Paid Search Vs Organic Search: Which is Right for You?

paid search vs organic search: which is right for you?

Paid Search vs Organic Search

Paid search and organic search results bring in website traffic in very similar ways. Both display websites based on searched terms and both are heavily affected by page relevancy to the search terms. However, the big underlining difference between these two sources of website traffic is that one is not organic (paid for) and the other is (free). In this article, we will look at paid search vs organic search to help you decide which is right for you. 

What is Organic Search? 

Organic search are websites that appear on Google or other search engines without any paid for intervention. By this, I mean, the website owners or marketers have not paid money directly to the search engine to display this site. 

Ranking for organic search terms is the main reason why a website might perform SEO related tasks. By making their website more relevant to search terms that relate to their services, products or information they can then gain organic traffic. 

The video below gives a good explanation of what SEO is. 

Paid Search Marketing?

Paid search is the process of investing money into search engines and other online advertising tools to gain traffic. To keep this simple we’ll stick to paid searches around search result pages. Paid search, for the most part, is through something known as PPC (Pay Per Click). This is when a user assigns a budget to a keyword they would like to rank for. This budget is then used to bid on location in order to improve the amount of traffic their website generates. 

By paying for search result location you can help rank a poorly optimised website higher than a very strong SEO focused website. One thing to note, however, is that a highly optimised website, with a good landing page and a PPC campaign, can actually rank higher than a website with a higher budget. This is through ‘quality score’. 

Interesting article – Quality Score Explained

Which is Right For You?

To help you work out the result of paid search vs organic search we’ve listed a few postives and negatives of each: 

Paid Search Positives: 

  • Almost guaranteed more traffic 
  • Rank for terms very difficult to achieve through SEO
  • Help boost a websites profile quickly
  • Can be relatively cost-effective
  • Easy to track ROI and income streams

Negatives of Paid Search

  • Can end up spending a lot of money through clicks
  • Poorly designed landing pages can lead to a lot of bounces
  • Badly created adverts and plans can lead to unnecessary expenditure
  • Can be very competitive
  • Doesn’t directly benefit SEO in the long run

Organic Search Positives

  • Highly optimised websites will always benefit from better rankings for long term traffic increases
  • More likely to convert through organic traffic
  • Gain industry power through competitive terms
  • Completely free (if done in house)
  • Can be easier than expected with less competitive terms

Negatives of Organic Search

  • Can take a lot of time
  • If you’re looking for competitive terms it can be expensive 
  • Can require a lot of content creation and outreach projects
  • Always changing and developing
  • PPC results will always rank above

Paid vs Organic: Conclusion

So now you have a pretty good understanding of what the difference between these two sources of website traffic are. You also know the positives and negatives. So, which one do you think you’ll invest your time and budget into? If you’re still not sure, why not try both? A well rounded digital marketing plan understands the users through research and testing. So why not try a bit of testing for your website. 

Alternatively, give Channel Creative a call for more information on how we could help your inbound digital marketing. We love to chat about SEO and PPC, so give us a call.