Discover Why SEO Is a Powerful Alternative to Ads

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Team Finleeds
SEO as an Alternative to ads
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SEO offers a compelling alternative to traditional digital advertising. Here’s why:

  1. Cost efficiency: Ads require continuous spending, while SEO demands an initial investment but often results in reduced costs over time.
  2. Trust factor: Users tend to trust organic search results more than ads, associating top organic rankings with industry authority.
  3. Relevant traffic: With SEO, you attract users genuinely interested in your content, ensuring higher engagement rates.
  4. Long-term visibility: Unlike ads that disappear after a campaign, SEO efforts ensure lasting online presence and continued traffic.
  5. Enhanced user experience: A well-optimized site isn’t just search engine-friendly, it’s user-friendly, leading to better engagement and conversions.
  6. Ad blindness: Many internet users instinctively ignore ads, making organic results more impactful.


In summary, while ads offer instant visibility, SEO provides a sustainable, trust-building strategy that attracts quality traffic, ensuring long-term success.

Ads are the go-to for web creators, e-business owners and digital marketers. Yet, while they are the traditional means of reaching and attracting visitors, they can miss the mark drastically. Luckily, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a welcome alternative to ads.

SEO is a careful process ensuring search engines recognize how well a website meets a user’s needs. If done well, search engine algorithms acknowledge and rank the webpage higher in their search results. Accordingly, SEO can maximize visibility and increase traffic to a webpage. Additionally, SEO has the power to captivate and engage a target audience long-term, something ads simply cannot achieve. Creators can understand and address user needs in design, architecture, structure, navigation, and content. 

Interested in learning more about SEO as an alternative to ads? Follow along to learn about the benefits of SEO over ads, how to take full advantage of SEO, and how to measure the performance of SEO.

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The Benefits of Using SEO as an Alternative to Ads

SEO can offer many benefits to both their websites and their consumers. In fact, since SEO considers the user so heavily in the process, it ends up being one of the most intuitive marketing methods. Learn about the top 4 advantages below: 


1. Increased Visibility

Search engines are the main way to find anything these days! When users enter keywords or phrases, the search engine automatically looks for pages that best fit these terms and sequences. Essentially, SEO ensures that the website in question actually gets indexed and ranked, corresponding to the user searches and behavior. In this way, more users can find and click on the website. Since it feels organic, people are more likely to explore the webpage as well.


On the other hand, digital markets may be at loss as to why ads, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, do not actually improve website visibility. After all, that is what they pay for; unfortunately, the budgets must be large to accomplish worthwhile exposure. Likewise, most users are pretty internet savvy. They understand that when they search keywords, they might be met with ads at first. They are more likely to ignore or skip those ads at the top of the page, in order to get to websites that actually answer their queries.

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2. Better User Experience (UX)

Users want to enjoy a smooth and seamless experience when they go online. SEO allows for this type of continuity. Since it is built into content, users do not notice its presence. Yet, they are subtly being influenced and pulled into the digital product. Likewise, SEO markets to more than just new clients. It also considers conversion and retention by ensuring the entire digital product satisfies users from structure to design to information  to media.


Alternatively, ads often just get in the way. Imagine a client is busy searching for a particular product on a website. They are confronted by an ad, interrupting their page and flow. Now, they must scan the information in the ad to see if it is relevant. If it is, they must click the ad to be transported to a new page to consume the content. It’s a jarring user experience. Not to mention, ads are also often stale and lifeless. They tell the customers about the product or service, and the user must do the rest. It can be very frustrating for users, as they feel like the brand does not truly understand their needs. 

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3. Improved Credibility and Trust 

Users are more likely to trust websites that rank highly on search engine results, as they infer that this webpage meets their needs and has met others’ similar needs. Ultimately, this results in a higher click-through rate (CTR). Once visitors land on the page, they are met with valuable and relevant information. In turn, they feel as though the company is transparent, honest, and trustworthy. 


Ads cannot build trust easily; potential customers know what an ad looks and feels like, so they become immediately wary of the product or service. Furthermore, in some cases, ads can be misdirected. It can result in a high amount of clicks, without increasing conversion rates. Mainly, this is due to the fact that the website did not meet expectations. Accordingly, credibility can suffer greatly. 

