Google Search on a laptop | Gordon Digital

Do Google Ads Help SEO? 4 Ways Ads Improve Rankings

March 10

Google Search on a laptop | Gordon Digital

“Do Google Ads help SEO?” “Which one should I do, SEO or Google Ads?” These are questions we get asked almost daily. We’re more than happy to answer, and here’s why: so many small business owners are still not leveraging Google Ads to boost their SEO efforts! So, read on to find out why Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is a crucial element in your SEO strategy.

Let’s get into it!

Why do small businesses need Google

Google, the most popular search engine in the world, shows listings of websites when someone types in a query. Google ranks these listings in order of what it considers to be the most relevant to the user’s search. The reason Google is such a powerful marketing tool is that people use it to look for solutions to a problem. In other words, they’re in the consideration phase of the buying cycle, close to making a purchasing decision.

If you are like me, and most Googlers, then you won’t usually look past the first page of results. This makes it crucial to ensure your business is showing on page 1 for the users you want to get in front of. There are two methods for this. Firstly, paid advertising, i.e. Google Ads, and secondly, organic rankings, i.e. search engine optimisation.

Do Google Ads improve SEO?

So, if you’re already doing SEO, will Google Ads help you boost your rankings all the way to the first page?

Rumours have been circulating online for years now, claiming that Google Ads boost organic rankings in some conspiratory way. This simply isn’t true. In short, Google Ads doesn’t help SEO directly, but there are significant indirect benefits to using both strategies.

Here are the most important ways Google Ads help SEO indirectly:


You may have a decent understanding of what your customers are looking for when they need you. But, do you know what they are searching for on Google when they become a customer? Often, we find businesses investing time and money into an SEO strategy without the data they need to support their keyword choices. This is essentially like driving in the dark with no headlights!

SEO is a long-term strategy. Therefore, you may spend 6 months building a keyword’s rank only to find out it’s not providing you with the right kind of traffic. Using Google Ads, you can attract first page results instantly for keywords you wish to test. Google Ads helps you determine if a keyword will convert into paying customers in a matter of weeks, rather than months. Once you have this data, you will be armed with the knowledge that your investment of time and money into specific keywords will have a return.


Building up your organic ranking on Google will take some time. Depending on the competition for the phrases you’re aiming to rank for, it could take up to 12 months to get on page 1.

Now we don’t know about you, but if we didn’t have any leads coming in for 12 months, we wouldn’t have a business. What Google Ads provides is immediate page 1 visibility. You can have control over what keywords you show for at the very top of the page when a customer is searching. Basically, Google Ads removes the pressure of building your organic ranking. You can show on page 1 as soon as you start advertising, while still putting in the work behind the scenes to establish your organic rankings and build brand awareness – which brings us to the next point…


Another indirect benefit of doing ads is building brand awareness, especially if you don’t yet rank on page 1 organically. Did you know it takes 5-7 impressions until people will remember a brand? Now, you might be thinking: “Wait a minute – brand awareness doesn’t bring bread to the table, though!” Well, consumer psychology is a complicated thing.

When your ad pops up at the top of the page, it helps your business stay at the front of your customers’ minds. People are more likely to engage with a brand that they’ve seen previously, leading to increased clicks and conversions. On the contrary, if it’s the first time people see or hear about a business, they’re not very likely to engage with it or buy from it. In short, some exposure from paid ads creates a touchpoint, familiarising consumers with your business.

Once you have begun to build brand awareness, the next natural step is to start working on brand authority. Read on to find out what we mean by this.


When the time comes that your SEO efforts have awarded you with page 1 organic results, you might think it’s time to stop using Google Ads. In doing this, you will be losing valuable real estate on a search that may soon be taken up by your competitors.

Imagine that a customer is searching, and your advert shows up in one of the top 3 positions of paid ads as well as in the top section of the organic results. Having visibility on page 1 of Google multiple times will establish brand authority in your customers’ eyes. As a result, your business will finish on top of your competitors when the potential customer is weighing up their options. In fact, a study by Google showed that when searchers see a business’ paid ad and organic ranking close together, they’re more likely to click on the organic listing for that business.

How Google Ads help SEO: the run-down

To sum it up, Google Ads and organic rankings are two separate things, but they intersect in many ways. Google Ads offers invaluable data much quicker than SEO, helping you build a well-informed SEO campaign. We also recommend ads to bring in some cash flow while you work on your organic rankings, because as said, SEO is a long-term strategy. In the long run, especially if your business has the ambition to grow, the two strategies complement each other in many ways. Yet, while these two strategies complement each other, ads don’t buy you rankings directly. It’s about time for this SEO myth to stop circulating on the internet. We hope this blog post has clarified how Google Ads help SEO indirectly, so you can leverage both strategies for your business.

Are you investing time into SEO without Google Ads?

Contact Gordon Digital to book in a 15-minute intro call today and turn on the headlights in your SEO strategy.

Jessica Gordon

Jessica Gordon is the founder and managing director of Gordon Digital a Brisbane based digital marketing agency that provides tailored digital marketing solutions that include SEO, Google Ads, Social Media Ads and Conversion-Focussed Websites to SME's across Australia since 2015. Gordon Digital stands out in a crowd for one simple yet profound reason: We redefine transparency and embrace radical honesty.