Paid or Organic? How to Choose the Right Search Strategy for your Business

woman on laptop

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Google is awesome.

Whether you realize it or not, you probably Google something at least once a day. Just for fun, here’s a list of things I’ve Googled just today:

  • Can dogs eat grapes
  • How many teaspoons in a cup
  • Affordable sofa near me

The things we Google are important to us. They’re things we need to know, usually right away. That’s why it’s a Search Marketer’s primary mission to make it easy for searchers to find what they’re looking for.

In this way, Search Marketer’s have several options. Not only are there organic listings that include search results, local pack results, and a knowledge graph to optimize, but there are also paid listings that can range from traditional ads to Google Shopping placements.

So how do you know which kind of optimization is necessary for brand visibility within search results? Let’s discuss:

Organic: What is it good for?

Absolutely awareness! Rand Fishkin, a leading expert for Search Marketing notes how Organic (instead of paid) can be a great beginning for a brand when budget is a concern.

Companies breaking into online ads don’t see success due to the same issue: they aren’t known to their audiences. There’s no trust, no recognition, and so the cost per click remains high and rising.

Ideally, all campaigns and brands would begin with a healthy dose of organic search optimization. There is a lot of groundwork that should be covered before we start spending money to gain visits. If you’re spending money on paid ads and retargeting, but people can’t find your website by searching your business name, all of that money could have been spent for naught.

Spending your time doing the initial keyword research to see what competitors are ranking for can give you better insight into where the search results real estate is currently living; plus, it will help you strategize to steal some of the real estate back for your brand via organic keyword optimization (see current ranking factors) and paid ad placements.

Paid Search: When to Spend

While brand awareness is never a task you can simply complete and move on from, it’s important to have a certain level of awareness when it comes to your industry before you spend money to garner clicks.

After you’ve done the work within organic search and have found which search queries are leading searchers to your competitors, you can better optimize those high-competition keywords in way of bids. Ideally, one brand or one product would own the real estate within the three paid results, the local pack of listings, as well as the above-fold organic listings. Clicks cost money, though. It’s important to make sure that the money you’re spending isn’t just sitting on a page that isn’t being seen.

Optimizing a specific keyword should begin in organic search and transition to paid once you have enough traffic to determine which keywords are worth the added cost-per-click. After extensive keyword research, you can then create a list of keywords to optimize. Next, you should write the content, create pages around, and add outbound and inbound links all based on that keyword.

Luckily, that’s something Uptick Marketing excels at. Contact us to talk to our SEO and PPC experts and learn our strategies for optimizing your business within organic and paid search (and learn how you can better utilize the money that could be wasted without strategic ad spend).