Organic SEO vs Paid Search: Which is Better?
Search engines are the gateway to the internet. This is especially true when it comes to companies and their services. If you want people to find you, you have to show up in their search results, first page, and preferably higher than your competition. To do this, you have two major tools at your disposal: highlighting your website organically (meaning that you earned it) or with paid ads. Today we’re going to look at organic SEO vs paid search, how they work, and if one or both is a good fit for your business. Please note, we’ll be talking primarily about search results on Google, as it is the largest by far when it comes to most-used search engine.
What is Organic SEO?
First, let’s define some terms. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and generally measures how well your website fits the search algorithm that Google Search employs. Over the years, official statements from Google, their best practices guides, and trial and error have produced things we know that Google likes and will improve your ranking on search results. The term “organic” is used to differentiate it from paid services: organic is people visit your site via search results without clicking on an ad and it is earned ranking, based on the quality, popularity, relevancy, recency and depth of your website. Learn more about Organic SEO and Marketing here, including how content and metadata increases your SEO.
What is Paid Search?
If it’s a major platform, chances are you can rent ad space on it. Google Search is no different. Google AdWords is a system that allows you to insert paid ads that resemble search results into Google, particularly into the prime real estate at the top of the page. This system revolves around the use of keywords – short phrases often typed into search engines – to trigger your ads, which then take them to a page on your website you designate. AdWords allows you to target your ads to certain locations, add additional features that don’t show up on organic search results, and more. Learn more about Paid Search Engine Advertising here.
Comparing the Two: Bringing User Traffic
Organic SEO provides organic results. Where and who these people are, what they typed in to find you, and if they need your services, are all generally out of your hands. Great organic search can bring many people to your website, but they may not be the ones you want. Paid Search allows targeted results at a price. The cost per visit to your website can vary wildly depending on your industry and competition, your targeting, keywords, and your website. You can better bring people to your website, but you have to balance that against the cost.
Each of these by themselves can bring you traffic, client leads, and website purchases. When done right, they can each separately get you about 80% of the way there. But they are at their best when built together, with a rock-solid website SEO that can then produce better results with Google AdWords. Building a website alongside planning out an AdWords campaign can produce the best of both worlds. Want to learn more about Search Engine Marketing and what it can do for you? Contact Vision Advertising, and we’ll help you figure out which are the best options to improve your website’s visibility on search engines.