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Why we recommend to start marketing with paid ads instead of SEO 🙌

You have a business. You are offering a great service or product. You had your first satisfied clients from family and friends. You get some clients from word of mouth but you feel it’s time to grow further. Online advertising is probably what you should consider right now. 

The purpose of this article is to help you start as a small business in the online jungle.

What is online marketing?

Let’s keep it simple with a Wikipedia definition: 

"Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services"

Today, online (digital) marketing covers countless possibilities, technologies and services. Just to sum a few of them: SEO, SEM, Social Ads, influencer marketing, content marketing, email automation, display advertising, etc

While every single one of them can be important, as a beginner you should consider where to start depending on your business type. Nobody has unlimited time and ressources. So, choosing wisely where to start can be a dealbreaker in your online marketing journey. 

Which marketing channels?

Most marketing solutions can be segmented between:

  1. Long-term vs short-term results

    SEO (search engine optimisation) will provide results in the long-term, while SEA (search engine advertising) offers instants clicks and traffic.

  2. Investing money vs Investing time

    Content marketing can be free, but it requires a lot of time to write a decent article on a regular basis, while posting ads requires a couple of sentences and an image to get started.

  3. Externalisation vs Internalisation of the service

    It might be more complicated to outsource the creation of your content marketing. You are the expert. You know the business/ industry better than anyone else. On the other hand, you can easily outsource the management of your ads to specialised tools.

As a small business owner, you need to continuously improve the way you operate in order to grow. Getting feedback from customers ASAP is therefore key to succeed. 

Moreover, your time should be dedicated to your business & serving clients. You can’t afford to work for months on time-consuming tasks before having your first results (=clients). You need short-term results. 

Of course, we would also advice our customers to start SEO & content marketing as soon as they can. However, for businesses with limited ressources, we would highly recommend to start with online advertising. 

Online adsvertising

Okay so advertising is the way to go… Online advertising is too broad to discuss in one single article, but let’s deep dive in the main ones that can bring you best results in the short term.

Search ads

A small reminder on the popularity of search engines such as Google or Bing:

  • More than 6 billion daily searches on Google
  • More than 365 million daily searches on Microsoft channels

These channels are known by all. Not appearing on search engines when clients are looking for one’s service or product is a nightmare for every business. However, competition has increased over the past decade and for certain industries the cost per click has become very high. 

Still, search ads have a bright future in front of them:

  • Algorithms are getting better and automated bidding strategies are giving results.
  • Additional targeting features are allowing users to target their potential leads even better than before.
  • Used in the right way with other advertising channels can deliver magic.

Why you should consider it as a small business starting online marketing ?

If done right, it can bring you valuable monthly leads and in a very short period of time. Moreover, from day 1 you will get clicks to your website, landing page or chat system. Rephrasing: from day 1 you will get the opportunity to interact with potential clients or get feedback on your value proposition on your website. (if no one is interacting – you might need to explore your positioning 🙂 )

That being said, it is still a hassle to set-up everything correctly and make the right optimisation to reach online success. That’s why ten thousands of local agencies were born in the past years, to help SMBs exploring the potential of search ads. 

  • Problem 1. Due to human interactions, management fees are often too high, plunging the overall profit for small business owners.
  • Problem 2. Complexity & Competition. With an increasing competition and higher media prices, you need to aim the extra mile every day and learn from data. Creating hundreds of variants of your ads and setting-up the right structure from day 1 to prevent budget waste based on historical data… NOT possible for local agencies unless they skyrocket their management fees.
That’s why tools like Instaon are entering the market; to keep up with the pace of online marketing, while making advanced solutions accessible to anyone.  

Social Media's Ads

Social ads are increasingly powerful for acquisition. In some cases, we can compare them to search ads in terms of efficiency. The time of well-defined silo’s of performance marketing, branding and awareness campaigns is over. Online advertising today is only performance marketing. You have to make a right marketing mix and optimise.

Why you should consider it as a small business starting online marketing ?

Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads might perform better for your yoga classes  than buying keywords such “find yoga classes” on search engines… Moreover, these channels offer you cheaper costs per clicks as they are not considered as ‘performance marketing’ yet.


You are a small business willing to grow and start online marketing. Paid advertising might be the best online solution to explore in the beginning for fast results.

Be ready, once you launch yourself in the online jungle and start on the right channel with the right setup from day one, so that you can focus on your business.

We are designing Instaon to help you succeed with your online advertising, by automating your set-up on the different channels and optimising these accordingly. Give it a try.

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