It’s not the easiest of times to promote your business online. In this day and age, you need to understand the digital space, how to create the perfect ad, and – how to optimize your website, landing page, and such. Back in the day, it was easy; you would put an ad in the paper, and that’s pretty much it. Nowadays, you need to work harder for people to notice your business. You need to utilize paid and organic search traffic to find people who want to invest their time and money in your industry.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of each side of the story – search engine marketing based on paid search campaigns like Pay-Per-Click ads and organic search rankings that you can improve with some good Search Engine Optimization practices. We will go over which works best for whom and what can be the best choice for you.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to choose one or the other in the end; you can also use your paid search channels and SEO strategy. In this article, we will focus on the impact of organic or paid search results and what strategy you should implement. Whether you want immediate results or something that will last a lifetime, the approach you should take for different marketing strategies will depend on many factors.
Organic search marketing can be a better solution for some, while paid search marketing can work better for others. It all depends on your particular situation and goals. So, we will not say that organic search strategy is better than paid search marketing. In fact, in our opinion, you should utilize both of those to maximize your campaigns’ potential. But the internet loves to quarrel, so let’s settle this once and for all – what is better, organic search vs paid search? Let’s find out!
What Is Organic Search?
First, let’s define what we mean by organic search. This would include all the traffic you can get organically without utilizing paid ads. Of course, it does not mean you cannot prepare and optimize your traffic. That would be all the elements you can change in Google or other search engines’ portrayal of your site, impacting your visibility online.
You can try and do it yourself or hire a professional agency like GamerSEO to optimize for you. And there are plenty of ways you can optimize your site. From landing page optimization through keyword research, you can make your website something that used to be a semi-visible store to one of the top searches on the internet! Here are some key elements that you should know about organic search.
Crawling and Indexing
First – how does it even work? As we will mainly focus on this search engine, Google utilizes crawling and indexing. It means the engine sends out its crawlers to inspect and scan all the sites on the wide web. Then, it indexes the sites based on its algorithm so that it would be able to provide the best results to the users. It scans the area with keyword data, landing page optimization, and other free or paid SEO tools you use to optimize your site. Then, it gives you a score that indexes you within the search engine algorithm.
Understand the Algorithm
And that is the most important thing to learn about – the algorithm. The myth. The legend. In this competitive industry, organic search tactics can change the game completely. So, it’s best to understand how the algorithm works to optimize your website for it. You need to find:
- what it likes when it comes to the look of a landing page,
- what kind of keywords are best to use on your site so that it would pop up on the search results page next to the relevant search,
- whether it’s a mobile-friendly site or not.
There are plenty of things to remember in that case, so if you want to add SEO to your overall marketing strategy – be sure to acquaint yourself with those details.
The following essential aspect of organic search is getting onto the Search Engine Results Page. If you have done all your SEO homework correctly or hired an experienced agency, you will be right there on the first page of Google after typing the correct query.
Digital marketing campaigns can be won by simply being the best-optimized site in the industry. The further you are in the search results, you will gather significantly smaller traffic than the first few. You have probably done it yourself when searching for something and getting to the mythical second page of Google’s search results. Not many people look there, so be sure to optimize accordingly.
Why Is It Important?
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest money and time into optimizing your website. Compared to the Pay-Per-Click ads, it’s a long-term solution and time–investment, but it can give you lasting organic traffic. Your appearance on the search page will not depend on whether you paid this month but on an existing mechanism you created. Organic traffic is always better than paid search traffic, but unpaid search results are more complex. So, be sure to choose your ad campaign according to your needs.
Organic Search Benefits
Now that we know how organic search works, let’s look at the most common benefits. Some may be similar to what we find in the paid search initiatives, but some are entirely different.
The first thing to remember about organic search is that it’s much cheaper to invest time into building a reliable website for years to come, even if you would hire an agency to do so, than constantly pumping money into paid search results. Of course, you may find ready-to-buy users immediately, but organic search work is something that you will see months and years later after setting it up. Of course, as with all things, it will need updating, but it’s a much more cost-effective solution than constantly running ads.
Not only that, you will also appear in the search results for a long time, bringing sustainable traffic to your website. That way, you will not have to rely on spikes of interest from the community; you will be able to create a successful strategy that will result in the long-term traffic of interested users. Instant results are one thing, but a swarm of constantly relevant users – that’s another.
