SEO: Pro’s and Con’s of Organic vs Paid Search Marketing

Sep 22, 2015 | Search Engine Optimisation

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Kevin Fouche

SEO: Pro’s and Con’s of Organic vs Paid Search Marketing

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

There has always been a battle within digital marketing circles about which method of driving traffic is superior: Organic search marketing or paid advertising?

While both paid and organic SEO tactics can be considered viable options for any business to try, both come with their own unique pro’s and con’s.

In April, 2014 search engine web browsers typed in over 18.6 billion natural searches, according to a report by CornScore. By combining this factual tidbit with the fact that approximately 94% of Internet users use Google, Yahoo and Bing! to find what they are looking for, it becomes obvious that establishing a visible presence on the search engines is vital to online business success.

SEO: Pro’s and Con’s of Organic vs Paid Search Marketing

Organic Search Traffic

How It Works: Organic search engine optimisation involves implementing various strategic marketing techniques, monitoring analytics, and most importantly, giving the browsers the information they’re looking for through quality content.

When a search engine browser searches for a word or specific phrase, they are given what the search engine’s algorithms determine to be the best list of web pages that match their search. Online marketers knowledgeable in the ever-changing field of organic SEO know that by consistently combining quality content with trusted SEO tactics, the number of page viewers and customers is potentially endless.

The ultimate goal is to be seen by as many people as possible, so a spot in the top three pages for a specific keyword or phrase is desired.

Organic Pro’s

  • Trust: Search engine browsers perceive website’s on the first page of their searched keyword to be more trustworthy. A high search ranking implies the website is of greater quality, is authoritative in their industry, and gives a perception of leadership to the website. Because organic search gives users a greater sense of trust in websites which rank higher, they are more likely to click on an organic site as opposed to a paid advertisement.
  • Click-Through-Rates (CTR): CTR percentages are more important for websites who follow up on potential customers who do not show immediate intent to purchase a product or service. CTR is important because it allows a company to follow up through email, telephone, or snail mail to try and convert them into paying customers. Click through and conversion rates have been shown to be exponentially higher in websites that use organic search as their means of gaining visibility.

Organic Con’s

  • Time: Time is one commodity that cannot be bought back. Attaining the status of a Page 1 search engine ranking is often a long and daunting process. For anyone without the SEO skills and Internet marketing know-how, it can potentially take years to reach the first page for a keyword or phrase. The majority of busy business owners do not posses the free time to learn such an encompassing skill, so it is often advised for businesses to turn to a reliable digital marketing company. A company with the right set of tools can turn what would be a process of years for a newbie into months depending on the keyword. Regardless, organic search engine marketing should be seen as a long term investment.

Paid Search Traffic

How It Works: Paying for search engine traffic is referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. A business pays for these boxes of advertising space which typically are found at the top and to the right of the organic search results. Where the ad is seen is determined by a bidding war. Ironically, the roles of pro’s and con’s for paid search traffic are the opposite of organic search traffic.

Paid Pro’s

  • Time: Unlike organic search marketing which can take months to years for a keyword to reach the top of the search results, paid advertisements can be seen by the users immediately after paying for the ad’s. This saves time in the sense that a company does not have to wait for traffic results.
  • Targeting: Pay per click advertising allows marketers to tailor their paid campaigns to reach a specific target demographic of people. If the marketer chooses, they can target people in specific countries or cities, a specific age, income level, job, etc.

Paid Con’s

  • Cost: If a keyword or phrase is already popular in paid advertisement programs the marketer can expect to pay a high sum just for a click by a person who may or may not become a customer. Utilising paid search campaigns requires a specific set of expertise. Doing otherwise by someone with little to no experience is an easy way to drain funds.
  • Distrust: The majority of search engine users place little faith in the quality of paid advertisements. This is most likely due to the fact that most web users know paid ad’s usually want to sell something. To find the helpful information they are looking for, web users place more trust in organic search rankings.

Does your business really need costly paid ad’s that don’t always translate into sales? Organic search traffic is the tried-and-true method for obtaining loyal lifelong customers. People want information that meets their demands. Give the people what they want by filling your website with useful, organic SEO material that meets the customers needs and brings your company into a brighter spotlight within the search engines.

Still not sure if organic search engine marketing is right for you and your business. No problem! Feel free to contact us right away for more information!

So how do you get the most out of SEO for your business?

To give your business its best chance of success it really needs to be part of a well constructed Inbound Marketing plan.

Check out this blog for an overview of what Inbound Marketing is all about.
What is Inbound Marketing and how does it work?

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Kevin Fouché, Pixel Fish Director