Paid Search Or Organic Search – Which Is Better And What Are The Variations Between Them?

According to Imforza, around 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, therefore it is important to know how Paid Search and Organic Search can benefit your business. Paid Search involves you paying for your website to be displayed and ranked high within the search engine results page. This is determined by specific keywords and you pay based on the amount of clicks or views of your ad. Implementing a Paid Search campaign with PPC ads can boost your brand awareness by 80% and, according to Power Traffick, 46% of clicks are received by the top three paid advertising spots on a page. 

Organic Search however is the natural ranking of your site; it is unpaid and optimised with SEO. These results usually appear based on the relevancy to a user’s search query. Organic Search is also important to focus on, with Imforza reporting that 70% of links search users click on are organic results, while 99 Firms states that 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page of the SERPs.

Our team of experts are well versed in both Paid and Organic Search. We sat down to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both, to let you know which one you should be investing in for your business. 


The Benefits Of Paid Search


Instant Results

If you don’t have a lot of time to build your brand’s audience, awareness or traffic, Paid Search is the fastest way to drive sales and leads to your business. 

Level The Playing Field

You are in control of when, where and how your ads are displayed. Therefore, if you are willing to pay, your ad could list amongst the biggest competitors within your industry.

Accessible To All

You can choose to spend as much or as little on Paid Search for your business which makes Paid Search an affordable solution for a budget of any size. Despite the challenge of being a new business, this shouldn’t stop you from reaching your audience. Paid Search really is getting more and more accessible for every single business out there. 

Find Your Niche

Regardless of your budget, there are many ways to optimise how you are using Paid Search ads, such as focusing on the positively performing areas of your business. Finding your niche enables you to target your ideal audience and be specific with the keywords you use which, in turn, will contribute to lowering the costs of your ads.


Benefits Of Organic Search


No Media Cost 

While getting expert SEO guidance isn’t free, you don’t pay when your site listing is clicked. 

Short And Long-term Benefits 

Unlike paid channels, your visibility doesn’t just stop if you turn ads off. However, SEO work should be maintained to stay up to date with Google algorithm updates.

User Experience 

Google favours sites that are easy to use and understand, and that users find engaging. This will also have a positive impact on conversions.

Digital PR

Increasing your brand’s awareness is an important part of SEO. Earning high quality backlinks is a great way to increase the exposure of your brand. 


Negatives Of Paid Search


Can Be Expensive

Depending on your business’ industry and your number of competitors, the cost per click can vary. It can be expensive to compete in an overcrowded market, and therefore may need an extensive budget to get to the top spot.

Benefits Are Gone As Soon As You Turn It Off

This is one of the main differences between Organic and Paid Search. With Organic you will reap the benefits until you stop for a long period of time, depending on algorithm updates. However, as soon as you turn off a Paid Search campaign you will stop reaping the benefits of it, so it is contingent on you running that campaign for a prolonged period.

Can Hinge On The Quality Of Your Website

As mentioned before, high quality websites are favoured by Google. Therefore, SEO effectively becomes redundant without a user friendly site, because a large factor of conversion rates depends on the quality of your onsite customer journey.


Negatives Of Organic Search


Can Take A Long Time To Take Effect

You can’t build your site authority overnight, it takes months or even years to develop. The long term effects are worth it though!

Algorithm Updates Are Unpredictable

It’s difficult to know when algorithm updates are coming or what they’ll consist of. Keeping your site in line with Google’s best practise is the best way to shield yourself from them.

Can Require Developer Resources

SEOs often need to work collaboratively with developers to implement technical fixes to the site, which may mean work going into a long developer queue.


How Can Paid Search And Organic Search Complement Each Other?


Share Info On Ctr

Paid Search teams are always optimising their ad copy to help increase click-through-rates. It’s important for these learnings to be shared between both teams to benefit both Organic and Paid team’s CTRs.

Test Turning Off PPC Keywords

This can be done to see how much Organic traffic Paid campaigns are gaining, which ultimately can lead to more savings.

Pay Less Per Click On A Well Optimised Page (Quality Scores)

When targeting brand terms these are quite low down the funnel, which means we can make investments that save the budget into more generic terms and increase the number of users on the site.


Which Should I Invest In?

Ultimately, whether Paid Search or Organic Search is best depends on your business, your audience and your goals. For short term purposes, you can look at Paid Search and for long term, Organic. A strong marketing strategy however focuses on both of these to achieve the best results.

Get in touch to find out more about how Return can help with your search strategies, both Paid and Organic, including content marketing and SEO tactics.

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