Search Engine Marketing: Paid Search vs. Organic Search
Search Engine Marketing
Search engines are powerful tools to discover the world of web. Think about how many times you’ve heard or have said, “Google it” and you realize how dependent we are on search engines to give us the latest information to help answer life’s most perplexing questions on just about everything.
What’s the Difference Between Paid Search and Organic Search?
When a user types in a term in a search engine, they get two types of search results: paid search and organic search. Organic search results are the unpaid, “natural” results that are determined by search engine algorithms. These results can be optimized with various search engine optimization tactics and practices, which relate to incorporating the right keywords and backlinks, for example.
Paid search (also known as pay-per-click) are the “sponsored” ads you see on search engine results that are generated from advertising dollars. These ads allow you to display links to your website at the top of results pages in the shaded area or on the side panel. The fee you pay is based on the number of clicks or views you receive for your ads. The more a user clicks, the more you pay.
Which One Should You Use?
Both paid search and organic search are necessary to build a strong search marketing strategy in order to be found online and drive traffic and leads. The proportion of each should depend on what the business wants to accomplish.
When Should You Use Paid Search (PPC)?
When immediate results are desired. The moment your ad is approved by search engines and your bids are high enough to compete, you ad is live for millions of users to see. This gives you almost instantaneous results, perfect for product and business launches, seasonal promotion, and event marketing.
When you have a specific target audience. PPC allows you to narrow down your marketing efforts to focus based on specific demographic information. You can promote your ads to prospects based on age, gender, income, education level, etc.
When there’s a time-sensitive offer. Since paid search works fast, the tactic is often used with time-sensitive offers. PPC can divert traffic to your site within a number of minutes for promotional periods that will end the next day.
When you want to stay keyword competitive. Paid search results sit at the top of all search engine results pages, above all the organic search results. As much as 60% of paid search ads gets clicked or considered over organic search results. Not considering PPC campaigns will cause your company to forfeit keywords and main categories that are associated your business to your competitors. With the analytics tools that are provided by Google, you can see which keywords are working and which one aren’t, which helps you further sculpt and improve your ad campaigns.
When Should You Use Organic Search (SEO)?
When you want to increase website authority. The best way to establish your website as the cream of the crop is through smart SEO planning. Optimizing your website with SEO techniques and content marketing can help bring the right traffic to your website and, over time, establish your site’s reputation and making it “popular” enough to establish credibility with Google.
When you want consistent results. Organic search takes much longer than paid search to see results. While PPC works instantly, but takes money to build, organic search is the free, but takes longer to build. Ranking at the top of search engine results pages will take time, but if build out right, you’ll see consistent results and gain long-term benefits.
When you want to invest in your website. The more time and energy you invest in your search engine optimization both on-page (on your website) an off-page (outside of your website), the higher the value of your website. It works just like real estate. What will determine your value is the amount of consistent traffic you generate, page rank, search engine rankings, number of backlinks over a period of time.
Paid search (PPC) and organic search (SEO) are different search marketing techniques that produce different results. By incorporating a little bit of both in your overall digital marketing strategy, you have a way to gain big benefits from each.