In the past, organic search was enough to produce results when it came to online marketing; however, the ability to leverage paid search to acquire customers and gain marketing traction was largely unheard of. Today, with many large search engines incorporating paid search into their algorithms, the distinction between organic and paid search has blurred.
Many online marketers are questioning the effectiveness of organic search and wondering if paid search is worth the extensive effort. If you’re among these marketers, it’s important to understand the distinction between organic search and paid search, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you’re wondering why you should hire a professional online marketing staff, keep reading.
Organic Search Vs. Paid Search
Organic search is what happens when customers search for your products or services without the help of an online marketer or advertiser. When a visitor performs a search on a search engine like Google, the results that appear under the banner of “organic search results” will generally be the websites that Google determined to be most relevant to the search query.
Paid search, on the other hand, is what happens when an online marketer or advertiser pays money to have their ads shown on the search engine results page when someone performs a search. Typically, the results that appear under the banner of “paid search results” will be ads from various companies and websites that paid to be included in the top part of the search results page.
Organic search is ideal when it comes to marketing a business online because the results are generally not influenced by adverts. Also, customers are more likely to find the information they need without being distracted by the numerous ads that they often see on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Paid search, on the other hand, is ideal when it comes to marketing a product because the results are usually determined by Google’s algorithm and won’t always represent the actual market demand for your product. Furthermore, ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are often sponsored, which means that the brands paying to have their ads shown on these platforms are likely to have influenced, if not actually created, the content being promoted. For these reasons, paid search can be highly lucrative but also often misleading.
The Merits of Organic Search
Despite its limitations, paid search should not be entirely discounted because it’s extremely effective when used strategically. If you’re serious about marketing online and want to guarantee that you tap into a ready-made audience, paid search is the way to go. You can gain access to billions of people who are searching for products and services similar to yours and target them with hyper-specific ads that will catch their attention.
As previously stated, organic search is ideal for businesses that want to market their products online because the results are generally not influenced by adverts. Customers are more likely to find the information they need without being distracted by the numerous ads that they often see on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, organic search allows you to target the right audience and engage them with your content.
The primary disadvantage of organic search is that it’s absolutely free. Although you will not incur any direct costs, you will have to invest time into creating relevant content that will engage potential customers. For some businesses, this may not be feasible because they are already stretched thin with operations and have minimal time to spare to produce content that will appeal to potential customers. But for others, it could be the perfect opportunity to gain exposure and gain market share.
The Disadvantages Of Paid Search
On the opposite end of the spectrum, paid search has its disadvantages as well. If you’re not careful, you could end up wasting a lot of money on ads that turned out to be a bust because the target audience did not respond well to your offer. Since the results of your paid search are usually determined by the amount of money you pay for each click, it’s easy for advertisers to “game” the system by increasing their spending without any qualms and causing unnecessary damage to their budgets.
Furthermore, paid search often requires a solid understanding of marketing and analytics, which many businesses lack the time for. Especially in today’s world of constant change, learning new software and developing the skill to analyze marketing data takes up an inordinate amount of time. With so much on their plates already, many companies ignore the importance of marketing analytics and software until they have a headache. By then, it’s often too late to keep up with the latest marketing trends and techniques.
Aside from all the effort that goes into analyzing and interpreting marketing data, there’s also the matter of staying current. With each new search engine algorithm and big data science update, it’s essential to stay on top of the trends and ensure that your efforts are put into good use. For these reasons, paid search is not for everybody.
Paid Search: Worth the Effort?
In summary, paid search is not a silver bullet when it comes to online marketing. It has its merits and its disadvantages just like everything else in life. But if you know how to use it properly, it can be an extremely powerful tool that will greatly expand your potential to reach customers and grow your business. Just make sure that you’re not being mislead by false advertisement and you can enjoy the benefits of paid search without the risk of running into trouble.