August 9, 2018 | By: Tony Mastri

What Is the Difference Between Organic vs. Paid Search in 2019?

If there’s one thing 2019 has made us realize it’s that there are numerous ways we can drive traffic to our websites and landing pages. One of the best sources we can tap into for traffic is Google.

Google is the largest search engine in the world with over 1.17 billion users across the globe. There’s certainly more than enough website attention to go around. There are two ways to go about tapping into this massive traffic source — organic and paid search.

What Is Organic Search?

In the world of online marketing, the term “organic” refers to something that happens naturally. In this instance, “organic search” refers to the users who find your content on Google or Bing by clicking on one of the unpaid results from the search engine results pages.

Here are a few 2019 SEO stats pertaining to organic search:

  • Google is extremely selective about the sites they rank in the top five search results. If you make it into one of the top five spots that means Google regards your content as high-quality.
  • 92% of all searchers don’t venture beyond the first page of Google. That leaves only 8% of all search traffic for page two and beyond, a less than ideal percentage if you’re relying upon Google organic search results to drive sales for your business.
  • Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply rank on the first page of Google. Often you must be number one to reap the true the benefits of organic search. The first listing on Google receives 33% of clicks from organic searches. That’s why you should always strive for the number one spot on Google.

The one downside to ranking well on Google is the amount of time and work it takes for your site to be seen in the organic search results.

It can easily take six months or more before you can obtain a first page ranking on Google. However, when you are ranked, you will reap the benefits of Google organic traffic.

what is organic search?

In the early days of the internet, it was incredibly easy to rank well on Google. There wasn’t much competition, and Google’s algorithms were fairly easy to game.

Now that practically every business has a website, Google has begun cracking down on “black hat” SEO practices that allowed people to rank through illegitimate tactics (such as keyword stuffing and using private blog networks).

In 2019, the journey to ranking well on Google isn’t easy, but the result is very much worth the effort. Google has become part of our daily lives, and customers rely upon Google search queries every day to inform their purchase decisions. Simply put, organic traffic is still very much relevant when it comes to driving traffic to your business.

If you’re searching for reputable SEO companies to help increase your organic traffic, contact MARION today.

What Is Paid Search?

You can think of paid searches as a “front of the line” pass in the sense that your ad will always appear at the top of Google, even above those who have worked hard to earn the top spot organically.

Like most online advertising platforms, Google allows you to pay for your link to be seen first. Some online consumers aren’t even aware that the first few links at the top of a Google search are ads (although Google labels each ad with a tiny green box).

Ads fit naturally at the top, and it’s easy to forget or overlook the fact that they are indeed ads. Where organically ranking on Google can take months or longer before you see results, Google paid ads can provide relatively instant results. This is the primary reason that paid searches have become extremely popular.

what is paid search?

There’s a reason Google Ads is one of the most popular advertising platforms on the web. Internet marketers realize the effectiveness of Google paid search and have jumped in head-first.

Despite its popularity, it would be very unwise to start an AdWords campaign without knowing what you’re doing. If you don’t set up your ad in the proper manner, there’s a good chance it won’t perform well, and you’ll quickly hemorrhage money.

If you’re searching for targeted pay-per-click advertising experts to manage your paid campaigns, contact MARION today.

Access Your “Paid and organic” Report by Linking Google Ads and Search Console

If you’re already practicing search engine optimization and using Google Ads to get leads for your business, you can access a special report. There is a report in Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) called Paid and organic. This report shows the paid and organic results for a single keyword.

organic vs. paid search statistics

For example, imagine that you are running paid search ads for the exact match keyword “digital marketing services,” and you also have a page on your public website that ranks well organically for that same keyword. The Paid and organic report would show you how many paid clicks and impressions you received for “digital marketing services” in addition to the organic clicks and impressions during that same time period.

Marketers find that advertising for a search term for which you’re already ranking results in more total clicks than doing one or the other. For instance, imagine you’re getting 30 organic clicks per week for “digital marketing services.” It happens like clockwork, and you can’t seem to get any more clicks than that.

When you start using Google pay-per-click ads, your paid campaigns generate about 10 clicks per week, but your organic clicks increase to 35 per week. Marketers speculate that seeing a brand in both paid and organic results encourages people to favor your brand by clicking on your results at a higher rate.

This Google help guide will help your connect your accounts and access the report. Now you can analyze data from your organic and paid search results.

Organic Search vs. Paid Search – Which One Is Better?

As paid search continues to skyrocket in popularity, the topic of natural search vs. paid search has led to many heated arguments.

Some have argued, quite enthusiastically, that organic search will always be better due to the sheer amount of traffic you can drive to your business website without the need for an advertising budget. Others believe that paying to “cut to the front of the line” is the better option because it shaves time off the long period it would take to otherwise rank well on Google.

Both sides make valid points, but what it all boils down to is this — some people will click on paid advertisements while others will click on organic links. Instead of focusing on organic vs. paid search the savvy marketer should focus their attention on both streams of traffic.

Think about it this way — every business owner and marketer would love to organically rank for the keyword(s) they deem to be beneficial for their business. It’s ridiculous to believe that every website on the internet is capable of ranking in the number one position for the keyword they have deemed beneficial for their business.

In the same sense, every brand loves the idea of being first for every possible query, yet the amount of money they would have to invest to achieve this goal would likely bankrupt them. There are just too many highly competitive keywords to cover.

Leveraging the benefits of both organic and paid queries will allow you to gain the maximum amount of exposure. There will be certain situations where you will want to use one source of traffic over the other.

For example, if you’re looking to draw in free, consistent traffic for your business, implementing a long-term SEO plan should be your plan of attack. However, if you need quick results, paid search will be the best option.

Typically speaking, organic search is the most cost-effective long-term strategy to draw in traffic. A well-optimized Google Adwords campaign can be a cost-effective traffic-generation strategy. It all comes down to finding a balance between organic and paid search.

Implementing the best traffic strategy for your business

Savvy marketers know there is value in leveraging both organic and paid search. It’s your job to examine the organic vs. paid search statistics in your industry and determine which combination is right for your business.

No matter what type of marketing tactic you intend to use to drive traffic to your website and landing pages, you can rely upon the expertise of MARION to help you make the right decision to meet the needs of your business.

Our digital marketing agency in Houston offers a variety of services that include internet marketing, SEO and PPC to help your business grow. We will create the perfect marketing strategy to meet the growing needs of your business.

Contact our team today to learn what we can do for your business.

About Tony Mastri

Tony Mastri, Digital Marketing Manager at MARION, is an experienced agency and in-house digital marketer. With a proven background in content strategy, relationship-based link building, and technical SEO, he makes data-informed decisions that drive client growth.

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