The difference between paid and organic search

Staff Writer Staff Writer
September 9, 2020

When you need to figure something out, there’s pretty much one answer that everyone can get behind: Google it. 

And when you Google something, you’ll find an endless amount of results, but the truth is — you probably won’t get past the first or second page. And within those pages, you’ll find a mixture of both paid and organic results.

The difference between organic search versus paid search is obvious: the cost. While organic search targets on unpaid rankings in search results, paid search targets paid rankings. With organic search results, businesses and brands use SEO to increase their site’s visibility or bump their rankings in search results.

Organic search

Whenever you search something on Google or a different search engine, the list of results that appear below the ads are known as “organic results.” These arise solely based on the quality and content of your website and its content. 

Traffic to your site that comes from people finding your links among these results is classified as “organic search” or organic traffic. Organic traffic is the most valuable  source because Google only directs the highest amount of traffic to your site if they believe you are the most trusted source in your category. 

Using SEO techniques will help make your site more desirable to Google and it’s search engine algorithms. And if you’re already there — then you’re doing something right. 

Paid search

Paid search results are ads that are paid for, to appear above the organic results in a fast and seamless way. Typically, businesses will include a budget in their marketing strategy for paid search ads so their website appears on the first page when someone types an inquiry using specific keywords, terms, and phrases.

So, what’s better?

It’s important to remember that no matter what you choose, Google puts user experience above all else. 

Most marketing professionals can agree that being successful in organic search means that your service is one of the most widely relied upon, and there’s an automatic perception of credibility and respectability for your business. However, developing an evergreen and organic presence can be a slow and time-consuming process. If you need a quick turnaround, paid search ads can get your content in front of your target audience in a seamless way. 

At the end of the day, both methods have advantages and disadvantages. If your brand’s objective is to make your site accessible for potential customers, then a solid marketing strategy will incorporate both methods. 

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