Let’s face it: everyone is tired of online ads. Paid searches are a good idea, but they can be incredibly frustrating. In our editor’s room, we intentionally skip the initial sponsored results, marking them as spam. It’s because PPC ads often use relevant keywords from companies only loosely related to our search. For instance, when searching for a new GTA game, typing “GTA VI” may yield numerous ads claiming to sell the game, only to discover after clicking that they merely offer slogans.
As the Marketing Charts data shows, based on the Edelman Trust Barometer, “only 8% of respondents say they automatically assume the information in advertising is true. “ Most people don’t believe ads or only sometimes use it as a source of information.
Click-Through-Rate is something that all companies are interested in growing. So, it’s only fair that your monthly ad spend would mirror the click-through rates. Well, that’s not always the case.
As the ad campaign data will show you, investing your time and money into organic search can often lead to higher CTR, as organic searches are more in line with what the users are looking for, rather than a paid result that can be similar but not the same.
PPC bidding is won mainly by the highest bidder, not the best, so you can get paid results of web pages that are not even near what you were looking for, but someone put out some stacks of dollars for you to look at those.
You don’t usually need a highly optimized website to run paid advertising. Essentially, you only need money to do so. Well, it’s not the same with the SEO practices. You have to not only provide the relevant data to the search query but also have a fast-loading speed, be mobile friendly, have an easy-to-navigate website, and deliver quality content marketing. That’s why SEO-based websites are much better looking than those that utilize paid campaigns to generate revenue.
Let’s face it: ad block is everywhere. The ads are just too intrusive not to have them installed. Incredibly, if you constantly search different website pages for the best price. So, many of the PPC ads will get blocked this way and have problems reaching the targeted audience compared to the organic search. That’s unblockable because it will show up in the SERP rankings not as an ad but as a quality data source.
And finally, utilizing search engine algorithms to your benefit can also improve your brand recognition. If you are out there competing with other websites on a content basis, you will gain recognition as a website with some products and THE website that is in THE conversation. Organic search will allow you to become a voice in the community that matters, with several higher-quality users visiting the site regularly. Compared to the paid search basis – it’s a different outlook on the company.
What Is Paid Search?
Let’s now look at the paid search with all its details. It will most likely be referred to as PPC – Pay-Per-Click ads. It means that whenever someone clicks on the paid search ads, you will spend some money for that click. If you win the bidding war, your ad will be shown to the audience. It means betting on different keywords to get placed next to those on the Search Engine Results Page.
The main difference between organic and paid rankings is that you don’t have any SEO background to put your PPC ads next to a search result. But – it gets the thing done, as it will show your ad immediately to millions of people worldwide or locally if you want. You can set it up how you want; it all depends on what you want to accomplish. Here are the most critical aspects of paid search ads.
The first thing you need to know about the PPC is that it’s all based on bidding. You bid on certain keywords to show your ads to the public. What kind of product you would like to display – it’s totally up to you. You can determine how much you want to pay for each search search as part of your digital marketing strategy. Whether you put a high number or a low one, it depends on the results you want to see. In most cases, more money means more traffic.
But that’s not always the case. Well, almost not always. Unfortunately, the higher you pay, the lower it matters what you are actually advertising (with some restrictions on things like sexual advertisements or gambling, etc.). But, there is a difference between a high-performance ad copy and something that is just not grabbing the attention of the users. Sometimes, a quality score can help you out even if you are bidding lower, but money is the name of the game in the end, so keep that in mind.
Depending on how much you are bidding and what kind of quality ads you are running, you will then be able to choose or get a better or worse ad placement. Usually, it’s on the top of the page with the sponsored or promoted tag on it. And that’s pretty much it. Ad placement is sometimes more or less important, depending on what you are selling. If it’s something that can be compared to other similar products, getting it in front of the competition can have a huge impact.
You are responsible for 100% of your ad copy. So, try to create something that people would actually like to click on. You can gain a lot of traffic with PPC ads, but if it’s just an empty ad space, you will not get a lot of conversions in the end. The same goes for the visibility of your ad. If you have a poor copy, you will get a lot of visibility but terrible CTR.
Why Is It Important?
