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Organic SEO and Paid Advertising

How to Use Both Organic SEO and Paid Search Marketing

Organic and paid search are often considered opposite strategies within the marketing and search engine optimization marketplace. Ranking organically in search engines and having a high-traffic website is crucial for increasing site conversions and lead generation. SEO strategies with the goal of organic ranking are designed to generate traffic from ranking at the top for natural rankings for targeted search phrases that receive a lot of clicks. Organic traffic tends to convert at a higher rate than any other form of digital marketing. Adding paid search to an existing organic SEO campaign benefits a website with additional traffic.

Organic Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Marketing Solutions

Marketers realize that paid and organic links are listed on any search results page. Knowing the differences between and measuring organic and paid traffic marketing strategies can benefit a website owner. While organic traffic refers to web users who found a website through backlinks, search results pages, or entering a URL into the top window of a browser, paid traffic relates to individuals who saw a site from clicking on one of the pay-per-click advertisements. In general, paid advertisements can be found at the top and bottom of the search results page, and these search ads are typically labeled with the phrase “AD” or “Sponsored Listing.”

Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click Comparisons

As a fact, 90% of organic SEO and PPC traffic comes from the search results pages generated by searches through Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and other popular search engines. Paid traffic from search results pages will come from advertisements that business owners pay for on a per-click basis. Meaning, each time a user clicks on the advertised link, the business is charged a fee. The specific rate per click and ad performance varies depending on the company’s keywords for each pay-per-click (PPC) ad. However, businesses’ average rate for a PPC ad is around $1 per click. Daily budgets can be set for each PPC campaign.

Web visitor traffic distribution data
Organic traffic accounts for 64% of website traffic across all marketing channels. Image courtesy of Zero Limit Web

Organic traffic will come from the analysis that search engines use to determine the rankings of a website. Algorithms compare a current business site against competitors to determine the most accurate webpage that answers the search query. This allows Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines to deliver relevant results pages. Organic search engine results or result listings are often referred to as “natural” results. They are derived from search engine optimization and driven by content that best answers the search query.

Data showing search market share between top search engines
Organic search engine traffic is predominantly driven by Google search results. Image courtesy of Point Visible

Organic search ranking is determined by analyzing a web page’s meta description, meta tags, keywords, content quality, URL, and hundreds of other on-page and off-page factors. Onsite ranking attributes are a significant factor in determining organic results, but many off-site attributes play into ranking website pages. Due to updates to the search engine algorithms, content relevance to the search terms has become increasingly important. However, ranking on the first page of results can take as long as six months to acquire with a qualified SEO agency.

Organic vs. PPC Graphic
Image courtesy of Search Engine Land

Reasons for selecting an SEO strategy should be based on numbers, data, and results from tests that show specific industry results. The difference between organic marketing and PPC can be the initial ad spend, bid costs, and the pros and cons of campaign management.   Teaching a company team member insights into bidding strategies, ad approval, and the skills necessary for organic or PPC promotion will require a study system of example facts and case studies of Adwords purchase agreements. Someone in a position to guide or hand-hold an employee to create blog post articles, search snippets, and news guides will be necessary for generating various marketing content.

How Do Pay Per Click Ads Work?

There are two types of pay-per-click ads that can generate substantial traffic: banner ads and pay-per-click links that appear above the organic search results for specific keywords. In most cases, link advertisements placed above the search results will generate more traffic than banner ads. Pay Per Click ads can increase revenue for businesses when PPC campaigns are created with measurable goals and a call-to-action. Here’s what companies need to know about each type of PPC ad:

Properly Use PPC Links That Are Placed Above the Search Results

Paid search traffic approach of gaining traffic will come from pay-per-click ads placed at the top of Google search results, and these ads will be placed through Google AdWords. These links will be labeled as advertisements at the top and bottom of search results.

To make the best use of PPC links and advertising, it’s essential to ensure that a company chooses the keywords that generate the most converting traffic. Converting traffic comes from users who have a higher rate of purchasing a site product or hiring a business for a service. This targeted traffic will differ with each keyword as the user intent can vary with each keyword phrase. Understanding the purpose of the web searcher allows site owners to customize their web content for a higher ranking that can turn the most amount of site visitors into clients or customers.

