Pay Per Click vs. SEO: What’s Best for Business?

Google Search: Paid vs. Organic

Pay Per Click vs. SEO: What’s Best for Business?

Two of the most prominent types of digital marketing on Google come in the form of search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. They’re both very different and have varying sets of success metrics, and both are important businesses both online and offline.

It’s important to know the differences between the two different strategies so you know exactly where your marketing budget is goin.

What is Organic Search?

Organic search refers to the natural listings found in Google and Bing. When a user searches for something on these platforms, they are presented with a set of non-paid results. This is what we refer to as natural or organic results. When a business invests in an SEO strategy, they are working to make their pages show in this set of natural, non-paid set of results.

Why Choose Organic Search?

The biggest key with organic search is that you will not pay for clicks. Every time someone searches a keyword or phrase related to your business and clicks on a result, the click is essentially free. It takes a bit of elbow grease to get the listing to show in this result set, but once you are listed in this section, you’ll will stay there for the foreseeable future and benefit from free clicks.

What is Paid Search?

Paid search refers to the advertised listings on Google and Bing. When a user searches for a keyword on these platforms, they are presented with a set of paid results at the top and at the bottom of the page. Every ad that is shown in either of these sections is paid for by an advertiser to show here. And of course, when a user clicks on the listing, the advertiser is charged.

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Different Types of Paid Search

As you will be able to see from a crowded Google search engine results page, there are multiple types of paid ads in the result set. You’ll first see text ads at the top and bottom of the page, and if you are searching for a product, you’ll see a section of shopping ads with product titles, product images, pricing information and reviews. Additionally, for local advertisers, you may see an ad showing in the 3-pack of localized results. Try searching “Denver SEO Company” for example and you’ll notice there is an ad displayed in this section.

Why Choose Paid Search?

The number one reason to invest into paid search is to acquire traffic now. Unlike an SEO strategy, a paid advertising campaign will get you listed on the first page of Google or Bing for your targeted search terms right away. You’ll have to pay for each click you receive, but you’ll be getting traffic for your website right away.

Where Does Social Media Fit In This?

Although Google tried its hand at social media with Google+, the platform is driven by search. It’s important, especially for an SEO company, to have profiles and information built out on important social media platforms, but it won’t necessarily improve organic or paid search.

Securing a Branded Result Page

The one area where social media does impact SEO is by having a fully branded search engine results page. This means when someone searches for your business, they will be presented with a variety of different properties about your business. This should include a Facebook page, a Twitter page, an Instagram (if applicable to a business), a LinkedIn company page and even a Yelp page.

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Check out your brand result page by searching your company name in Google.

What Should You Do?

It’s important to work with a digital marketing company who can evaluate your current needs and choose the right strategy with you. For quick traffic, choose paid search. For long-term, sustainable traffic that takes a bit of time to acquire, choose organic search.

Most importantly, you want to be active on one or the other to increase visibility to your website.

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