Paid vs Organic Search

Organic Search vs Paid Search: Which is Better?

There are mainly 2 types of searches that a business can use or exploit for online customer conversion- they are paid searches and organic searches.

Paid searches are those searches where you are allowed to pay so that your website will be displayed on the search engine using specific phrases or keywords.

The amount you pay depends on the number of click or views of your site. Organic searches are those that are automatically determined by search engine algorithms and are not paid for but depend on natural search engine rankings.

These two types of searches can be optimized using a number of SEO practices with some that are generally similar and those which are uniquely positioned for a particular search type.

Paid vs Organic Search: Organic search


Paid vs Organic Search


The results of organic searches are the listings of websites that are returned by algorithms from the search engine that match the search string of keywords.

Most marketers use content assets and SEO tools to get high rankings on the search engine. The main goal when using organic search is to appear on the first page and then progressively move to the top 3 ranks for specific keywords.

The advantages of organic searches always depend on visibility and thus the higher the ranking the more the advantages.

This makes it important to ensure your website is on the first page or your advantages will mostly be non-existent. What are the benefits of organic search?

Trust and Credibility


When you get a high ranking on the search engine, the searchers usually perceive this as a sign of credibility. This will also imply that you are leading in your respective industry.

The searchers are more likely to trust your site if it appears on the first page of the search engine and especially if it is in the top three. This will also increase the likelihood of the searchers to click through the site.



Once you attain high rankings on the search engine it becomes easier to maintain the attained status. This is because you will attain authority status and thus build trust with the users and the search engine.

Click-through Rates


When you get high rankings using organic search, you increase your click-through rates. This is very important for businesses which have a longer buying cycle as it encourages the user to make the decision to purchase from that particular website.

Inbound Marketing


Paid vs Organic Search


With organic searches, the marketer is required to develop the content asset which is very important for higher involvement purchase. The users will get to interact with the content as they move downwards on the purchase funnel.



If the content you create as a marketer is evergreen then the rankings that your site will get will also have a more evergreen presence. This will help that listing to last long after you had created the content.

What are the drawbacks of organic searches?



It may take months or years for you to get high rankings on the search engine as organic searches depend on the competitiveness of the keywords involved.

This may be a bit of a discouragement in the event that you have a deadline to beat.



When using organic search you are required to create content and also use SEO tools and tactics so as to achieve this.

This task can be frustrating and expensive if you do not have staff that can do them. There are times you may be forced to hire independent contractors to work together with your own staff so as to achieve a successful organic search website.

Paid vs Organic Search: Paid Search (PPC)


Paid vs Organic Search


The results of paid searches are usually advertisements. This usually entails a business paying a certain amount of money so as to have their ads displayed when users do a search with specific keywords.

These ads are usually displayed above and also at the right side of the organic search results. The positioning of the advertisement is determined by a bidding process as well as quality score.

The advantages and disadvantages of the paid search are usually the opposite of those of organic listings. What are the benefits of paid ads (PPC)?



Unlike what happens with the organic search which can take even years to get the required ranking, paid ads will appear at the top of the rankings immediately you pay for the ad placement. This means that you don’t have to worry about beating your deadline.



You can have your paid search campaign tailored so as to reach a specific audience. Examples of how you can segment the audience include age, geo-targeting, income, marital status, industry, educational level etc.

Click Through Rates


When searches are conducted using terms that denote high purchase intent such as brand or product-specific keywords, they will get more clicks than those of organic searches. What are the drawbacks of paid ads (PPC)?



You should realize that the more competitive the keyword is the more the bid price will be for each click that the displayed ad will get.

There is a level of expertise that is required to manage these paid ads campaigns else a lot of money will be spent only to attract unqualified traffic. As a business, your goal is to make money not to lose it.



Unlike organic search results where the content can remain on the search engine page for the longest time until you take it down yourself, paid results will disappear as soon as you stop making payments for them.



Most users do not trust paid ads and will often avoid them in preference to organic rankings. This is because they think that when an ad gets high rankings on organic listings it’s because many people have used it and found it exceptional.

Click Through Rate


Most of the time paid ads will get low click-through rates as compared to organic listings unless there is a high purchase intent search.

This is because organic listings have a higher credibility with search engine users as compared to paid ads.

Always remember that the click-through rate always varies by purchase intent and that organic listings will always get more click-through rates for “top of funnel” keyword searches.



For good results, it is recommended that you use both the organic searches and paid ads since you will get more conversions from this combination.

The advantage of mixing the two types of searches is that the organic listings will give your business evergreen results as well as credibility.

While the paid search provides an immediate top listing and a greater click through rate, the paid search does not overshadow the organic search instead; it compliments it and thus increases the click through rate by the search engine users.

To determine which search works best for you, you have to evaluate the marketing needs of your business and the targets you have set.

There are other factors that will also influence this decision such as budget and resources but the top factor should be finding the best method to give you the best return on investment (ROI) or click-through rate (CTR).

The choice of whether an organic search is better or paid results are better will depend on the purchase intent that will be displayed by the search query.