paid vs organic search

Paid vs Organic Search

Should you be investing your time in organic search or your money in paid search? Learn what these online visibility tactics can do for your business.

With a wide range of methods available to increase your online visibility, it can be tough knowing which ones are right for your business. How do you get your business in front of the right audience?

Two key search strategies include organic search known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and paid search or Pay Per Click (PPC). Both options have their pros and their cons, but which one would be better for your business?

First, we’ll delve into what the key differences are between the two strategies before separating what each has to offer.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimisation is made up of strategies employed to organically increase the quality and quantity of the traffic flowing to your website. You don’t have to pay for the results and, when done properly, you will be targeting a higher quantity of the right people.

SEO works by search engine crawlers gathering information from the internet, this information then gets sorted and indexed. Whether it’s from social media, your website or featuring on someone else’s blog.

To make the most of this, your content should be optimised; this can be done in a range of ways. Any content you create or you publish online will provide SEO opportunities. For example, there are keywords and key phrases that will relate to your business, so when you create content around these you stand a higher chance for being seen.

There is, of course, a lot more to it than that. You can optimise your whole website from design right down to robot directives and meta tags.

What is paid search or Pay Per Click (PPC)?

Paid search is what tends to precede organic search results when finding results using a search engine, placing them straight at the top of the first page. It’s a strategy many businesses implement as part of their digital marketing strategy as it is a way of placing ads in places they think potential customers will view them.

These ads aren’t just found on search engines, they can also be Facebook Ads, ads on another website and so on. With PPC you will only pay for the clicks on your ad and you have total control over your budget. This makes it a highly cost-effective strategy.

The benefits of organic search.

It’s free.

Investing time and effort into SEO to get those organic results is completely free. It’s possible to get to the top of the first page in Google just by implementing the right strategies at no extra cost. You won’t have to worry about setting a budget or calculating return on investment (ROI).

Organic results yield higher credibility.

It reflects positively to have your business ranking organically in search results. It represents your website, or profiles as a trusted authority within your field which, in turn, invites a higher level of trust to new and potential customers.

This authority will push your rankings higher in search engine results, and the higher you are in search engine results, the more authority your site has. This trust, credibility and authority is amplified by organic search.

A long-lasting positive impact.

Well-implemented SEO has a highly positive and long-lasting impact. It’s an ongoing process but it undoubtedly produces ongoing results. Once you have already achieved your ranking goal, it’s considerably easier to maintain that position and at no extra cost.

The benefits of paid search.

Paid search is fast and easy.

Earning high organic search rankings takes time, whereas paid-search brings instant results. It’s the fastest way of getting to the top of rankings where potential customers will see you immediately.

While it still takes a little time to craft an excellent PPC campaign, in many ways it can be considered easier than producing a range of optimised content to obtain rankings in the future. A well-crafted, optimised paid search campaign, leading to an engaging website and a competitive business will provide results very quickly.

A paid search campaign is targeted.

While all content should be targeted in one way or another, paid search takes it to the next level. Whether it’s Facebook, Google or Instagram, you are given the option to really narrow down your search to ensure your ad is being seen by your ideal customer.

By narrowing down who sees your ad and creating a highly-targeted campaign, you are increasing the chances that your content will be engaged with as they are the people you should be targeting.

A higher chance of purchase.

The best part about really niching down your target audience is that those are the people who are most likely to require you as the solution to their problem. This means that when your ad is in front of them, they’re not only more likely to engage, they’re more likely to purchase.

To ensure maximum results you will still need to do keyword research and even test and refine your campaign. This will ensure you make the most out of your budget and maximise results.

The disadvantages of paid search and organic search.

While organic search may cost nothing in order to see results, it does take a period of time and can be a drain on time and resources. While organic search results undoubtedly yield some valuable results, to reap the benefits these efforts need to be sustained and high-quality.

At the same time, while paid search can provide those instant results, those results will have a shelf-life related directly to your budget. Even with a well of resources, it’s not ideal to completely rely on paid searches for your visibility.

Which one would be better for your business?

For the very best results, the answer is somewhere between the two. The top three positions in paid search results command 46% of the clicks to the page, yet almost 80% of people ignore paid ads in preference for organic results.

By commanding both, you ensure you get a comprehensive overall strategy. However, there is one defining factor between the two. If you decide that you no longer wish to allocate a budget to paid search, and you haven’t invested in your SEO, you could be losing out on a lot of traffic.

While it may take time, investing in your organic search means that, in the long run, you will continue to rank at no extra cost.

Take the fresh approach to your search visibility.

Whether you’re deciding to invest in paid search or invest in organic results, FreshOnline covers a range of online marketing strategies. If you’re still not sure about which path would be best for you, please get in touch for a no-pressure chat so we can help get you the best results for your business.