Your Guide to Understanding Organic Search vs Paid Search Ads in 2020

Published by Mike Fernandez in Marketing on January 15, 2020

When using a search engine to research a topic or to find a product or service, it’s important to know the difference between an organic post and a paid search ad. One has been molded through the time-consuming content building process (SEO), while the other is created to convert traffic quickly. To understand the difference between these two methods, first, you must know what they do and how they work. Then, we can explore how they can both be used to help your business grow.

For the purpose of this blog and because of its impact, we’ll use Google as our platform. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably using Google search to stun your friends into thinking you actually knew the Olympic Games started in 776 B.C. in Greece when the question comes up on Jeopardy. You aren’t the only one, Google accounts for a whopping 92.71% of global search traffic. But, how does it help your business?

Organic Search

Whenever you type a search query into Google’s search bar, you’re given a list of relatable links. If it’s a product or service, there’s likely going to be three or four ads, followed by the organic listings. Sometimes, there’s a map displayed, but that’s dependent on your search query.

The actual order of these organic listings is determined by a deeply intertwined algorithm, based on many variables. The variables that determine ranking can fill a 1,000+ page book, but essentially, they’re ranked by the quality and content of the page. Here at Symphony, we strive to create quality content and use proven tactics to create a progressive increase of that content to the first search results page of Google. Potential leads searching for a service online want a quick solution and if the content is on-topic and easily understandable, they’re going to feel confident about moving forward to learn more — potentially becoming a customer.

That being said, the goal of any SEO campaign is to get your site to the top of page one, and in the process, many companies fall victim to sketchy sales tactics created from these goals. Our Symphony SEO wiz, Kyle, spoke about these common SEO scams to stop you from falling victim to these snake oil sales tactics. Essentially, you should avoid any company promising the delivery of a first-page result. While that’s always the goal, the process takes time and isn’t always a sure thing.

Paid Search

When searching for a product or service, the results will typically display ads above the organic listings. If you’re not paying attention, these can sometimes look like organic results. But, these are clearly defined by a green Ad box next to the URL as shown in our example.

Paid Search Ad Example

These ads are created on the platform and can be adjusted to display for certain users based on a variety of unique factors — including demographics, location, and keyword searches. These ads typically run on a fixed-cost basis and can be changed or adjusted as needed.

The goal of a paid ad is to quickly drive traffic to a landing page. It’s important to have every step of the paid ad sales cycle working together properly for this to be successful. The search query should lead to a relatable ad that forwards to a corresponding landing page. At that point, the potential lead should be progressed through the sales cycle, with a call-to-action that — when done right — eventually leads to a closed sale.

While Paid ads can be pricey for certain categories, the overall goal is to create profitability. That’s why at Symphony, our goal is to create the highest quality paid ad campaigns by tracking leads to determine our progress. Through proven-data, you can track your progress and we can make adjustments to ensure your success.

Organic Search vs Paid Search

The difference between Organic and paid ads is simple. Organic ads are ranked based on relatability and quality. Paid ads are created through a Google Ads dashboard and put into an auction based on many variables. As you may have guessed, paid ads are paid for when someone clicks on the ad (also known as CPC or cost per click) or when it’s displayed (also known as CPM or cost per thousand views). Like Organic rankings, this topic is incredibly intertwined. You can learn more information from our blog about what google PPC is, and whether or not you need it for your business.

Organic search and paid search are two different works of art, but they have the same end-result — to create more traffic for your site. Organic search typically takes six months to start seeing results. The benefit of paid search is that results are almost instantaneous. If a campaign is competitive and working properly, it’ll start receiving impressions as soon as the ads are approved, and the campaign is pushed live. When used in unison with organic marketing efforts, it creates a well-oiled machine that can start driving sales instantly while the organic side creates free traffic.

The Symphony Agency Helps You Drive Traffic

Each month, we help many businesses generate a larger web presence by driving traffic to their site using organic and paid search ads. Our technical team is comprised of Google-certified search experts and data analysts with years of experience refining and learning the best tactics to leverage for your business.

For more information about organic and paid search and how it can help your business, contact us, or email your account manager.

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