Search Engine Marketing | Paid Vs. Organic Search

If you are just starting a new business with a goal to reach your customers through the online medium, which method should you choose, the paid search engine marketing or organic search engine marketing?  Let me explain both methods briefly.  Paid search is when you pay per view or click for your ads on search engines like Google.  Google’s famous Adwords program, are the ads you see above and beside your organic listings when you search for a particular keyword.  The organic listings are the main listings on the page.  A company doesn’t need to pay Google to advertise their site on organic listings, however the spot has to be earned.

Search Enginge Marketing

Search Enginge Marketing


Well as a new business with a limited marketing budget and these two options which is the better option?   Here are the pros and cons for both:


Adwords ads have got lists of relevant keywords linked to them. Each keyword is actually bid on with the advertisers for placement from the results pages as well as on web sites worldwide. The words which will prompt a display associated with an advertiser’s ad are usually bid on by the advertiser. When an ad matches the language on a web page, the ads are usually displayed.  That is Adwords in a nutshell.

The idea here is to drive traffic to your site by using ads that are relevant to your site. If the ad is relevant to your content, you will get more targeted your traffic to the site. Compose your content around your set of keywords. Next, write an ad based on the keywords and assign keywords towards the ad. You will bid for the keywords right at that moment you associate keywords with the ad. If considered, one of your keywords is sought out or relevant to a site, and you have a good bid as well as relevant ad, your AdWords ad will probably be displayed. 

The more popular your keywords are, the more competition there is, so the price ranges per click might get pretty high. It’s not necessarily uncommon for clicks to cost $5 or even $10. If you have 10, 000 advertising clicks, you better make sure you are making a lot more than the ad click costs or you will be in debt to Google for a lot of money!  You can set the bid limits and also the monthly budget.

What if you cannot afford $5 a click? Since a lot more popular keywords are usually so expensive, it is best to bid on much less popular keywords because the cost per click is much less. Google presently features a minimum bid associated with $0.05 each click.

A popular site can make a ton of money, however, a lot of money and time is usually wasted. To avoid waste, you have to learn as much as possible and get the correct tools to do the investigation.  There is a learning curve associated with using pay per click programs and you have to determine whether you have enough time and money to spend on this learning curve.  It is never advisable to use all your marketing budget on pay per click programs.  The benefit of starting with a pay per click program to advertise your business is that you get targeted traffic right away to your website.  The cons are it can get very expensive especially during the initial phases.  Even if you hire an experienced pay per click expert there is always a period of testing to see with ads are working and which key words bring in the most traffic.  The other thing to consider is conversion rate and profit margins.  For instance if your cost per click is $5.00 and your conversion rate out of a hundred visitors is 1% or 1 conversion , with a profit of $100 per sale, you have just lost $400 dollars to acquire one customer.  However if your conversions are much higher at 10% then you are ok.  Generally the average is 1% to 5% conversion rate when going through pay per click.  So the ideal situation would be to go for less competitive keywords that drive quality traffic to the site giving you higher profit margins. 

Organic Search Marketing

Organic Search Marketing or better known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a free yet very complicated and time consuming method of driving traffic to your websites.  However once established with a good position in the search engines for a few good quality keywords a website can reap tremendous benefits.  For instance having your site ranked in the top three positions for even 3 long tail keywords with a minimum of 500 searches per month can easily drive close to 1000 visits to your site from people looking for what you have to offer.  Getting organic traffic to your site means that each and every visitor who lands on your site was actually searching for what you have to offer.  And those people are ten times more likely to buy than someone who stumbles upon your site through an ad.  So although the process for SEM is a long one the rewards are second to none. Getting there takes time and effort, and that may turn off certain people because they may want to see results right away.  SEM should be taken on as a long term marketing and brand building effort for any business.  It changes with the needs of any business and is like a sand hill that keeps getting bigger and bigger as your website grows in authority and traffic.

For a budget conscious start up or established business it is recommended to run a limited paid search marketing campaign along side with an ongoing long term SEM plan.  This way you can start getting targeted traffic to your website and building brand awareness while also building your site authority and popularity making the big three search engines of the world give you first page listings for your particular keywords. As your business gets more established with better organic rankings you will have much less of a need for paid listings and the money can saved or used to put back into your business.

For more information about how professional Search Engine Optimization or Marketing can be done to raise your brand awareness and build your website authority contact us.


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