Organic Search Vs Paid Search [SEO vs Google AdWords]

Organic Search Vs Paid Search [SEO vs Google AdWords]

A common question and a big decision that most businesses face is: “Should we be putting our budget into Google AdWords or SEO?”. The short answer to this question is that both strategies can get you to the first page of Google for the terms you want.

For each business, it is very different depending on what other strategies are taking place, what timescale you are working with and whether you have the skills internally or you have to hire externally. Also, do you have the budget?


What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation is about optimising your website to target keywords so that you show up higher in search engines like Google. Your website’s search engine ranking gets decided based on hundreds of different algorithms. Google are very guarded about what they tell the public about their algorithms (mainly to stop major manipulation or competitors).

However, through lots of studies and experience marketers have good ideas of what algorithms work.

What is PPC?

Pay Per Click advertising is a strategy in which you effectively buy traffic to your website from Google AdWords. There are more advanced ways that Google AdWords charge you for traffic such as cost per thousand impressions (CPM) but we will just talk about Cost Per Click (CPC) today. You also can use retargeting with Google AdWords so when a visitor visits your website but doesn’t convert, you can make your Ad show up on a website that uses Google AdSense. This is called Display Advertising. Display Advertising can either be text, images or flashing images.


Advantages of SEO

  • When a search query is made, 85% of clicks go on organic results rather than paid ads
  • The ROI of SEO will continue long after PPC has peaked
  • 86% of searchers trust organic listings rather than paid listings.


Advantages of PPC

  • PPC is instant traffic to your website, SEO needs time to build authority
  • You can manage your budget and campaigns easily with Google AdWords’ software
  • 50% of people arriving at a retailer’s site from paid ads are more likely to buy than those who came from an organic link


Which is better?

It really does depend on what you are doing currently and what you wish to achieve. If you are looking to launch a product in a matter of weeks then PPC is for you. If you are looking to build authority, then SEO is for you. If you want to become that trusted figure in the organic search results then you need to invest in SEO. It will take longer, but the results will also last longer too.


Summary and next steps

When building or growing a business it is a good idea to experiment with what works and what doesn’t for your business. Ideally, you want to have a good Search strategy that incorporates both SEO and PPC. Research your keywords and if they are too competitive at the moment in organic research results, use PPC and vice versa for PPC being too competitive and expensive. Set your goals, execute them and constantly test what is working.


About the Author

Matt Pyke is the Founder and CEO of Fly High Media, based in Manchester. Fly High Media is a full-service digital marketing agency founded in 2015, made up of a team of Millennials specialising in Social and Search. 

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