What’s the Difference Between Organic and Paid Search?

Strottner Designs

In this competitive world of digital marketing, everyone knows that it takes much more than just putting up a website to start driving business. Your site also needs to:

  • Offer fresh content on a regular basis
  • Consistently optimize for search engines to crawl
  • Be adjusted regularly to keep up with the web’s changing algorithms
  • Include relevant links, keywords, etc.

Your goal is to have your company show up consistently at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). This is accomplished by populating your website with quality, targeted content that’s easily navigable by potential customers.

But that’s just one part of it. You also need to attract customers with search, and there are two types: organic and paid. But what’s the difference?

Organic search attracts customers with relevant content and keywords that send your company to the top of the SERPs. This takes time and requires some level of expertise.

Paid search involves pay-per-click (PPC) advertising which will put your company above organic results. It doesn’t happen automatically, though. You need to set a daily budget and bid enough to win the “auction.” You pay every time someone clicks on it.

Here are some advantages of organic search:

You can target specific audiences

With the right kind of content, you can pull potential clients into your sales funnel. This will keep them coming back to your website and social media to see the next chapter of your “story.”

The Sales Funnel consists of five stages:

  1. Awareness. Prospects are beginning to become aware of your brand.
  2. Interest. They’re becoming more intrigued by your products and/or services.
  3. Evaluation. Armed with knowledge about your company, they’re starting to comparison shop.
  4. Decision. At this point, they’ll make contact with you and are ready to talk.
  5. Sale. The deal is done — and now they’re customers.

Organic search traffic is stable

Google ranking shows you where your traffic is coming from and how you can keep optimizing for it.

Organic search shows that you’re an expert in your business

By consistently ranking high on SERPs, you’ll stay top-of-mind with prospects. And it demonstrates your company’s authority to Google, too.

So with all of those positives about organic SEO, why should you consider spending on paid (PPC)?

PPC can be implemented quickly

Organic search takes time. With PPC, your company can show up in paid search results much faster. This can be beneficial for companies that have just opened their doors or are running a limited-time special.

PPC appears above organic rankings

People will see your ad first before scrolling down to organic results.

PPC allows you to micro-target your desired audience

You can select your desired targets by age, geographic area, gender, interest and more.

You have total control of your budget

With PPC, you can quickly raise and lower your budget as needed to capture the most impressions. For example, if you know that you get the most inquiries from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, you can customize your budget for that.

You can quickly make changes

If some of your ads aren’t working, you can revise them immediately to make them more effective. You can even control the days and times that your ads will be seen!

If this all sounds complicated, it can be. You can count on Strottner Designs to handle it all for you and help your business grow. We’re the experts!