Contextual advertising and SEO. What is the main difference?

Friends or enemies? Which one to choose?

So, you have already finished all the work on your site, and it is ready to go. But how to attract the maximum number of visitors to your site, because there are many similar resources on the Internet that offer similar services and goods? That is why the question of the best promotion occurs.

But which option to choose? Contextual advertising or SEO?

Contextual advertising is ads with pay per click, which are shown in your browser in response to a specific request. SEO-promotion is a complex of manipulations with the site, the main purpose of which is to place the web resource among the first positions of the search results list.


The main advantage of contextual advertising is the opportunity to attract a lot of potential customers the first day the site begins to work. It is enough just to write advertisements, transfer money to Yandex.Direct or Google AdWords, and your site will be seen by people using Yandex and / or Google to search for your products and services. However, as soon as your balance runs out of money – your ads will not be shown anymore. This is the main reason why many people give priority to SEO promotion, believing that it is enough to bring the site to the TOP once, and that is all: you do not have to pay either Yandex or optimizers.

Advantages and disadvantages


Let’s discuss all the pros and cons of each method in details.

  1. Terms: the first results of SEO promotion do not show up earlier than in 6-8 months. In contextual advertising, people start visiting the site right after the launching of the advertising campaign.
  2. The inertia of the processes: as soon as you stop transferring money for contextual advertising, the flow of visitors to your site will immediately decrease. At the same time if you abandon SEO promotion of your site, the flow of visitors will not decrease immediately, because the positions are decreasing (as well as increasing) for months. At the same time, if you made a qualitative linking of the site pages, and wisely and nicely designed articles, then it can help in the future to hold positions (for low-frequency requests) without making external references, in other words to have small but stable traffic without additional investments.
  3. Perspective: you will get the result of advertising only when there is a budget. SEO-promotion is the development of the whole project, which affords attracting targeted visitors from different search engines. This is a contribution to the future of the whole project, the results of optimization will work for you for a long time.
  4. Simplicity of management: there is no another point of view here, contextual advertising is much easier to conduct. As for SEO, you need to spend more than one month to get into it and read more than one book to understand all its peculiarities.
  5. Flexibility: at that point contextual advertising also leaves SEO-promotion behind. For example, if you need to sell a few certain products which are not among paramount, it will be faster and easier to pay for ads than to lead an optimization and wait for higher positions.
  6. Stability: optimization depends on the search engine algorithm, which changes quite often, and it is impossible to predict all the results of SEO-promotion. As for contextual advertising, it provides a high level of stability and predictability.
  7. Budget: of course, contextual advertising is more expensive, but there are also many cases when you need to spend the same amount of money in order to attract the same number of visitors in SEO promotion too.

As can be seen from the above, both methods of promotion have their own peculiarities, pros and cons. If you want to achieve the best possible results, it is highly recommended to choose the option: contextual advertising + SEO-promotion. If the budget does not allow you to combine both ways of promotion, then you should choose an advertising campaign in Yandex and / or Google.