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Organic search vs paid search

Whenever you search for something on the internet using a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo then they will typically return two types of results, organic and paid results.

Organic search results:

Organic results are the listings that are based solely on a websites search engine optimisation. Therefore, the better a websites search engine optimisation then the better the results in an organic search.

SEO can be a tricky business and good organic search results are not something that can be achieved overnight and it can take months before your website gain any traction in the search engines.

Organic search results usually appear down the main body of the page.

However there are some basic rules to follow to make sure your site has the best possible chance of achieving good organic search engine results:

  • 1. Create a sitemap for your website which lists all the pages and links of your website.
  • 2. Register your site with the search engines and submit a copy of your sitemap.
  • 3. Do some keyword research.
  • 4. Include your keywords in your page titles, headings, copy, images and links. However, fon;t overdo it in the website copy, it still needs to read well for the user.
  • 5. Get external links to your site from friends, colleagues, partners, clients, suppliers websites. The more relevant the website that links to your site is to your business the better.
  • 6. Good website structure such as clear navigation links, relevant page titles and headings.

Get these right and your site will have good foundation to start performing well in the search engines.

Paid search results:

Paid search results are basically just advertisements within a search engine, the same way you would put an ad in a magazine or paper. However, the only difference is that rather than paying a one off fee you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This is known as pay per click advertising (PPC)

One of the most popular platforms for setting up and managing pay per click campaigns is Google Adwords which allows you to set the keywords (search terms) to attract relevant visitors to your site and how much you are willing to pay for a click for any particular keyword or phrase. There are also many other parameters you can set to manage your campaign such as location, daily budget, time of day, device and more.

On a search engine results page you can tell which ones are the paid search results as they are usually the ones highlighted at the top of the results or at the side of the page.

So which one should you use?

You should always set your site up to perform well in organic search although it can take a long time to gain momentum and see any results. Paid search results allow you rank high up on the search engines as soon as your campaign goes live enabling you to get immediate results.

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