Business man who is showcasing metrics/data/analytics

4. Long Term Results

When digital marketers fine-tune their SEO, it is pretty easy to maintain visibility and traffic. They must add fresh content from time to time, ensuring they keep engagement levels, satisfy customers, and take advantage of new trends. However, most expenses are invested in the primary SEO stages and last for a long time to come.

In comparison, ads need constant maintenance and continuous investment. The most popular ads are Cost-Per-Click (CPC), so companies have to continuously reset budgets and pay accordingly. Likewise, ad campaigns can take extensive research, design, development, and testing work regularly.

woman is reaching up to a pie chart, the woman is surrounded by bar charts and positive trend arrows


How to Optimize Websites for SEO

If webpage designers can perfect their SEO practices, they can reach a larger audience, pull in a higher number of visitors, benefit from high conversion rates, and keep customers coming back for more. Learn more about each of the essential steps: 

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1. Keyword Research

Research is critical to every design and development process, and SEO is no exception. It shows digital marketers which terms, phrases, or questions are actively searched by customers under a specific topic. Keywords can be ranked according to relevance, keyword difficulty, and search volume. It can also be worthwhile to analyze competitors’ web pages and blogs to discover which keywords are important to their audiences. 

Keywords may be one of the more well-known aspects of SEO, especially for content creation. However, it is also critical for webpage content and structures. Meta tags, alt tags, headers, featured snippets, service pages, and product descriptions are just a few elements that can benefit from searchable terms.

three people are working, two of which are reading and the other is on a laptop performing keyword research


2. On-Page Optimization 

On-page optimization is about ensuring the user finds the website useful for their needs or toward their goals. In return, search engines can quickly identify if the page is relevant to a user’s search. It involves:

  • Incorporating SEO keywords into the content, such that texts read and flow naturally.
  • Adding meta titles and meta descriptions so that users gain an accurate picture of website content. 
  • Including short, captivating headers that pick up on SEO keywords and questions.
  • Creating featured snippets, answering searched questions concisely.
  • Optimizing page speed and making sure users never have to wait for images and text to load as they scroll or click-through links.
  • Providing intuitive internal linking and external linking to professional websites.
this is about on-page SEO optimization, with analytics, search engine results pages, cogs to represent technical SEO and a rocket which is flying representing positive trends


3. Content Creation 

Consistent content creation is one of the keys to successful SEO, especially when choosing SEO as an alternative to ads. Depending on the particular domain or industry, it may be important to focus on writing, images, videos, or interactive content. The objective should be to enrich users’ knowledge, improve their brand experience, or add entertainment. 


Suppose a website performs all the right SEO from the get-go and benefits from a regular stream of traffic. It is still an excellent idea to create blog posts, add a podcast, or develop art routinely. It should be optimized for scannability, readability, and engagement. In this way, current consumers could look forward to the brand producing new, exciting work.


Plus, SEO keywords should be placed throughout the text to help search engines analyze and rank it. Accordingly, the website can benefit from new customers with specific interests. Overall, both these factors should increase rankings and direct traffic. 

A man is working on a laptop, he is working on social media and content creation

4. Backlinking

Search engines analyze any backlinks, or links from one website to the website in question. When there are more high-quality backlinks, the website will rank higher for specific search terms. 

Digital marketers should seek out opportunities to build appropriate backlinks. For instance, they can become a leader in the industry for reliable information. Their content may get reposted, and they can claim the mentions. Likewise, they could provide free content to popular blogs or websites. 

5. Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures search engines can find, analyze, and rank websites. Coincidentally, many of these elements also increase the user’s ability to see the pages and improve the overall user experience. The most popular ways of carrying out technical SEO include:

  • Ensuring search engines can crawl and review pages.
  • Allowing the website to be indexed.
  • Submitting the sitemap to the search engine.
  • Creating an user-centric website architecture.
  • Improving security for the user. 

Popular SEO Techniques

Three people are working on a website, one is using a magnifying glass, representing keyword research, the other is climbing a ladder to the top of the screen which shows the website, representing maintenance and working on repairs, to the website, such as working on technical SEO

Designers and developers should take care to learn the latest SEO techniques and keep tabs on upcoming updates. Search engine algorithms can change over the years, incorporating new factors that can make a big difference in search result rankings and organic traffic. 


