What Is the Difference Between Organic and Paid Appearances in Search Results?

picture showing organic ranking

The Internet is by far one of the most useful tools that business owners can take advantage of. In fact, it’s possible to run entire marketing campaigns strictly online.

But, not everybody knows everything they should about organic ranking vs. paid ad placement. So, we’ve put together a guide that outlines all of the essential information.

Let’s dive in.

Organic Search

As the name suggests, organic search results are those that your audience is able to find entirely on their own. In order to achieve this, you will need to have a strong understanding of your target demographic’s behavior and thought process.

More specifically, you will need to consider factors like:

  • Geographic location and time zone
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Annual income
  • Level of education
  • Occupation

This will help provide insight into the type of information they are searching for online.

For example, let’s assume that your company primarily sells running shoes that are specifically designed for people who are overweight. These products make jogging, walking, etc. far more comfortable than the average running shoe within the same price range does.

So, the type of keywords that you target will likely be along the lines of ‘feet hurt when running,’ ‘comfortable running shoes,’ etc.

Over time, content that you create that incorporates relevant keywords will begin to rank higher on Google as long as people are searching for them. As you might expect, capitalizing upon organic search is a long-term goal that often takes months to provide results.

The good news, however, is that you can use organic search to lay the foundation for a highly lucrative marketing strategy.

Paid Placement

It should come as no surprise that paid placement ads require your business to allocate a bit of money. But, the amount that you spend does not always deliver proportionate results.

You will still need to have a solid understanding of your target audience in order to determine ad placement, budget, etc.

For example, it may not be worth the money you will need to spend in order to secure a paid advertising spot for a particular keyword. But, a keyword that has been proven to consistently drive traffic to your website may be notably cheap in comparison.

Of course, you will need to closely monitor your paid ad campaign in order to determine its ROI. If you aren’t generating a sufficient amount of income, you will need to make changes to the type of demographic and target keywords that you focus on.

The Pros and Cons of Each

In order to make the most of either method, you will need to be aware of both the positives and negatives associated with them. Fortunately, the benefits often highly outweigh the detriments.

Let’s take a look at what you should know.

Organic Results

For those who are looking to establish a long-term digital marketing strategy with a significant amount of ROI, organic ranking is the ideal choice. As you create more and more content that focuses on specific keywords, your website will begin to rank higher on Google.

You can further your efforts by distributing the content you create through additional methods, such as email marketing or social media. Social media can be particularly beneficial since it allows your followers to share your content.

If someone with a particularly large audience decides to share a post you’ve made, there is even the chance that your content goes viral.

Of course, the major drawback of organic ranking is the time it takes in order to be effective.

As previously mentioned, it often takes a period of months in order to see any legitimate returns. In some cases, it could even take over a year before your content begins gaining traction.

When you do begin to see results, however, there’s a strong chance that they will easily meet (or even exceed) your expectations.

Paid Ads

For those who are looking for results in the near future, paid ads are often a more suitable option. When configured appropriately, you can even begin experiencing the benefits within a few hours.

Paid ads are also one of the most efficient ways to quickly generate revenue.

But, paid ads also come at a (literal) cost. You can only go as far as your money can take you, and some organizations may simply not have a sufficient enough budget to achieve the results they want.

Additionally, paid ads only work as long as you continue investing money into them. If you don’t allocate funds to your paid advertising campaign, you can’t expect any type of return.

This can prove to be difficult to handle if you have spent a significant amount of money on this type of advertising but haven’t quite generated the revenue that you need. Additionally, you will need to have a comprehensive background in running paid advertisements in order to make the most of this method.

Organic Ranking vs. Paid Placement: Which Is Best?

More often than not, a combination of both organic ranking and paid ad placement will provide optimal results. How far you lean in either direction will depend on whether your company’s major goals are short-term or long-term. From here, you’ll be able to capitalize upon the most appropriate methods and hit metrics like never before.

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