Breaking Down Organic vs Paid Search

Breaking Down Organic vs Paid Search

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We live in a world where we can get anything almost instantaneously. As a marketer, this has affected my job in numerous ways, one of the overarching themes being that my clients typically want results and they want them yesterday.

That's a hard argument to go up against when you are trying to explain to them the benefits of creating an inbound marketing strategy.  Most won't see results immediately and therefore want to try something different.  One problem I often face when suggesting inbound marketing tactics, is advising clients on organic vs paid search

First, let's look at why organic vs paid search compete with each other...

How do most people find the answers to questions they have these days? Google.  "Google it" is a term that we hear daily. Even my grandfather, 93, has replaced "look it up in the encyclopedia" with "Google it."

As of March, Google sees 12.9 billion monthly searches and holds a 67.5% share of the U.S. search market.

Therefore, since almost everyone is using Google, and frequently at that, you want to make sure a potential prospect finds your content over your competitors.

Again, due to the fast paced society we now live in, Google search users want the answers to their questions instantaneously.  The likelihood that a prospect is going to look past the first search results is slim to none.

According to Search Engine Watch, 50.5% of users click on one of the first three links with 33% clicking on the first link.

How do you get on that first page of Google and up to the top?

There are two ways: you can pay for it or you can build an inbound marketing strategy with a comprehensive blog that organically helps you improve your SEO.

PAID VS ORGANIC
PAID VS ORGANIC

Below you will find a break down of the positives and negatives of each:

GOOGLE ADWORDS

Negatives:

It costs money. Furthermore, depending on what keywords your competing for and how competitive your market is, it could cost a lot of money.

It's instantaneous and only instantaneous. You pay to play and once you're done paying you're done playing.

It's not easy.  I set out to learn Google AdWords a few years back.  What I thought would require me to read a few articles and do a couple of trial and error runs actually turned into a learning process that still has me calling up Google AdWords representatives for every campaign I run.

Additional deliverables may be required. Not only is the advertising management time consuming, you may also have to develop landing pages and thank-you pages that help make your sales funnel more seamless and relevant to your ads.  After all, just simply advertising your website isn't guaranteed to generate leads.

Positives:

Brand awareness.  If your ads are running in an advantageous spot, you will be getting infront of searchers, even if they aren't clicking on your ad. This can be great for raising brand awareness and getting your name in front of potential prospects.

It's instantaneous. Once you hit go, your ads will start showing and, if you've set up your campaign appropriately, you will start generating leads. That's potential revenue in your pocket stat.

INBOUND MARKETING

Negatives:

It takes a long time.  Getting to that first page of Google is not going to happen overnight. It requires time to have an inbound marketing strategy deliver results.

It will cost money.  Whether you are taking the time to blog and create an effective inbound marketing strategy or you are hiring someone to do it for you, it's going to cost you.  Often times you as a small business owner don't have the time.

Positives:

It's organic. As tested by Search Engine Watch, when it comes to organic vs paid search rankings, organic rankings get clicked 94% of the time.  Think of how you yourself use Google.  Do you click on the ads or do you trust the organic content more? Most of us choose the organic content.

It continues to work for you.  As Mike Volpe, CMO of HubSpot, stated in a recent fireside chat I attended, 70% of HubSpot's monthly blogging leads come from blog posts not written that month.  That means their blog content continues to work for them and bring in prospects months later.

It offers value and builds trust. In order to get good search rankings you need to create high quality content.  That means your content offers value to your prospects.  By creating this type of content and not asking or selling something in an advertising space, you instantly build a better relationship and sense of trust with your prospect.  That's a good first impression to make.

Whatever marketing tactic you choose to employ, as always, make sure you are testing and measuring results. How much does one thing cost vs the other? How much time? How qualified are the leads each tactic brings in? Don't forget to be always looking at the bigger picture and the future as well.

When it comes to the organic vs paid search debate which route do you take? Why?

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