With so many opportunities and platforms within the online space, it can be difficult to understand which ones are right for your business and how to effectively exploit them. But do you know when to choose paid or organic search on Google? That's what you'll see here!
One of the most powerful tools is, of course, search engines. Google processes 40.000 searches every second and about 90% of all online searches start with a search query. However, many marketers and business owners are dazzled by the complexities of search engines. In addition, how to transform the opportunities they have into achievable results.
Read on and see how to choose which search is right for your business on Google between paid and organic.
How to get started choosing paid and organic search for Google
Before we elaborate on search engine strategies and what tactics might be appropriate for your business goals, it's important that you understand the basics of how their complex algorithms work. Also, what are you (or prospects) seeing on those search engine results pages (SERPs). There are many search engine options. But by far the most sophisticated and well-established is Google, having an 88% share of all online searches. For that reason, we're going to focus on your platform.
What is organic search?
Organic search results are generated when a user types a query on Google. In most cases, these results are accompanied by other formats, such as paid ads and product listings. However, what makes organic search results different from these other results is that they appeared because the linking page is highly relevant to the search query (not because they paid to be there), combined with a good level of user experience. website user (UX).
Google also ranks organic search results by relevance. So if you click on the top organic result for any search query, that's the most relevant webpage. But also, more qualified in the Google database.
By “qualification” we mean according to the 1000 signals that Google uses to rank pages for a given query. Without going into too much detail, following content relevance, Google also ranks websites on aspects such as mobile responsiveness.
If you perform a search on a mobile device, but the most relevant web page (in terms of content) is not mobile responsive, Google will prioritize the next highly relevant web page.
This is because the user is much less likely to hang around on a page that has poor formatting and UX. So the content on that page is almost irrelevant as a result.
Essentially, Google's priority is to ensure that the user finds the most relevant information. And also in the fastest time and with the best user experience. Of course, this is easier said than done. What if you operate within a competitive industry and your competition is really savvy at keeping up with Google's algorithm? There are only so many opportunities to appear on the first page, so if there's a lot of competition, you'll need to continually optimize your site according to Google's latest best practices. This process is known as Search Engine Optimization, often shortened to SEO.
What is Paid Search?
Paid Search is another method to get a position on Google's SERPS, however this type of result is classified as an ad as the result is displayed due to the advertiser paying Google to display it. The benefit of this type of search engine result is that it is one of the only methods that allow advertisers to reach the top spot on Google, if they are savvy enough to beat the competition.
While this type of ad is essentially auction-based, there's a lot more to gaining a foothold than simply having a competitive bid.
Like organic search, Google uses many signals to decide whether an ad should rank, and in what position, including but not limited to the mobile responsiveness of the site, ad, and landing page relevance to the query, and user experience.
All these factors are summarized by a metric called the “Quality Score”, which works through a ranking system, categorizing the ad quality of each advertiser from 1 to 10.
How does Google rank advertisers?
So how does Google use all this information to rank advertisers? Here's an explanation:
In short, Google uses the advertiser's bid multiplied by their quality score, which then gives an overall ad rank figure. The advertiser with the highest ad rank then achieves first place, the second highest reaching the next available position, and so on. Since all ad positions are used on the results page (this number varies), advertisers with the lowest ad rank are stopped from appearing at all. Unlike a traditional auction, advertisers also do not pay their bid amount when a user clicks on an ad, they pay the minimum amount to beat the next most competitive advertiser. This bidding method means that the advertiser in position does not always pay more than those in lower positions, as Google favors relevancy and user experience.
Every time someone searches for a query on Google, a new ad auction starts. This means that the ad ranking can change minute by minute, for the same phrase on the same day. For example, an advertiser may offer more competitiveness at certain times of the day, or even for certain locations, genders and/or age groups.
An advertiser has full control of what they spend on a given day as they tell Google their daily limit, so once they have received a series of clicks that equate to X value, Google will stop showing their ads for that day. Sometimes Google may optimize spend between days, looking for greater conversion opportunities, however, the advertiser will never spend more than their daily budget in a given month.
Every advertiser has different budgets and aspirations, so an advertiser who is competitive in the morning may not have enough budget to remain competitive at night, or they may simply not want to show at this time of day – this can be particularly relevant for an advertiser. advertiser that has a physical store location with standard hours of operation, rather than a 24/XNUMX e-commerce offering. A proper budget would be considered as allowing ads to show for all qualifying searches on a given day, based on the custom targeting that the advertiser has defined.
