To spend money or to spend time? This is the question you’re ultimately asking when deciding between paid and organic search rankings. Aaaah! The never-ending battle of paid vs organic search. If you have a website and know a little about marketing, then you’re familiar with this ongoing battle.
So, what is paid and organic search?
- Paid – paid searches are the ads that show at the top and bottom of the page when you search for something. These will be related to what you search for, but ultimately they pay to be there, which makes them less trustworthy in a many people’s eyes.
- Organic – organic searches are the websites that rank well on Google, and are not paid for. They are trusted sites with a healthy amount of traffic; they stay up to date and have regular content creation.
So, which is better?
Marketers have been researching this for ages, and most come to the same conclusion. But let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each, so that you can come to a better understanding, and make a decision for yourself.
Organic Search Benefits
Trust – Websites that rank well organically are more trusted because they have worked hard for a long time to be there. This means that they’re putting out consistently high-quality and useful content that draws traffic to the site.
Ranking – Once you’ve reached a good ranking, it’s easier to maintain that ranking than it was to get there in the first place. Gaining the trust of other users, and the trust of the search engine itself, tends to work in your favour for a long time.
Organic Search Drawbacks
Time – Although organic search is better for good long-term search rankings, it does take time to get there. It can take between 6 months to 2 years for your website to start ranking well.
Resources – In order to get to a place where your website is ranking well organically, you’ll need resources. You’ll need to have your website optimized for SEO, and you’ll need to consistently be creating content that will drive traffic to your site.This can be difficult and time-consuming, and you may need to outsource for both of these.
Paid Ads Benefits
Time – Unlike organic search, paid ads immediately prop you up to the top of the search rankings. No time needed.
Targeting – PPC (Paid-Per-Click) advertising is targeted at specific keywords that people search for. This means that you are directly targeting the people who are most likely to want your product or services. These are often the highest converting leads.
Paid Ads Drawbacks
Cost – Of course, if you’re using an ad, you’re going to pay for it. Gaining good search rankings organically can be done cost-free if you know what you’re doing. Whereas paid ads… you’ll have to pay for.
Not consistent – As soon as you stop paying for your ad, you’ll drop from page one and be ranked according to your SEO.
Untrusted – Users often avoid paid ads, because they don’t trust them the same way that they trust organically ranked websites.
So, What’s The Conclusion?
Most marketers come to the same conclusion, and that being that using organic search and PPC advertising together is the best method to this madness.
While it takes time to rank well organically, if you consistently work on your SEO and your content, while also running small ads, you’ll start to be trusted by Google and its users for your great content, and you’ll be on the first page.
In conclusion, these methods are better when they’re used together, to achieve the ranking goals you’re working for.