The Difference Between Paid Search and Organic Search

The debate

Even the best SEO company in Sydney would find themselves involved in the debate between paid and organic search, and whether it’s better to use paid search (PPC) or organic search marketing. This is a difficult debate as both methods have specific benefits and drawbacks. However, it is commonly agreed that knowing them both will allow you to get the best return on your digital marketing campaign.

Organic Search

Organic search refers to the SERP listings returned by the search engine’s algorithms that closely match the keyword phrases. Marketers use search engine optimisation and on-page content, as well as Meta title tags and Meta descriptions, to get high search engine rankings. The goal is to always be on the first page and ultimately to be within the top three rankings for specific keywords, as these are the listings that are likely to get clicked on. The advantages of organic search are dependent on visibility and the higher the ranking the more pronounced the advantages. They major drawback to organic search marketing is that unless you’re on the first page, you’re unlikely to get any traffic.

Advantages of organic search:

  • Credibility – naturally occurring high search rankings imply industry authority and leadership.
  • Maintenance of ranking status – once you naturally obtain high search engine rankings, it’s easier to keep those rankings.
  • Click through rates –the click through rates are better for organic search results.
  • Inbound marketing – organic marketing requires companies to optimise their website and make it user friendly, which increases your chance of valuable consumer involvement.

Disadvantages of organic Search Drawbacks

  • Time – can take months for rankings to show.
  • Resources – obtaining organic rankings requires both creating content and using SEO tactics to achieve it, this can be timely and difficult, often requiring the assistance of an SEO company.

Paid Search (PPC)

Paid search results are advertisements that businesses pay search engines to display. A business will pay to have their ads displayed for specific keywords, meaning they pay to appear at the top of the SERP when users do a search containing specific keywords (the keywords that relate to their product or service). The exact placement of the ads and what ranking you’re disabled in the SERP is determined by both a bidding process, meaning who is willing to pay the most per click to appear first.

Advantages of PPC:

  • Time – unlike organic search rankings that can take months or years, paid results are instant and are placed at the top of rankings as soon as you pay for ad placement.
  • Targeting – paid campaigns can be tailored to reach specific audiences, meaning you can directly target your target market.

Disadvantages of PPC:

  • Cost – the more competitive the keyword (the more businesses competing to rank for this keyword), the more expensive the bid price is for each click on the displayed ad.
  • Instant cease of rankings – the ads will disappear as soon as you stop paying for them.
  • Distrust – research has proved that consumers are more likely to distrust paid ads and often avoid them, and actually place more trust in organic rankings.
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