Paid advertising is extremely good at getting results. That cannot be denied. You can get hundreds upon hundreds of people engaging with your content at the moment’s notice. You just click on the start button or whatever it is, and people will arrive at your website. It has amazing targeting due to all of the terms and conditions we have agreed to upon many years of the Internet existence. So, you will get to the people you are trying to reach. The only downside is that you have to pay for this engagement and keep paying to see the results. So, it’s good for the short-term traffic increase or if you want to promote something special during a more intense time of the year.
Paid Search Benefits
Paid search is one of the most popular ways of advertising on the internet. Whether you use Google Ads or any other provider, you can be sure that you will get to your audience with astonishing speed and precision. Organic and paid search usually come together, whether it’s through the mixture of content/SEO marketing and boosting it up with PPC or any other way of promoting your products or services – it’s always good to mix things up in order to actually provide good results. So, let’s now go over the benefits of Pay-Per-Click advertising.
One of the greatest benefits of PPC is that you can see the results pretty much right after clicking the button. As we have mentioned before, it’s extremely fast and easy to create some traffic to your website thanks to advanced algorithms that know more about us than we do about ourselves. Getting on the right spot on the Search Engine Results Pages can bring you fantastic results, but it also – costs you a lot of money. So, if you want to sustain the traffic coming to your website, you will need to combine it with SEO practices as well.
Advanced Targeting Options
If you want to target an audience – PPC is the way to go. SEO is painting with a broad brush. You can get a lot of people who are more or less interested in your product, but you will definitely get some who are just browsing through with no intention of buying anything. PPC is like SEO on speed – it will get to the exactly right person who lives two blocks away from the company’s residence and who has been, for the last three days, considering buying something similar to what you are proposing. With tons of terabytes of data on its users, platforms like Google or Facebook can pinpoint exactly the type of people you are looking for at a particular time and moment.
You Decide How Much You Pay
The other benefit of PPC is that you have absolute control over how much you want to spend. You set the bidding for your campaign, the specific keywords you want to promote, and how much money you are willing to spend for a whole campaign.
It gives you the power to decide what you want to do with this particular PPC campaign and a way out if you feel like it does not do you good. Additionally, you can do A/B testing easily to see which ad works for you and which will not drive traffic to your website. That way, you will be able to get even better results and create even more conversions.
What is also great about this type of advertising is the fact that you have a lot of data to analyze when it comes to creating your PPC campaigns. You are able to track everything that involves your campaign: CTR, conversion rates, how much you are paying for each click, and how much you can pay for it – there is a lot of data to analyze with PPC ads, and you are going to utilize most of them.
That way, you will be able to change things at a moment’s notice without having to set everything up from scratch. It’s a highly adaptable way of advertising, much faster than with organic results.
Get Ahead of the Competition!
Let’s face it: with the right ad strategy, you can do pretty much anything. Starting with – fighting your competition. With a lot of money invested in advertising, you will be able to outrun everyone, at least for the time when you run the ads. You can boost awareness a lot quicker than most of your potential competitors if you outbid them. Of course, the organic search results will get you a much more substantial audience, with a lot of them being much more likely to stay as customers for a long time, but when it comes to just crashing the competition at a moment’s notice – PPC is the way to go.
And finally, we have remarketing, one of the best ways to optimize your ad campaign. How does it work? Well, it essentially means that you will be fighting for conversions from people who have already wanted to buy your product. It’s as simple as that. Let’s quickly go through the process. Imagine trying to buy a game online. You put it in the cart; everything seems fine. Then, you leave the website and forget about it. So, you will then start seeing the product EVERYWHERE YOU GO. Thanks to Google partnering with thousands of websites online that put Google Ads extensions on their site, you will see the ad from that store on every site you visit. And, as you were already interested, you will probably make a purchase.
Organic Search vs Paid Search – Conclusion
As you can see, the best way of going about your digital marketing is to mix a paid search campaign with some good SEO practices. It’s best to optimize your site and content, then – paid search result to boost things up. PPC is too expensive and too rapid to be a long-term solution, and SEO is always in need of some additional push to get to the target audience. Thanks for stopping by and we will see you in the next one.
A PPC specialist who started with organic social media. For several years, the core of his activities are:- Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Meta Ads, TikTok Ads, Twitter Ads, Linkedin Ads. He has led campaigns with a global reach, e.g. for FootballTeam, G2A, ETOTO, as well as many smaller campaigns in the sports, construction and financial industries. Has full focus on ROAS. Privately, a fan of football, history of wars and Star Wars.