Another essential factor to consider when attracting web users is an ad’s visual and written content. Here are a few tips that can help a business create effective pay per click ads that generate leads for a business:

Properly Use Banner Ads

Unlike pay-per-click ads that can be found at the top and bottom of search results pages, banner advertisements are placed on the side of websites that are related to the same industry. While these ads can generate a significant amount of traffic if placed on high-traffic websites, the strategy is not likely to succeed if a banner ad shows up on sites with minimal traffic. The banner ads method can be highly effective if the ads are posted in a top spot and on high-traffic sites relevant to services or products a business offers.

Banner Ad Click Through Rate Data
Surprisingly, banner ads can still influence consumers and drive small amounts of traffic. Image courtesy of MOZ.

Does Paid Traffic Convert?

This question will depend on the keywords that a campaign manager chooses, the type of advertisements created, where the ads are placed, and many other factors. Marketing efforts for paid search traffic have their place in virtually any company’s digital marketing strategy. For an optimal digital marketing strategy with PPC advertising, follow these tips below:

Positive Conversion Rates For Google Paid Ads
The average conversion rates for Google Ads show positive results for certain industries. Image courtesy of Wordstream

1. Make Sure That Paid Ads Give A Clear Idea Of What To Expect

While many people think that paid advertisements are always more effective if they spend more per click, this is not always the case. That’s because Google values user experience more than virtually anything else. Choosing the right keywords, using the correct wording, creating effective ads, and having a website that’s easy to use is essential to benefit from a PPC marketing campaign. Increasing conversions and making sales extend beyond just the PPC ad. The ad is just the initial user contact, while site content and user experience ultimately control the conversion rate.

Making ad copy for high impact should be as descriptive and informative as possible to give potential customers an insight into what a business offers. It can be challenging to represent a business service or product description with the word length Google ads allow for advertisement copy. A digital marketing team specializing in creating effective PPC ads can wordsmith copy to fit the tight parameters required within Adwords copy.

Organic driven search results

Agencies specializing in PPC advertising are also familiar with optimizing other factors in a paid campaign that will influence the success of a PPC strategy, such as a site’s quality score, the layout of landing pages, and the best converting times during the day to advertise. Many agencies use sophisticated AI programs to optimize specific PPC ads to target effective advertisements.

2. Use Effective Imagery

In addition to optimizing written ad content to boost traffic, it’s important to properly optimize each image that appears within an advertisement. The photos or graphics in ads should include pictures of the company’s products and services. This will give potential customers a good idea of whether or not they should consider hiring or purchasing products. Bright colors and clear images will attract attention, increasing traffic and conversions and resulting in a higher ROI.

3. Make Sure The Links Work Properly

While this critical step is pretty obvious, it’s essential to realize that things do not always go as planned. In some cases, links in advertisements could fail to work correctly and should be checked on multiple web browsers.

4. Know How Much A Business Will Need To Spend

Cost per click for Google paid ads
The chart shows the costs by percentage and clicks companies can expect to pay based on their industry. Image courtesy of Smart Insights

For effective PPC ads, determine each keyword’s monthly and daily spending. Some keywords will have a higher conversion rate and target clients and customers more accurately. Bids on keywords can be expensive, to pushing users to a landing page can increase conversion rates and result in a higher ROI. Many businesses end up wasting thousands of dollars on pay-per-click ads that don’t lead to an increase in sales.

In some cases, a nominal budget that is more highly targeted is enough to get a business off the ground. Unlike organic search marketing, PPC ads will always be part of a digital marketing budget. Site traffic through PPC will end when a business stops paying for them. Organic search marketing remains to generate traffic for a much longer timeframe. PPC costs and paid advertising budgets play a minor role in promoting established businesses compared to just starting companies.

Business spending on social media marketing
Social Media spending in the USA accounts for just over 15% of market share. Image courtesy of Marketing Charts

5. Realize That There Are Many Different Types of PPC Ads

Social media ads can have high returns for businesses who a/b test their SEO content and focus on building exposure for business-to-consumer relationship building. Social media marketing metrics show that boosting a blog article can funnel traffic to web pages. There are many kinds of paid search advertising and ad platforms for companies to choose from. Each business has to decide which form of paid advertising will reach their target client efficiently and be cost-effective. Consider taking advantage of ads that use videos, images, text, or audio to target the ideal audience better.