Paid or Organic Google Search: Which Should You Choose?
Now that we understand the basics of organic and paid search, so now you're probably wondering which one is likely to work for your business. You will find when speaking with other companies, agencies or individuals that they tend to advocate one or the other, based on their experience or even their competencies from an agency perspective. However, there is no one size fits all strategy and what may work for one company may not work for another.
Tailored tactics are the key to success online and ultimately to driving maximum results (profitably, of course), a holistic organic and paid search strategy is likely to be the only way to get maximum results. and efficiency.
Let's take a look at the features and benefits side by side:
There are clearly some similarities between organic and paid search, but it is their differences that allow for superior results when used in combination. Users who click on ads are often different from those who click on organic results. Someone who normally uses organic results is unlikely to click on an ad, however, that’s not to say that if an ad is in the right place at the right time with the right message, they won’t click on it – they are highly likely to do so. !
Google performed searches based on 1000's of results, clicks and split tests to demonstrate the power of a combination strategy.
Research shows that an advertiser with a 50-point position in both paid and organic will receive up to 82% more clicks than using just one tactic alone. This number increases as we advance in the results ranking, so an ad ranking in the second position, with an organic position of two to four, will gain XNUMX% more clicks than using an ad in isolation, and so on.
level of results
When a company chooses just one tactic over the other, while profitable results can be obtained, it is unlikely to execute and achieve the same level of results as aggregate strategies.
You may decide that you still want to pursue organic search as a standalone strategy, either out of a perceived cost savings, or maybe you have a better place to focus your limited resources.
Any effort focused on organic positions will not take effect instantly. Paid search, on the other hand, can be instantaneous, so you can launch a campaign today and gain new appointments and customers tomorrow.
In cases where companies have a name that contains generic products or services within their industry, having a brand-led paid search strategy is highly recommended.
By using paid search, they can secure first place so their customers and prospects can easily identify them:
The advantage of this tactic is that it protects the brand and means fewer competing ads appear, because they will never be as relevant as a brand is, to its own name searched as a query. Also, the cost of a click on an ad of this type is very minimal, as the brand is so relevant, competition is based on the query, not the bid.
Now we understand the basics, the fundamental similarities and differences, and more importantly why and when it is best to use both paid and organic search in combination or even alone (rarely!). So now it's time to think about how you should use these tactics and apply them to your own business. If you've used one or both of these channels before and had little success, it might be worth reflecting on why, based on your newfound knowledge.
How does it work in practice?
We've found most customers who have had negative experiences with organic and/or paid search in the past, it's often because of poor implementation and execution. Not because the channel just doesn't work for your business model. There are 100 ways to effectively target customers through paid and organic channels. That's why working with an agency or in-house team member that understands your business model inside and out is critical.
There's a lot more to organic search than just making sure you're showing up. If you're showing up for a certain term, is that the best term the page could rank for? Even if it's a high-volume search keyword, it doesn't mean it's the right one. Keywords with very low search volumes don't have enough opportunities.
Meanwhile, high volume searches bring a lot of competition with them and are often very generic. In most cases, there will be a happy medium that will deliver great results for your business. However, understanding the process of selecting the right term is complex, so it is always worth getting a professional opinion.
You might be thinking that Google ads have become more automated and, as a result, easier to use. However, the world of automation is dangerous for marketing budgets, especially in a complex environment.
This means that human logic prevails for companies like these, i.e. low volumes of traffic and searches, with huge crossover to consumer-led markets, which the business does not serve. This means ensuring constant optimization to stop showing up for irrelevant terms, users and demographics is critical. It is difficult for Google to determine these factors because, unlike a person, it cannot understand the intrinsic details of your business model and customers. For businesses like this, while organic will work for them, it will generate a lot of wasted traffic. While with paid search there is much more control over when, where and how an ad appears.
See now the technical differences between paid and organic Google search for you to choose wisely
PPC, or pay-per-click marketing, involves creating ads that appear at the top of search results. The advertiser pays a small fee each time the ad is clicked on – essentially buying traffic to the site.
SEO, or search engine optimization, involves optimizing your e-commerce website to improve organic search rankings. But also, to drive more traffic to your website – which is free but requires a lot of effort.
Paid Search vs. organic on Google: when is the right time to choose each one?
The first step in deciding which type of survey to use is determining who your target audience is. Understand buyer personas and buyer profiles to clearly define your target audience.
