Landscape of the digital world

Paid vs. Organic Search Strategies Transcript

There is so much confusion with respect to the difference between organic and paid search strategies. Understanding the terms and when to employ the different strategies will help companies be seen online and more importantly, be remember online.

Transcript  – Paid vs Organic Search Strategies

The world is changing. To some for the better, for others not so much. But one thing that we can all agree on is like it or not, digital technology is here to stay. Whether you are a student, business owner, or consumer it is important to remember it isn’t how much technology we use, but how we leverage it. So sit back, strap in, we are going on a wild ride through the digital revolution.

When faced with the decision of how to best position your organization online to be found and influence, the two most obvious choices are organic search and paid search strategies. Now I know I have already hit you with two terms that may or may not be clear to you so for ease, I want to define them and talk about the biggest difference between the two. To begin, both terms are about marketing your online content which can make all the difference in the world to your goals.

Alright so now that I have got your interest piqued, let’s start with organic search strategies. The biggest difference between organic and paid search is the cost of the campaigns. When you execute an organic campaign, there is no direct cost associated with the execution of the strategy which if it works, naturally translates into phenomenal returns on your investment! Since you are going to want to put your most important information directly on your website, the focus you want to promote is getting people there, after all, most conversions happen on the website rather than through social media! If you look at your site analytics you are going to find that the majority of traffic generated to your site is organic so the strategy makes perfect sense. Tools of the organic campaign are consistent effort on your use of keywords, coding strategies, and producing awesome content for all your channels. The caveat to relying on the organic strategy is that it takes time to build up the momentum but once the search engines start to notice your site, their algorithms, or mathematical systems set up to measure the relevance of your site to your target market, will help float you higher in search results. Other factors you will really want to consider are site load speed and the overall user experience. See? I told you this is not a quick fix. But the good news is that there are a lot of benefits associated with organic search like increased conversion as those landing on your site are looking for your solution, and it really does boost credibility in a very busy marketplace. Let’s say you want to find a new t-shirt and you type what you are looking for into the search bar. You get about six to ten results that have that little icon beside them that say ad. If you are like most people, for whatever reason you will scroll past these entries because, well they paid to get there. If your company appears once or several times in the next spots, you increase the odds that a consumer will click on your link as the frequency will be increased. Finally, another benefit to organic strategies is that the level of data you receive from this is massive and it can help you going forward with the next steps of your campaign. For example, because your visitor is arriving from an organic search, you can better understand which page on your site is driving more traffic and with this data you can help make more informed decisions on how to improve your online communications going forward.

Now on the other side of the coin is paid search strategies and, well, they are just as they sound. You pay for your site to appear on the search engine results pages that match your designated keywords. This means that because you are paying to appear, the result is typically in about 24 hours. So you are now appearing in the ad section and people are starting to see your site a lot faster than through organic search, which can be really beneficial. Also, through the employment of paid search, you will get important information such as keywords searched by the visitor, their location and age and a lot more. In short, it will help you target to whom you are advertising. This makes the investment a lot more targeted and since the people searching for your product and clicking your ads are actually looking to buy, the conversion rate is very high as well. So really you are paying for immediate exposure on the top returns of a keyword, the additional data, and of course a higher conversion rate. Not bad when you consider that the price you pay is based on your bid for the placement so really you determine the cost of the campaign. The downside to this is the expense and the possibility that your audience may look past you in the results because you have an ad icon beside your company name.

So that is a lot of information, so let me explain it in another way. I was approached as a consultant by a company looking for advice on how to get more attention online. Being a new company, the idea of getting immediate online attention was essential because if you aren’t being found online, you aren’t in business. What I recommended to the company was to invest heavily in their paid search strategies upfront while they worked on building their organic strategy. This ensured that the company would immediately be found online while their organic growth was able to mature, and they started appearing in the top five search pages. Then during phase two, the company was able to back off of the paid strategy somewhat so their advertising dollars freed could be reallocated to other forms of promotion. As their climb continued they placed less reliance on the paid strategy until they were on the front search engine results page.

The idea of paid and organic search strategies actually work best in tandem. The paid gets you the immediate results while you are growing in the background. But pulling the paid plug too soon means that your front page ad disappears immediately and you are still not found. But if you are patient with the paid strategy, the organic strategy will help you get on the front page and provide sustained placement at little or now cost. If you find your site starts to slip, boost it with the paid strategy until you can modify the organic approach to get you back on top.

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© 2021. Keith J Connell. All international rights reserved.

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