Differences Between Paid And Organic Search
Paid search advertising means advertising within search results and only paying when the user clicks on an ad. It’s priced on the pay per click or PPC model and this is a common synonym for paid search.
Paid search is an inbound advertising channel that matches searcher intent with relevant ads intended to meet consumer needs.
Besides appearing above the organic results, Paid Search ads have an indicator that they are ad formats and not organic/natural search results. Google automatically adds the word “ad” to the copy so searchers can easily distinguish the formats.
There are three main similarities between paid and organic search results – both search results have a clickable headline, non-clickable body copy and clickable site links. This is why they could be confused at first glance. Therefore, the automatic inclusion of the “ad” notification in the paid search results is useful.
The key differences which distinguish paid search from organic are:
- Paid search (PPC) is a method where advertisers pay to serve for different user searches using keywords, landing pages, ads and bids while SEO is the name given to optimizing organic (free) search results based on website content, html coding and link building
- Paid search is a faster and more straight forward means to serve clickable links on the SERP (search engine results page) compared to organic search which can take time to serve.
- Paid results are shown at the top or very bottom of the SERP and will have a small “Ad” note in the copy
- Paid search ads have shorter copy than organic results and there is more control over the copy of the paid ads as organic results can be dynamically created by the search engine organic algorithm. The paid results are a lot more dynamic and engaging at the top of the screen compared to the organic results below
There are strategic considerations for when to use paid search, including:
- Filling gaps where organic is weak: fill hard to optimize search gaps in organic listings with paid search campaigns
- Strengthening visibility: appear higher on the results page and provide multiple opportunities to click through both paid and organic links
- Gaining immediate access to market: Immediately target searchers in desired locations with promotional ad copy faster than organic search
- Consumer device preference: Mobile is becoming increasingly important in the buyer’s journey. Mobile and desktop searches are performed for different reasons, sit in different parts of the buyer’s journey and can have very different functions in terms of conversion and user expectation. Optimize visibility for mobile search as PPC ads appear first on mobile devices
Organic searching can serve a different purpose to paid search from both a consumer and advertiser perspective. You may not want to directly invest in certain kinds of keywords as they don’t feature highly in sales or conversions, so knowing the type of search outcome will help you focus on content (SEO) or campaigns (PPC) to help optimise performance and user experience.
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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