SEO VS SEA: Natural referencing or paid referencing

So SEO vs SEO? The website is the first portal that connects a company or brand to a customer. In order to allow access to your website, its SEO, whether natural or paid, is essential.

Good SEO will ensure you a good position in the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The aim of this article is to study the differences between SEO and SEA in your SEO strategy.

The specifics of SEO


SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” consists of technical sets with the aim of optimizing the referencing of your website on a keyword or group of keywords. Also called natural referencing , SEO will implement several techniques to improve the indexing of your site by search engine algorithms.

Let’s now see the advantages of SEO for the referencing of your site on the search engine.

Regular and stable traffic

The first characteristic of SEO is providing regular and stable traffic. Longer to set up, natural referencing is based on popularity, technique and content within your site. Once these 3 pillars are in place, SEO will allow you to ensure regular traffic to your site. Indeed, a good SEO content strategy aims to retain visitors to your site. In addition, it will give you more qualified and more stable traffic in the long term. However, it is important to regularly check the impact of your SEO strategy. Indeed, faced with changes in the Google algorithm, you must adapt your strategy, improve the content often, as well as your netlinking .

A long-term result

A good SEO strategy requires time to implement. Even more, the results of SEO in terms of performance or return on investment (ROI) are only measurable after a few months of activity. Consistency in your efforts is therefore required during an SEO campaign. You need to maintain the quality of your content and provide lots of added value to your visitors each time. Although the ROI will only be visible after some time, the benefits will be felt for a long time. This long-term work is closely linked to your inbound marketing strategy in order to naturally attract prospects to your site. Once the conversion funnel is established, your visitors will easily become leads who in turn will end up customers and ambassadors of your brand.

Better notoriety

The popularity of your site is one of the pillars of SEO. By gaining this popularity, your business will benefit from better notoriety using your site. This notoriety also remains to be worked on regularly, because the competition will continue to evolve on the web. Your positioning in the SERP will not be constant. Without real diligence, you risk being overtaken by other sites. Regular monitoring of your performance is therefore required in order not to lose the popularity of your site. In order to gain more notoriety, the most important thing is to provide original, authentic, relevant content that addresses all of your target’s issues. Also multiply the backlinks from other similar sites leading to your web pages.

The specificities of the SEA


SEA or Search Engine Advertising concerns the publication campaigns for paid advertisements on Google Ads, which is Google’s advertising network. Paid publishing is based on an auction system during which the advertiser defines a budget that he is willing to pay for the distribution of the ad according to the keywords in the queries.

Now let’s see the advantages provided by SEA for your site.

An immediate result

Unlike SEO, SEA will offer you immediate results, measurable in a few hours, or even a few minutes for websites. This will save you a lot of time when launching your campaign. SEA is therefore ideal for promoting your new offers, your events or a new product. Indeed, thanks to SEA referencing, you can easily position your ad in the first pages of Google without going through lengthy keyword referencing work. Knowing that 75% of Internet users stay on the first page, this situation is very beneficial for your site.

Precise targeting

Another advantage of SEA is its great targeting capacity. Google Ads, Google’s advertising network, offers you several features to better target your target. Several criteria can be taken into account such as sociodemographic aspect, geographic location or even the devices used. In addition, you can target in different ways thanks to the campaigns on Google Ads . Apart from the most popular one which is the Search campaign ad, you can also promote your products with Display banners or in videos on YouTube. For a local business, you can very quickly boost the traffic of your ads by highlighting local SEO using SEA.

Detailed monitoring

Performance measurement is a very important criterion for knowing the effectiveness of your marketing actions. SEA thanks to Google Analytics provides you with KPIs or Key Performance Indicators in order to know the results of your strategies. You can therefore carry out detailed monitoring by defining the key KPIs according to your ad. In general, the main indicators to monitor are:

  • Click-through rate
  • The bounce rate
  • The conversion rate
  • The king
  • The acquisition channel
  • Etc.

You will achieve results quickly, especially in terms of ROI. Indeed, the calculation of expenses and profits is less complex in paid referencing.

Better budget control

SEA is a short-term campaign so the result is easily calculated. You can easily control your budgets on your daily expenses at CPC (Cost per Click) or at CPA (Cost per Action). You will see an overall idea of ​​the bid to pay to succeed in being in the first results of Google. However, you must be careful when running your Google Ads campaigns on automatic bidding. These require regular monitoring so that expenses do not exceed your initial budget.

The complementarity of SEO vs SEA

In short, SEO and SEA each have their strengths and weaknesses. Many still ask until today: what type of SEO to choose? In fact, the most important thing is not to choose, but to take the advantages of each of them to guarantee the success of your site. During the launch phase, you can opt for SEA in order to quickly gain visibility and multiply your traffic. 

After that, it is necessary to put in place a natural referencing strategy to lead your prospects throughout the conversion funnel. SEO will allow you to stabilize traffic within your site. If you really have to make a choice, choose based on your goals. Finally, it is very important to do regular monitoring to see the performance of each action.

To conclude, the question is not SEO vs. SEA, but rather how to create synergy between the two to achieve your goals.

The two can be complementary or work together to allow you to have a very interesting return on investment (ROI).