Can You Really Compare Paid and Organic Search?

Can You Really Compare Paid and Organic Search?


For most companies, the question of using paid search (PPC) rather than organic SEO tactics can prove to be a difficult decision.  Both methods come with specific benefits and drawbacks. In reality, some users will be happy to click on PPC ads, whereas other users will be distrustful of these.

Let’s take a look at the current marketing landscape and dive into how there are better ways to look at performance comparisons regarding paid search and SEO.  Understanding these distinct differences will make sure you see the best return for your money.  As you will see, combining both paid search and organic SEO often significantly improve your click through rate.

Organic Search

Organic search results refer to the listings of web pages retuned by a search engine’s algorithms.  These results will closely match your search string of keywords.  Marketers can utilise SEO and content assets to achieve a higher search engine ranking.  If you want your business to grow and expand, you’ll likely be aiming to be ranked on the first search results page.  The advantages of using organic growth are highly dependent on visibility.  The higher your ranking, the higher the advantage.  If you are not listed on the first page, you will see little if any advantage.

Organic Search Benefits

  1. Trust and Credibility: Higher search engine rankings bring a perception of credibility.
  2. Ranking: After you have achieved a higher ranking, it is easier to maintain your ranking.
  3. Click Through Rates: For businesses with a longer buying cycle, click through rates are particularly important. Click through rates are often better with organic searches.
  4. Inbound Marketing: This is an organic search strategy and requires marketers to develop content assets. This includes how users interact with content as they move through their purchasing journey.

Paid Search

Basically, paid search results are advertisements.  A business can pay to have ads displayed when users complete a search containing specific keywords.  These ads tend to be displayed above and to the right of your organic search results.

Paid Ads (PPC) Benefits

  1. Time: Unlike using organic search strategy that can take months, paid results are automatically placed at the top of the rankings as soon as you pay for your ad placement.
  2. Target your audience: PPC campaigns work well for smaller businesses as they can be tailored to reach very specific users.
  3. Increase your click through rates: A search that makes use of a product or brand-related keyword will often get more clicks than an organic search.

Paid Search Growth Has Long Outpaced Organic Growth

It’s no secret to marketers in the know that Google has steadily made updates in recent years that have directly impacted organic traffic.  As a result of these updates, overall organic traffic continues to show a decline.  These changes help keep paid search click growth strong.

Using a mix of both paid searches and organic search growth is definitely better! For many businesses, you will see the best results when you use a mix of both organic and paid search results.