The Difference between Paid Search Advertising & Organic Search Optimization

Whether you’re just starting your business or looking to grow an already flourishing company even further, understanding the distinction between organic search optimization and paid search advertising is a vital part of developing a successful marketing strategy.

Paid search advertising, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), is a form of online advertising that helps increase website visibility through monetary means.

Every day 3.5 billion searches happen on Google and each of those searches has the potential of showing paid advertising on the Search Results Page (SRP). Most users are familiar with the three ads that are typically shown at the top of that page, also called the 3-pack, but don’t understand exactly how that’s populated. Advertisers utilize the Google Ads platform to select and bid on specific searches. They can choose for their ads to show for specific keywords, audiences, locations, and a host of other targeting options that Google provides for you. The advertiser has access to pretty much everything pertaining to the performance of their ads, excluding unique user identifiers (which Google doesn’t ever record), and can use all of that data to better fine-tune their efforts and maximize their Return-On-Investment (ROI). 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the opposite of Paid Search Advertising.

It is the process of enhancing your website to draw more traffic from search engines. Taking advantage of SEO allows you to increase both the quantity and quality of traffic your driving to your site as well. The Search Results Page also shows the benefits of SEO practice. Right after the 3-Pack of ads at the top, the majority of the page is composed of organic search results. The results that are shown there are 100% free and are a result of bots crawling the entire internet and indexing the content they find. Those same bots then list out results according to rankings that are based on how relevant the content from that specific webpage is to the user’s search.

This may leave you wondering which one of these is right for you and the answer to that is that it all depends on the state of your specific business and your advertising budget. If your business is just starting and doesn’t have quite enough budget for paid ads, don’t panic! SEO is a perfect place to start for any business. In general, SEO has about 20x more traffic opportunities than PPC across both mobile and desktop. That means you can get everything started on a solid foundation and when your business has grown to a place where you have a paid advertising budget, you’re ready to go with a full head of steam.

If you’re interested in finding out more on this topic please follow The Kool Source on all social media platforms. We provide tips, tricks, and more about all things related to digital marketing. If you have any questions or are ready to get your business started with SEO and/or PPC, our team would be happy to assist you.


OJ Montgomery
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