of free traffic. That sounded great to me, but I spoke to a few companies about doing our SEO and they were charging a few thousand dollars a month just to optimise a few pages.

Most explained that it takes about 1-2 months to research the best keywords for your business, then another few months before you will start to rank for these keywords once they implement the changes.

So they are basically telling you not to expect any return on investment for at least 6 months. Some business owners may be patient enough to wait, but as I had just forked out a large sum of money on stock, I needed some cash flow and quick results.

That is why I opted to spend my ad budget on Facebook ads instead of SEO. Within the first month we were starting to get traffic and sales, and steadily increased sales over the next few months.

I discovered that our Google rankings went up significantly for most of the products we were advertising. Because of our Facebook ads, most had already risen to the first page of Google if people were searching for that particular product. The Google algorithm does take into account page traffic when ranking your site, so if a page is getting traffic through other sources it will rank faster.

4 benefits of advertising on social media

  • You are guaranteed to get your ad shown (unless you break their policies) and a certain number of impressions depending on your budget
  • You can use video or images and as many characters of text as you want, whereas the Google search will only show a character-limited heading and sentence description
  • Your targeting of customers can be laser-focused to put the right message in front of the right people
  • You can create a relationship with your customer and build trust instantly.

If you are driving traffic to your website through social media, there are a number of basic SEO practices that you can check to ensure that your page is starting to rank quickly:

  1. Use the keyword that you want to rank for in the heading of a page.
  2. Optimise your images. Use JPG format and make sure they are compressed to avoid the page loading slowly. This will ensure you aren’t penalised. Use https://tinypng.com/ to compress images for free.
  3. Don’t overuse the keywords you want to rank for. Use them sparingly so that your content makes sense to someone who is reading it
  4. Make sure your website is clean and uncluttered and easy to use.
  5. Make sure your page is optimised for mobile. If you are driving traffic from social media most of your traffic will be viewing on a mobile device.

Also remember to design your pages to convert. The user experience is far more important than having a confusing website that gets traffic but doesn’t convert to sales. Clicks don’t pay your wages, sales do!


From my experience if you are looking to get faster return on your investment for your marketing budget then social media is clearly the way to go, but as for all marketing you need to put the right offer in front of the right customer.

If you would like a free consultation to see how we can help your business utilise the power of Facebook ads please contact us.