Organic or Paid Search Strategy – Which is best for your business?
The goal for the vast majority of marketers, especially those working in the digital sphere of the industry is to achieve a first page search result for their website or business. But, there’s more than one way to skin cat. We’re going to look at whether an organic or paid search strategy is best for your business.
If you’re very new to digital marketing then check out our guide ‘What’s the difference between organic and paid search?’
Choosing the right strategy depends on a number of factors budget for example. But, we’re going to help break down the Pros and Cons of both organic and paid search so you can make an informed decision. Ultimately, you’ll likely need a combination of both organic and paid in the long run.
Organic Search Pros and Cons
Ranking highly on Google or other search engines such as Bing, is very desirable for businesses. It’s a signal to users that your business is a reliable source of information or trusted provider of services. Whilst there are many tactics which claim to be able to ‘game’ a search engines algorithms, we like the quote below.
“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.”Phil Frost, Main Street ROI
Rather than focusing on tricking Google or other search engines into showcasing your page, simply focus on providing the best possible user experience.
Pro – Cost
This is definitely a big factor to take into consideration when deciding between organic or paid search, especially for start-ups and SME’s. Whilst it’s possible to spend large sums of money on SEO, it’s not required. There are many ways to climb search engine rankings without investing anything other than time.
Pro – Lifetime returns
SEO is the gift that keeps on giving. Whilst the initial process can be lengthy (we’ll get to cons) the long term returns from ensuring your website is search engine friendly can last for quite some time. Once a page has been deemed to be worthy of a high ranking, it will likely be some time before it begins to slip down in the rankings.
Pro – Click through rates (CTR)
Generally speaking, research suggests CTR for websites which rank in the highest place on a search engine results page are higher than those who don’t.
Con – Time
Although doing SEO work might technically be free, it will cost you something equally as precious; time. Although you won’t require a specific budget for the SEO work carried out on your website like you would with paid search, it is likely to tie-up resources. Depending on the size of your business, you may even require extra personnel to manage and maintain your website content. Long form, informative and effective content takes time and resources to produce.
Paid Search Pros and Cons
There’s nothing better than getting to jump the queue. Paid search strategies act as a fast track ticket for the search engine theme park. You’ll be able to quickly and precisely target potential customers exactly when they’re looking for your services. This however, comes at a potentially high price.
Pro – Targeted
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing over more traditional methods is the ability to precisely target a single potential customer right when they are looking for the service your business provides.
Pro – Buying Intent
Someone searching for a product or service might be one of the clearest buying intent signals. When keywords which indicate clear buying intent (buy, purchase, cheap and pricing etc…) is met with a targeted ad in the search engine results page, a user’s enquiry is very quickly solved.
PPC campaigns require planning, research and consistent refinement in order to be executed effectively and ensure a profitable ROI.
Pro – Speed
There’s no denying it, generating a consistent stream of SEO content is time consuming and labour intensive. Whereas paid search strategies are usually a quicker way to reach your online business goals. In fact, there is arguably no quicker way to reach your audience’s search results page quicker than with a well executed PPC campaign.
Creating effective PPC isn’t exactly easy. It takes a level of expertise and persistence in order to refine PPC campaigns into a profitable endeavour. It’s easy to blow through a small fortune without securing a single sales lead.
Con – Cost
There is no denying it, PPC campaigns require an opening of the wallet. How much depends on the level of competition for keywords, this varies from industry to industry.
Large players in your industry may likely regularly take the top spot on keywords your business would like to target. Being seen next to industry leaders is never a bad thing though, even if you are in second place.
The juice is worth the squeezeFilm – The girl next door
However, it’s important to remember that the return on investment of a well executed PPC is likely to be worth it.
So, Organic or Paid Search Strategy? It takes a mix.
While there are pros and cons to both a organic and paid search strategy, both should be an important part of your businesses online marketing strategy.
By optimising your website using the variety of SEO tactics, you’ll ensure your website is regularly found organically for a long time. Whilst your PPC campaigns will ensure you capture customers who show clear buying intent.
Your ultimate goal should be to make it easier to find your business online. A strong combination of both organic and paid search will ensure your business is not only meeting, but exceeding your goals.