If you’re a marketer or business owner, you’ve probably asked yourself at least once: should I focus more on organic SEO or paid search? A lot of people wonder about the difference between paid search vs. organic search and what’s best for growing your business. And the answer is—you need both.
Paid search (aka SEM or search engine marketing) means promoting your site through paid ads, like Google Ads. When you think of PPC or pay-per-click, you’re thinking of paid search.
Organic search means using best practices to optimize your site for rankings and visibility (SEO). Things like building backlinks, creating useful blog posts, and using social media to promote your content
To maximize your marketing ROI and get more overall traffic, organic SEO + paid search is the best combo. They each can do things which the other can’t, which is why they work best together.
Benefits of Paid Search
Basically, paid search is awesome because it works fast and gives you a lot of control. You can see and measure the campaign cost and results almost instantly.
- Allows you to rank for organic keywords that are tough to rank for organically
- Offers quick ROI through immediate visibility and traffic
- Lets you test different keywords or CTAs to see what works best
- Provides keyword data which you can use to try and rank organically
- You can control how much you spend and who sees your ads
Benefits of Organic Search
Building traffic via SEO and organic search is more of a slow burn. It takes longer to get results, but it’s super valuable for building trust in your brand over time.
- It doesn’t cost anything (other than time and expertise)
- Offers long-term ROI
- Builds authority over time
- Some people see organic search results as more credible than ads
Both approaches can attract relevant leads and both can increase conversions. So which one is right for your business? No one single tactic is going to get you to the top of the mountain on its own. You need a multifaceted approach that involves both organic search and paid search.
Understanding the pros and cons of each, and keeping your business goals in mind will help you decide what to use when. For example:
- When you need to build sales fast, use paid search
- If you’re a brand new company starting out and you want to build traffic quickly, use paid search
- If you’re more concerned with building your brand presence over time, organic search is the way to go
If you need professional help developing your paid search campaigns or optimizing your website for organic search, give us a shout! We’d love to help you get more leads, clicks, and sales for your business.