When a user enters a query into a search engine, there are two ways results are found and listed on the search engine results pages (SERPs):
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
Optimizing your website content for search and using paid search will set up your business so that Internet users are able to find you easily. Both organic and paid efforts share the same end-goal: to increase your online visibility, drive traffic to your website, and generate valuable leads. Employing the two strategies to get the most from your efforts is the balancing act all online marketing strategists work towards.
The Difference Between Paid Search and Organic Search
Organic search means the content that shows up naturally on the SERPs based on the keywords a user enters into the search. The closer the keywords match the content on your website, the higher your website should rank among the results. Making the efforts for your content to rank higher organically on search requires you to build up your online presence, optimize your website content for mobile, and build authority and validity in the online world. Optimizing for organic search requires no upfront monetary investment, but the amount of time and effort required is daunting and the ROI is typically harder to track.
Paid ads require you to purchase the spot on the search engine results page. With paid search accounts:
- Choose target audience (location, demographics, etc.)
- Are labeled as “ad,” but show up seamlessly within the search results
- Have measurable and almost immediate results
Your industry, target audience, and budget will determine how much of your strategy should be dedicated to organic v. paid search for your business, favoring one over the other depending upon your needs and goals.
There are excellent benefits to both organic and paid search efforts and, when well-balanced and well executed, both can lead to excellent lead generation.
Organic Search vs Paid Search: So Which is Better?
There are compelling arguments for either side being the better tool for successful inbound marketing, but in the real-world, to get the most from your efforts and avoid missing out on valuable, targeted traffic to your website, you need a strategy for both.
It’s mostly accepted that organic search is the most cost-effective route for improving the searchability of your website, but is a long-term game, while paid search provides clear-cut results almost instantaneously.
Currently, paid search growth is outpacing organic growth on Google thanks to additions like:
- A fourth text ad above organic links on desktop and mobile platforms
- Doubled size of product listing ads on mobile platforms
- Geo-location presenting the “Local Pack” to the top of search results.
Typically, it takes several months of commitment to an organic search campaign to notice movement in the rankings from organic search optimization. Paid search, however, will get results right away, and will have the additional benefit of helping optimize your landing pages for higher conversions.
Some searchers will click on ads. Some will click organic links. Professional content marketing specialists want to get both.
The Conclusion: Should You Pay for Keywords?
Yes. But there are a few ground rules for getting the most out of your keywords marketing campaign. only very targeted.
- Set a keyword/PPC budget and stick to it.
- Select keywords that apply to your business.
- If you rank organically for a keyword, you should buy it.
- Work your keywords into your content naturally but also strategically.
While there are a number of factors that will affect the results of your keyword advertising, relevancy is the most important factor when choosing keywords for your online marketing campaign. Search engines have perfected the ability to provide the best possible answer for a user entering a query. The highly refined algorithm does the work for you of matching your website with the potential customers who are actively seeking something your business is offering. Your goal should be choosing the right keywords and working them in effectively to match that audience with your content.
Organic Search and Paid Search with EmoryDay
If your content doesn’t appear toward the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), you may want to work with an agency that manages both paid and organic search optimization. At EmoryDay, our specialists work both organic search tactics and paid search campaigns to get the very most value out of search. Contact us to find out if you should be paying for keywords.