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Does SEO convert as well as paid ads?

I was going through a recent post on the Neil Patel blog called “30 Lessons After 30 Million SEO Visitors” when I came across “Lesson #5: SEO will never convert as well as paid ads”. Comparing paid and SEO visitors is a subject that always intrigues me, as it can be misinterpreted. If you look at overall figures, as most of us do, comparing the conversion rate directly has its dangers; if a search ads campaign is targeted really well, it’s almost bound to produce a better conversion rate than SEO, which will bring in all sorts of visitors, including many irrelevant ones. Similarly, if we let our ad targeting slip, the conversion rate could drop substantially.

The author of the article above wasn’t referring to these sorts of comparisons, however. What he was pointing out was that a paid ad campaign can (and indeed should) send people to its own page which is tightly targeted at concisely telling a sales story and generating a response. This would be unlikely to score well in an SEO campaign, however, which needs far more content on it to rank highly. The page targeting the same term(s) through SEO should ideally be quite separate. The assertion that SEO will never convert as well as paid ads assumes the two are sending visitors to quite different pages.

It is, however, a reminder that for many businesses, sending paid visitors to dedicated ad campaign landing pages is taken for granted. Should you be doing the same?