Today’s life has undoubtedly been associated with searching of keywords online for results. Search engines like Google constantly use its algorithm to source for relevant topics in our queries to produce the relevant results. The keywords we search online are displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) and contain both paid and organic search results. Therefore, there is need to study the difference between paid search and organic search. This helps you to rate the performance of your content online.
The first few results at the top of the search engine results page are mostly paid searches and usually contains ad label prefix by their URL. The other results below the paid search results are the organic searches and does not have the ad prefix attached.
Do you think the difference between paid search and organic search has any effect in your business?
Organic searches are the results that appear below the ads on the search engine results page. They are search results that Google and other search engines have analyzed and populated which contains the most relevant information for your query. They appear naturally on search results, and are not paid for.
Search engines employ certain algorithm to scan websites for information on the page contents, URL keywords, title tag and meta description to report results of the relevant keyword search to the user. The more search engines find information on a website relevant, the more the website can rank higher on searches; hence the need to properly optimize website pages and contents.
To optimize your page in order to rank high in organic search results, you need to employ certain SEO (search engine optimization) techniques to ensure your page is as desirable to search engine algorithm as possible. You can do this by following some SEO Guidelines or using SEO tools like Moz, Pigeon, Google Ads. At Hindsight Advertising, we can assist your SEO needs to help your page rank first in organic search results so as to meet your goals. However, SEO ranking takes a long process to achieve.
Paid search are basically ads paid for by businesses in order to rank above the organic results in the fastest way possible. They are usually noticeable on SERP as they appear at the top of searches and contain the ad label prefixed by their URL; close to the title tag.
Marketers invest money into SEM (search engine marketing) in order to boost their website (ideally) to the first page when someone searches an inquiry using specific keywords. On Google, this is done using Google Ads to create good contents, bid placements and launch advertising campaigns. Paid advertising are also done on some other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on.
Paid or Organic Search- Which Strategy is Best for My Business?
In today’s digital landscape, businesses need to employ both paid and organic search strategies to compete effectively in the markets. Organic search result has a long term effect. It helps to continually grow your ranking on search engines as long as your content remains relevant. Paid search stops displaying as soon as you stop paying.
It may feel a bit overwhelming to you if you are just starting out with digital marketing or do not have enough money to spend on advertising. You need not bother yourself on that as we’re going to discuss in details the peculiarities of each of the strategy to help you make more informed decisions for your business.
Also, knowing the right platform for your target audience will enable you spend less on marketing and save you time. For example, visual products and services converts more on social media like Facebook and Instagram.
Organic search Pros and Cons
In general, having a presence on the first page of the SERP tells that you are a trusted source of information. It suggests that your service is one of the most widely relied upon, and there’s an automatic perception of credibility and respectability for your business.
Pro: Authority and Credibility
When you follow SEO best practices on your website, you will naturally earn authority and rank higher on search engines. This means that Google (and other search engines) considers you a reliable source of information for certain keywords, thereby pushing your website higher up in the list on SERPs for searches containing those terms. The more authority your site earns, the higher the ranking.
People also tend to trust organically ranked web pages than the ads, hence they click on them. When it comes to CTR (click-through rates), organic searches convert more on desktop searches.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money optimizing for organic search, though you can if you have the means. There are a lot of free resources available to get you started with SEO and help your website rank above your contemporaries.
Pro: Top of Funnel Clicks
Click-through rates (CTR) are generally higher for websites that appear organically at the top of SERPs, especially when you are talking about top of funnel searches. SEO gives you an opportunity to capture top of funnel searchers in a way you may not have been able to before. As soon as they are on your website, you can further channel them down the funnel with your awesome content and turn them into paying customers.
Unlike paid search, organic search continuously pays off over a long period of time as soon as your site has been indexed. If you optimize your site and continue to implement SEO best practices in your processes, you will start to rank higher if the content meets Google’s requirements. Because the content has earned the ranking, it can stay up in the top for quite some time; even when the content may be getting on age.
Cons: Time and Resources
Although you may not be spending much on organic search unlike in paid search, you still need to spend some significant amount of time to get it all right. SEO is a long-game approach that takes time to craft content and implement it across your pages, and it often takes months to see results. Putting the required time and effort into ranking organically is something you should take seriously.
Paid Search Pros and Cons
If you want to get results of your marketing campaigns quickly and effectively to your audience, paid search will just be good for you. Paid search has a lot of benefits, but those benefits come at a cost. It is fast, fairly easy, and highly targeted but also expensive and short lived. So what is it about paid search that make it more preferable by many people?
Pro: Fast and Easier
Developing evergreen SEO content and writing for it to climb up the Google rankings can be a slow, labor-intensive process. When you do not have that much time for ranking, paid search will get you in front of new audiences much quicker. Without a doubt, there is no faster way to be the very first result people see when they land on an SERP than with PPC. If you follow Google Ads best practices, optimize your ads, develop a great landing page, and have a competitive budget then you will be able to attract targeted customers who are ready to buy.
You should know that crafting a successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is not easy. It requires a level of expertise to manage campaigns to avoid misspending budget on unqualified traffic.
Audience targeting is an ongoing and important part of digital marketing. You need to get it right across all platforms. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Bing and others all offer targeting methods that help specify exactly who you want to see your ads. On Facebook for instance, you can target by location, age, educational level, marital status, shopping behaviors and more. With these specifications, you will have access to people that are much more likely to click on your ads, engage with your content and buy your product.
Pro: High Purchase Intent
Paid search gives you the opportunity to put your product or services in front of people that have high purchase intent. If the keywords on the ad campaign shows a desire to buy, and an ad specifically for the product or service being searched for comes up on SERP, the searcher’s problem is solved fast. However, keyword research and testing are required to refine your campaigns so they match what people are searching for.
Cons: Cost and Longevity
Depending on the competition for the keywords you want to bid on, you may end up needing a significant budget to compete. However, the competition in every industry differs and the price of keywords varies depending on many factors (braod vs exact match, long tail vs short, branded vs non-branded, etc). As your ad spending may be high, what matters is your return on investment.
Paid and Organic Search- Bridging the Divide
While there are pros and cons to investing in paid and organic search strategies, the best strategy of them all is to find a balance between the two. It’s important to target customers at both the top and the bottom of the funnel in order to capture more leads for your business.
Proper optimization of your website using the right SEO tactics, you ensure your website content is showing up when people are digging through the organic results.
If your goal is to make it for potential customers to find you online, then a strong marketing would utilize both organic and paid search techniques. A combination will deliver the best results and have new customers discovering your business with ease.