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Paid vs. Organic Search

Paid vs. Organic Search

Deciding whether to use paid search or organic search methods should be your first step when setting up a marketing campaign.

Consumers often use a search engine rather than typing in a URL, even if they know which website they want to visit. So, your website must be as visible as possible on the search engines.

You can accomplish that by optimizing your site for organic searches or paying to appear in particular search results.

What Are Paid Searches?

Even if you’ve never heard of paid searches, you’ve seen them on search engine results pages. They are the results at the top or bottom of the pages marked ‘ad,’ or the shopping suggestions set to the side.

Paid searches are just that—search results you directly pay for. They work on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means the search engine will not charge you until someone clicks on your ad. Advertisements for some competitive keywords can be costly to run. Skill is needed to choose profitable but competitive keywords for paid searches.

But don’t expect to pay a search engine money and instantly appear at the top of every search. Your advertisements need to be relevant and intelligent because the system must be effective for you, Google, and the person clicking them.
If they weren’t, the person searching wouldn’t click on them, you wouldn’t get the traffic, and Google wouldn’t get the money from the clicks.

What Are Organic Searches?

How often have you clicked onto the second page of Google results? Like most people, the answer is probably hardly ever. Usually, it only happens if you’re desperate for an answer that most likely isn’t out there.

Page one usually shows the most relevant and trustworthy results. However, to appear on the first page of results, there are certain things you need to do. And that involves the art of organic search.

Whenever you use a search engine, the majority of the links on the page are organic results. Unlike paid searches, they focus on the content on your website. One of the most effective ways of using organic searching is with search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO.

SEO encompasses a multitude of factors determining your site’s relevance and value for certain keywords when searching for the product or service you provide.

While many people with basic knowledge of SEO only focus on optimizing the content their visitors see, there are places in your website’s backend to add keywords, tags, and other content that help you climb in the search engine rankings.

To use on-page SEO properly and effectively, you need to include it in your meta descriptions, URLs, page title tags, and content.

But organic searches aren’t only about SEO—your content also needs to be high quality with a good reputation on the internet. Use respected websites as links to back up your claims, and make sure that all your content is relevant to particular keywords, in-depth, and well-researched. The more trustworthy the search engine deems your website, the higher it will rank you.

Paid Searches vs. Organic Searches

Marketers are constantly debating what kind of search is the best. At first sight, it would be easy to assume that paid search is the obvious choice, since you’re paying money to appear at the top of search engine results pages.

But paid searches aren’t always right for everyone.

One of the main arguments in favor of paid searches is analytics. It is much easier to measure the effectiveness of your campaign when you can see exactly how much you have spent. Paid searches will also produce results much more quickly than organic searches, as it can take years to work your way up search ranking organically.

While using organic search techniques will take longer for a page to rise in the search engine rankings, internet users are becoming savvy to paid advertising. By working your way organically to the top of search engine rankings, you gain credibility in the eyes of consumers.

Organic search results also give you staying power. While SEO does require regular updating as search engines modify their algorithms, you don’t have to keep pumping money into your campaign as you do with PPC.

Organic searches and paid searches are both necessary in the age of internet marketing. If you need quick results, it might be wise to lean toward PPC, but working to bring your website up in the search engine rankings often works to build a sustainable business and online reputation.

For help with your SEO and PPC campaigns, please reach out to the digital marketing experts at Gauge Digital Media. Call us today at (410) 376-7709.

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