Here, in the digital world, the need of the hour is to scale traffic, visibility, and conversions to remain in the business for the long term. You need to take measures that ensure your content reaches the target audience and encourages them to take actions that result in increased traffic and revenue. It means you need to consider investing in digital marketing tactics that can help you secure significant ranks in the search engine result pages.
For the last decade, Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Paid Ads, otherwise known as PPC or Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing have been the two most resorted digital marketing techniques. Today, almost every online business owner invests in some sort of SEO or SEM to fuel his business growth.
Paid Search vs Organic Search
While on a spree to boost their business growth, we often see online business owners struggling to choose one between investing in Paid Ads and Organic SEO. Alike several others, if you too are someone willing to include search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) in your digital marketing plan, this piece is exactly what you need to read. Here we talk about the difference between paid ads and organic SEO. We also have included a list of benefits associated with each digital marketing technique. Keep reading to know where you must invest more in 2021.
Search Engine Optimization vs Search Engine Marketing
When you decide to include SEO or Search Engine Marketing in your digital marketing plan, there are a few terms you must know about. The entire marketing process becomes lots easier when you are familiar with the jargon and acronyms used in the process.
To begin with, know that the two marketing tactics you are going to work upon are Organic Search and Paid Search where the former is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the latter is nothing but a popular Search Engine Marketing (SEM) technique. Chances are, you might already know what SEO and SEM mean but, just in case, this is what they mean.
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization is a kind of organic online marketing technique where you invest in time and techniques instead of payments to improve your SERP rankings. It is a marketing tactic that might take time to deliver results but it benefits your business on a long-term race. Optimizing your website means you gain online visibility, welcome more organic traffic, and gain better conversion rates. SEM: Unlike SEO, Search Engine Marketing refers to the paid internet marketing tools that involve promoting business and websites to improve online visibility and returns on Investment. In SEM, you pay the adverts to appear on the Search Engine Result Pages alongside the organic index for relevant queries.
Organic Search (Organic SEO)
Organic Search refers to the manual search queries put up by the users in the search engine search boxes. It happens to be the most valuable and largest source of online traffic (organic traffic).
Google being the largest search engine in the world happens to be quite strict when it comes to indexing the websites on the Search Engine Result Page for relevant search queries. It rewards the websites that publish quality content with higher SERP rankings. Once you secure a rank in the 1st SERP, you are eligible to enjoy 90% of the overall traffic for a particular query. As a website owner, you can earn organic traffic only by working on Search Engine Optimization.
Just as stated above, SEO is a cost-effective marketing tactic that might take time (at least a couple of months) before delivering the expected results, not every website owner finds it as helpful. There’s a separate niche of businesses whose success strongly depends on a time limit. Paid Ads could be of great help in such scenarios.
Website owners can use Paid Searches to attract traffic and gain visibility on the SERP.
Did you ever notice the small box reading “Ad” before the website hyperlink in the SERP for any search query?
These “Ad” tags denote that the website is not organically ranked but has used paid ads to appear high in the SERP. Appearing high in the SERP means more chances to gain traffic and generate better revenue.
Benefits of Organic SEO and Paid Ads
Both Organic SEO and Paid Advertisements hold the potential to deliver numerous benefits to your website/online business. Let’s discover the ultimate pros associated with investing in organic SEO and/or Paid Advertisements.
Benefits of Investing in Organic SEO
- Increased online visibility
- Improved Brand Awareness
- Enhanced Credibility and Trust
- Higher Website Traffic
- Better Revenue
- Long-Term Sustainability
- Improved CTC (Click-Through-Rate)
Benefits of Investing in Paid Advertisements
- Top Position on the SERP
- Brand Visibility
- Quick Results
- Website Traffic
- High Conversion Rates
- Target-Oriented Marketing
Difference Between Organic SEO and Paid Search (PPC)
One can spot the differences between the two most sorted digital marketing techniques Organic SEO and Paid Ads on the following grounds:
- Traffic: While both organic SEO and paid advertisements are a great tool to generate traffic. You must, however, see that the former generates traffic, solely based on the quality of content, products, and services that you provide while the latter pays to appear high on SERP and attract traffic.
- Speed: It might take SEO a couple of months to get your website indexed on the SERP but the same is not the case with paid ads. All you need is about an hour to go live.
- Positioning on the SERP: Organic SEO is a way to secure top ranks on the search engine result page organically. But you might not necessarily get the first rank because there are a lot of websites you are competing against. Chances are you might not even find a place on the first SERP page. However, the Paid Ads are always positioned on the top of the SERP. There can be a couple of paid ads found at the bottom of the page too.
- Copy: While indexed on the SERP, you might notice that paid ads have an “Ad” tag attached to them. Also, the headlines of these paid ads tend to be smaller than the ones ranked organically. Even the body copy of the organic search results happens to be longer than that of the paid advertisements.
- Budget: Of all the differences found between organic search and paid search, the budget remains the biggest one. While in paid ads, you pay the adverts to secure a position in the SERP or on the Pay-Per-Click basis, you pay no money in SEO. Organic SEO is all about producing quality content and using the right SEO techniques to rank high and generate traffic.
Organic SEO vs Paid Ads: How to Determine Which is Best for Your Business?
While making decisions about choosing between either organic SEO or paid ads, keep the following factors in mind. These shall help you know which is better for your business.
- Timeline: By now you already know that SEO takes months before showing improvements while paid ads deliver almost instant results. If you sell products and services that are time-bound, paid ads are your thing.
- Budget: Both the marketing techniques are equally good and effective when it comes to delivering results. If you have a good hold of your ad spent, you can invest in paid advertisements. However, if you are short on budget but aim to improve your online performance, SEO is your biggest weapon.
- Objectives (Target Results): Unless your objective is to achieve immediate results, you can always go for Search Engine Optimization.
Takeaway: Organic Search vs Paid Ads
If you aim to scale the best results, avoid depending solely on any one technique. Try using a combination of two or more. Like you can use either SEO, SEM, E-mail marketing or decide to go for a combination of both to achieve the best results. However, do not get confused or jump on ten different techniques and mess your success. Try concentrating on one of two digital marketing techniques to achieve the best results.