Differences Between Paid Vs Organic Search

Paid Vs Organic Search

Differences Between Paid Vs Organic Search



Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a sub-section of Digital Marketing. For English speaking countries, Google is typically the largest search engine with 70%+ market share. Bing and Yahoo are typically the next biggest players. Google is also the biggest search engine for many non-English speaking countries but there are exceptions like the search engines Yandex being the biggest in Russia and Baidu in China.

Even though SEO is free, in that you don’t pay search engines for clicks, it does incur a cost of time and resources for you and/or your team.


Organic search (SEO) requires patience and persistence. The fruits of your labour today can be enjoyed in the weeks and months ahead. Aside from being free, SEO has approximately three times the amount of traffic compared to paid search. With this in mind, it’s important to set expectations for all involved including key stakeholders like marketing managers, CEOs, clients etc.

Paid search can work together with SEO and is particularly useful at the beginning of SEO work and where there is a proven return on investment. 


Paid search is Google’s number one revenue earner and appears above organic listings. People tend to click in the organic listings more because they have more trust in them compared to ads. While paid search can provide a great return on investment, sometimes the introduction of more competitors can increase the Cost Per Click which in turn reduces the return on investment. As a result of this, some marketers decide to invest more in SEO.

Paid Vs Organic Search


1.Both require Keyword Research. If you want to rank on search engines, you first need to know which keywords to rank for.

2.Both require relevant Landing Pages. Once you know which keywords to target, you’ll need to optimize web pages to make them relevant. You can use the same landing pages to target SEO and paid search.

3.Both result in search engine traffic which can help a business grow by meeting its business objectives.

In addition to the similarities to SEO, it’s not uncommon for marketers to combine both organic and paid search as part of their marketing mix. When starting from scratch, SEO can take 6-12 months to see worthwhile progress, so marketers often turn to paid search to get momentum and test out the market.

When good SEO progress is made, many marketers continue with paid search, either to target the keywords they are not ranking well for or in some cases to complement the keywords that rank well. The latter depends on the businesses’ circumstances and search engine strategy.


While SEO changes frequently in small ways, the key principles do not. Since Google came onto the seen in the late 90s, we can break SEO into three components:

  • Technical: non-content onsite activities that improve SEO
  • On-Page: content and keyword targeting onsite activities that improve SEO
  • Off-Page: offsite activities, like gaining external links (backlinks), to improve SEO

We will be coming back to these three key pillars in more depth in my subsequent articles. I promise!


Action Point

I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.



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About Adeniyi Salau 889 Articles
I am an IT enthusiast and a man of many parts. I am a Certified Digital Marketer, Project Manager and a Real Estate Consultant. I love writing because that's what keeps me going. I am running this blog to share what I know with others. I am also a Superlife Stem Cell Distributor. Our Stem Cell Products can cure many ailments.


  1. Hello Adeniyi! SEO is an important factor to increase website traffic and rank and which one to choose (organic or paid) is always a tough question. But after reading your blog it’s clearly understood how to choose the right one. Thanks!

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