SEO Vs Ads Which One Provides Better Value to Architects? (Data Driven Answer)

SEO Vs Paid Ads: Which is better for your architecture business

There is an ongoing debate on which marketing method is better, I did a simple analysis that will show you the truth.

Let’s pick one keyword: Eg. ‘Architects in New York’ and lets us say the total number of people searching for this keyword is 1000 each month (BTW you can find the exact number of searches using the Google Keyword Planner)


SEO Vs Paid Ads


Now see the diagram above:

  • Out of the 1000 users searching for this keyword on Google each month ~20% typically go to the top ad section and the rest 80% go to the 10 organic listing below.
  • So the Ad section get 200 people and the top 10 organic listing gets 800 people
  • For if the keyword is high buying intent keyword there will be many architects and other companies giving ad for that keyword. For example ‘residential architects in New York’ is a high intent keyword because the person searching for this keyword is looking to hire an architect.
  • So for any good high intent keyword, there are ~10 architects/companies giving ads and 4-5 ads are displayed at a time. For simplicity, we assume each ad get similar exposure, therefore, each paid ad get ~20 visitors (keep this number in mind)

Architect Lead Generation: Google CTR


  • The graph at the top shows the distribution of click-through rate or the percentage of users visiting each link in the top 10 organic results.
  • So the first link gets ~18.2% of the users, the second link gets ~10.5% of the users and so on..
  • Coming back to our example 800 people of total 1000 visit the organic section (rest go to paid ad section at the top)
  • Now if your website is at rank 1 for this keyword you get ~18.2% of 800 = 146 visitors
  • All these 146 visitors are your prospects who are searching for an architecture service.

The Verdict: SEO Vs Ads Which Provides Better Value to Architects?

  • From the analysis above you get 146 visitors if you are at rank 1 for a keyword that has ~1000 searches per month vs you 20 visitors via paid ad for the same keyword.
  • Therefore we can say SEO strategy for architects yields 730% better results that paid ads.
  • The benefit of paid ads is your start getting people to your website immediately but you will have to keep spending a lot always to keep this traffic. Plus you lose your brand value as you look in need of clients. The moment you stop spending your traffic returns to 0, this is a very short-term strategy not advisable for architects who are looking build a long term business.
  • In the case of SEO, you rank in the organic section of Google for free. Plus once you start ranking on the first page you keep getting prospects to your website. SEO is a long term strategy and it takes 2-3 months of sustained efforts to start ranking. Your online presence grows with time and you start ranking for new keywords. It is a big topic and I would require a detailed explanation and SEO lead generation strategy for each architect will be different depending on his present online presence. If you wish to have a free strategy call with me read here