Organic Search and Paid Search: What’s the Difference?

How many times have you typed Google in your browser? Unless you’re one of the few people who type Yahoo or Bing, we all go searching for answers in the same place.

Search engines will give display results from two completely different valuable traffic sources to inbound marketers: organic search and paid search. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) comes into play.

Let’s now take a closer look at the main differences with organic search and paid search.

Organic Search

Whenever we look for something with a search engine, the list that appears below the ads is called “organic results.” The results are displayed based on the quality, content, and relevance of the topic you searched.

The traffic that comes from the organic results is called organic traffic or organic search.

Organic traffic is the most valuable traffic source for your website:

  • When your website link is on the first page of the organic results, people will click on it most of the time.
  • Search engines, specifically Google, is very particular about their rankings in the organic results. The higher your ranking, the higher the quality your content is.
  • Once you reach the top ranks in search engines, you most likely will see an increase in traffic to your website.

Acquiring the top ranks in search engines is a very long winding road. It takes time for your website to get indexed and to start generating traffic. The competition is tough in the organic world. Almost every business has a website; most webmasters know at least the basics of SEO to help you increase your search engine ranking. To make it to the first page, an SEO expert can speed up your results. When you make it to the 1st page, your website will experience more exposure to your clientele, receive free traffic to your website, and your analytics will show an increase in organic search traffic.

Paid Search

Companies that want a guaranteed top spot in the search engine results will use paid search to appear at the top of the organic search results. The yellow box that says “Ad” beside it is a paid spot. But despite the obvious label, many consumers are unaware that these are advertisements due to the native look and feel to it.

Since the organic search is a very competitive world, paid search has become very popular. Rather than wait for your SEO to build up, paying the search engine companies gives you a chance to get seen on page one immediately.

Google’s Adwords is the most used Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising method used today. Google charges your account per click of your listed link. Adwords accounts for 70% of Google’s revenue, a tech giant, speaks the effectiveness Adwords has on its own.

Organic Search Vs. Paid Search

To determine which method works for your company best, sit down with your team and discuss your timeline and budget.

If you’re looking for a quick result, paid search is best for you. Organic search can take months before you start seeing some movement in your efforts and some companies don’t want to wait that long and want people to visit their website right now to generate some sales.

In general, organic search is the most cost-effective method in the long run. Although it takes time and effort, it feels good to be on the top ranks in Google.

In conclusion, take a closer look at your goals and don’t be afraid to experiment with both.

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