From there, create a strategy to get your content in front of that audience. It is important to note that one strategy is not superior to the other, and the decision depends on a company's unique needs.
Paid search is one of the most popular forms of PPC. When you see ads at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), it means the business paid for that ad and bid on placement.
If you're looking to leverage PPC for your business but don't know if it's the right decision, we recommend reaching out to a certified eCommerce PPC agency to see how they can help.
For now, we're noticing some common situations where companies are evaluating paid versus organic search, and paid search is often the shift.
With SEO, ranking at the top of organic search results takes time and hard work to maintain. It is foolish to expect results in a short period of time because SEO is seen as a long-term strategy. And it's made to direct and keep traffic in place.
On the other hand, showing paid ads to the right audience is bound to generate significant results. According to HubSpot, ppc ads can increase awareness by 80%. So if your goal is to drive immediate results, we recommend taking advantage of paid search.
By targeting a highly specific audience
If you're looking to target a highly specific audience for a promotion, use paid search. A paid key feature offers that SEO is not its narrow targeting features.
Facebook is a great example of a social media platform that offers PPC advertising. While demographics and location are the most mundane targeting criteria, Facebook ad targeting offers a wealth of other options. For example, age, gender, languages, interests, life event targeting, lookalike campaigns, custom audiences and more.
Segmenting prospects based on these criteria ensures that your content is being seen by a desired audience. Plus, it helps drive traffic to your website, which means more dollars in your pocket.
When there is a time-sensitive offer
This ties in with wanting immediate results. Whether you're running a promotion for a certain amount of time or offering something that's time sensitive, there's no doubt that paid search is the answer. Paid ads will get the job done and drive the results you want to see in a short amount of time.
Avoid using SEO campaigns as they take a long time to produce results and don't guarantee that your offer will be seen by your target audience.
When ranking is a priority
Anyone with a fundamental understanding of paid versus organic search knows that paid ads are above organic search results. If your main goal is to rank at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) in order to increase Google AdWords conversion, then go ahead with using paid ads.
In a highly competitive e-commerce market, many companies struggle to appear in organic search results. Investing resources and budgets in PPC advertising has an obligation to follow high rankings; however, these tactics are not always sustainable.
We love organic search because it has lasting value. Companies that make the effort to maintain and optimize their SEO strategies reap the benefits when their pages appear at the top.
If you're looking to expand your organic search presence and attract new customers, we recommend partnering with a certified eCommerce SEO agency. In addition, she should dedicate herself to using technical and non-technical SEO strategies to help her business grow.
For now, we're sharing some common cases where companies evaluate paid versus organic search, and organic/SEO search is the most viable option.
By wanting consistent results
It can take up to several months to a year for companies to see results from their organic search efforts. While this may seem cumbersome, we promise it's a manageable process. Investing the time to practice and develop patience will help you increase your organic rankings.
Enjoy the benefit of maintaining steady traffic to your ecommerce site once your pages appear at the top of the organic rankings. Keep improving and keep your strategy to rank highly for a long time.
When establishing website authority
An authority site is the source of information that people look to for reliable and reliable information. If you're trying to establish your site's authority, SEO is the perfect step to take. Authority sites generate high amounts of traffic based on URL, optimized web pages, and unique, relevant content.
To rank in organic search, optimize your off-site SEO with backlinks from authority sites. These backlinks essentially tell search engines that your site is trustworthy because it is “backed” by a trusted and authoritative site.
By increasing the value of the website
If you're looking to increase the value of your e-commerce site, we encourage you to leverage SEO best practices. We like to think of websites as internet real estate, and there are a multitude of reasons to increase their value.
Leverage SEO and optimize your strategy to increase website traffic, authority site backlinks, and organic search rankings.
Conclusion on how to choose whether to use paid or organic search on Google
If you've found your business in these instances before or needed clarification on when it's best to leverage paid versus organic search, we hope this article has helped provide you with a better understanding.
We generally recommend using paid search to drive immediate results, promote a time-sensitive offer, target specific audiences, or secure a high ranking. On the other hand, we recommend organic search to drive consistent, long-term results, establish site authority, or increase site value.
So, when choosing between paid or organic search for Google, keep in mind that it depends on your strategy.
If you have any questions about leveraging ppc or SEO for your ecommerce business or would like to know more about how Colors Agency can help, please contact us. Our team will be in touch!