Current ways to improve SEO efforts are:

1. Curating the User Experience (UX):

 User experience should be at the heart of every digital product, as it is critical for functionality, usability, and enjoyment. Digital products should be tailored to the specific target audience, and perfected with research and testing. While the website will benefit from happy users, they will also appear in search engine results. This is because the longer leads stay on the site and navigate through different pages, the higher the page will rank. 


2. Using Social Media Marketing:

Social media accounts are excellent ways to drive high-quality traffic to a webpage, since the audience is already interested in the content. It can also help build trust and credibility, if there are high follower counts and engagement. 

A woman is working on content creation, specifically to do with website content such as blog posts and landing pages

3. Tapping Into Influencer Marketing:

Influencers are marketing powerhouses, as they understand how to create effective influencer ads and push out their content. They also already have large audiences that trust in them. As such, they can help increase social media traffic, boost engagement, and build backlinks.

4. Benefiting from Local SEO:

If a website services a particular region, it can be helpful to use local SEO. It improves visibility for the immediate area and builds authority amongst familiar faces.

A social media influencer is meditating, influencer is in a phone screen whilst the viewers are commenting on and liking the content


5. Perfecting Device Compatibility:

Search engines want to see that digital products are compatible with various devices. Users can view websites on their desktops, laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. Since this is the case, webpage developers must ensure they have a responsive design and optimize for mobile-friendliness. 


6. Distributing Content:

Content marketing is essential in content creation, as it delivers to the right audience. Social media accounts, blogs, and popular websites are excellent ways to gain exposure. Search engines will also recognize link building and factor it into the ranking.

There are multiple devices, representing responsive design such as optimizing for mobile devices


Measuring Success of SEO Efforts

SEO is not an exact formula to be applied and left to work its magic. Measuring performance is vital, as it allows digital marketers to understand what is being done correctly and what tweaks may need to be made for long-term success.


First, marketers need the appropriate tools to monitor SEO analytics. They should select instruments that work with their preferred search engine (Google is one of the most popular) and metrics they deem important. Additionally, they can embed codes into webpages to track user behavior and gain valuable insights. 


Second, they should be aware of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Some KPIs need to be measured next to others in order to determine if they are particularly meaningful. For instance, if users spend a long time on a page, they may be soaking up every last word of content. However, they could also be figuring out what to do next or how to get somewhere.

a man is fixing a funnel, representing a sales funnel


Common metrics for SEO include:

  • Conversion Rate:

    Conversion rates display how often a given goal is accomplished divided by the number of visitors. For example, a high conversion rate on purchasing products or signing up for an e-mail marketing list is terrific.

  • Bounce Rate:

    Bounce rates showcase how many visitors landed on a page and then left immediately. It may show that a particular page was helpful enough by itself or that the user experience was poor.

  • Time on Site:

    Session duration can help determine if content, structure, and navigation is optimized correctly.

  • Isolated Traffic:

    Traffic analytics can be viewed altogether or as isolated. Isolated traffic helps determine if one particular source is working well, such as a search engine.

  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR):

    CTR illustrates how many people visited a page from a search engine result. It’s a great determinant in determining how a website ranks. 

  • Page Hits:

    Page hits illustrate the performance of a particular page or content. It dictates whether titles, descriptions, keywords, and phrases are captivating enough to earn a click.

It is important to remember that SEO results will always take time. Data must accumulate to establish whether it is successful. Likewise, it may be a process to determine which KPIs are worth tracking and what elements need work to improve metrics.


However, it can be worth it in the end. Websites end up with greater visibility, higher engagement, and better conversion; users find what they need, have better experiences, and accomplish their goals. And… it’s all without the use of ads. 

a computer screen showing analytics, metrics and data about search engine optimization


Website designers, developers, or marketers should look to SEO as an alternative to ads. It can help gain better visibility from their audience by generating exposure and traffic organically from search engines. They can also see increased clicks and visits due to higher authority and credibility. Additionally, they can reap the benefits of a  captivated fan base, helping to achieve long-term results. Ultimately, these benefits are unmatched by ads, even the best of the best. 


SEO can be a powerful option for individuals, companies, and brands because it focuses primarily on the user rather than the business. Consumers know when they are understood and genuinely seen, which is why SEO  can work well over traditional advertisements.


If you want to learn more about SEO and other important practices, check out the rest of our website!

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