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Organic SEO Vs Paid Search

Organic SEO Vs Paid Search
Lauren A Lauren Photo

Lauren Swarbrick

According to Search Engine Journal, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, indicating that potential customers are more likely to end up on a businesses website via a search engine than going directly to it. This shows how important it is for businesses and brands to have a strong presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

On top of this, according to Search Engine Watch, the results on the first page of Google receive 92% of all search traffic on Google, with traffic dropping by a whopping 95% on the second page. It’s little wonder therefore that appearing in the number one spot is the holy grail when it comes to search engine rankings.

There are two completely different, yet equally valuable routes available to business owners and inbound marketers looking to increase their websites position in the SERPs - organic search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search (SEM). When a user types a query into Google, those at the top with the green ‘Ad’ box are the companies that have paid to appear at the top of the search results. The list of results that appear below the ads are the organic results and appear purely based on the quality and content of the page. Done correctly, both methods can get businesses on the front page of the search engines for targeted terms, however, each has it’s respective benefits and costs.

Although paid search has a place in almost all of our clients’ digital marketing campaigns and we often use the two techniques hand-in-hand, as an agency we actively champion organic SEO. Organic SEO uses keyword analysis and enhancement, back links and link building from relevant and diverse sites with high domain authority, good on-site technical SEO and the creation of high quality, evergreen content, to obtain a high placement in the unpaid, algorithm-driven results.

Organic SEO is a long game, it takes time to execute and a while to see results, but once a site achieves a high ranking the business reaps the benefits for a long time. Realistically, it takes six months plus to start seeing good movement in search rankings and most businesses just don't want to wait that long or want a way of getting results in the interim and that's where paid search comes into its own. PPC can offer immediate results that help build brand awareness and drive traffic while the business works on developing quality SEO content and taking other steps toward boosting their organic search ranking.

Organic SEO Vs Paid Search

The Benefits of Organic SEO over Paid Search

1. SpendAlthough paid search can and does achieve a brilliant return on investment, particularly for product based businesses, the majority of PPC campaigns require significant investment in order to deliver results. In contrast, if a business is willing to invest time and effort into organic search engine optimisation, high rankings can be obtained for no outright spend.

2. Volume of ClicksOrganic search generates more clicks when compared to paid search as the organically optimised sites offer relevant content related to the keywords searched. According to SimilarWeb paid search equates for just over 5% of all traffic, with organic hovering around the 95% mark.

3. Sustainability and LongevityWhen a business achieves a high ranking organically it lasts a long time therefore delivering overall better longterm value. With paid search, when a PPC campaign ends or the budget runs out, the site stops ranking - it’s a never ending cost. Once a business has implemented sound organic SEO, the cost-per-click for organic search traffic is zero, giving the company an edge over their competitors who are trapped in a pay-per-click cycle.4. Credibility and TrustWith higher organic search engine rankings comes a perception of credibility; high search rankings imply authority and leadership. This perception translates into more trust and subsequently a greater likelihood to click through to the site. Users are increasingly aware of the use of PPC as a marketing tool and will often bypass paid ads completely in favour of organic results.

At the end of the day all users are unique and different; some prefer to access sites through organic results, others routinely click paid ads. It is important for businesses to monitor and track their sites incoming traffic via tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console and take the time to really understand traffic sources, click through rates and conversions, and develop an insight driven and coherent digital strategy accordingly.

For more information or to talk to us about developing an effective organic SEO strategy for your business please get in touch.

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