Organic SEO and PPC marketing strategies can encompass multiple forms of consumer delivery options. Media delivery on various platforms, including social channels, can have advantages of quickly increasing traffic to a website, generating more leads, and ultimately selling more products at a lower cost than Adwords expenses. Organic search engine optimization and paid search marketing both increase the online presence of a business website but selecting the method with the highest CTR (click-through rate) is how a company can gain a competitive edge.

How Can A Business Increase the Amount of Organic Traffic to A Web Site?

One of the best ways to acquire more targeted traffic to a website is to improve organic or natural search rankings. Organic search rankings will enable steady traffic for years as PPC ads end the minute payment for the Ads concludes.  Organically enhancing search rankings can significantly improve the online reputation of a business. Consumers have a greater level of trust with top-ranking organic search results than with paid advertisements. The organic results typically offer a better solution as they have risen to the top by passing through Google’s complex algorithms. With site domain authority, they have passed the Google test.

Increasing Organic Search Traffic

1. Choose Keywords Carefully

Due to the increasing popularity of voice search, it’s important to target keywords that potential customers are likely to say aloud. It’s essential to speak out loud the keywords that a company is looking at and consider if a potential customer is expected to use them if they’re using voice search.

Choose keywords that internet users are likely to type into a search engine rather than say aloud. Most web users shorten their search terms or truncate their search phrases to make their search faster. They will then add words and extend their search terms into a more “long tail” search phrase to achieve the best search result. Remember that around half of all search engine traffic comes from people using voice search. A business should follow these tips to optimize keywords for both text and voice search:

  • Understand the importance of local search engine optimization. Local SEO refers to improving search rankings for potential customers in a specific geographic area. This can be accomplished by including the name of the city, state, or region in the selected keyword phrase.
  • It is best to choose many keywords and ensure that web content has a keyword density between 1-3%. This keyword list can be reduced later to select the highest converting words for better campaign optimization.
  • If possible, include keywords in meta descriptions, titles, and headers on the website.
  • Use Google Analytics to track search engine marketing and to keep track of traffic increases
  • Search volume can be deceiving. More is not always better, and businesses should focus on the highest-converting keywords.

2. Do Not Over-Use Keywords

The phrase “keyword stuffing” refers to using the same targeted keyword too many times in an attempt to help a web page rank higher, and using the same word too many times within the body content of a web page results in choppy content that does not offer a lot of value to the site visitor. Not only can it make site content challenging to read, but it can also result in a website being penalized by major search engines. Use a variety of entities as pillars to match correct categories with each piece of content. Penalties (Google Panda and Penguin as examples) can result in a decline in traffic that a website receives. A website can be removed from the search results altogether and be de-indexed if the keyword density is too high.

3. Use Keywords In Body Content Appropriately

Due to updates to Google’s algorithms, there is far more search ranking than simply choosing the right keywords. Creating a website with easy-to-read, informative, well-organized, and engaging content is essential. Keywords should not stand out or dominate the content, but rather, content should be written to solve the user’s search query. Keywords should fit into the content naturally.

4. Know The Target Audience

When selecting keywords, it is essential to focus on the target audience. Market research should determine who the ideal customers are and what their search behavior will most likely look like. Here are a few tips that can help a business do this effectively:

  • Surveys can offer a solution for understanding the audience’s search intent better. This can help site owners choose keywords to increase traffic, leads, and sales.
  • Make sure to acquire demographic data that includes the target audience’s age, gender, location, shopping habits, and marital status. Understand that these are not the only demographic attributes relevant to keyword selection. There will be additional variables that will be important to consider specific to a unique business brand strategy.
  • Ensure that it is easy for customers to fill out any email subscription forms while offering subscribers the easy option of opting out of the email list.

5. Regularly Update Website Content

The Google algorithm frequently changes to increase the credibility of the SERP listings. One of the essential parts of improving web page search rankings is regularly posting fresh content. Blog posting, content marketing, and social media posts are great ways to interact with customers and add additional site content quickly. All updates to a website content must be well written, well organized, and engaging.

Both Paid and Organic Traffic Can Come From Social Media

Revenue from organich search compared to PPC ads
The type of marketing strategy that returns the most revenue is organic SEO. Image source Search Engine Watch

Both paid and organic traffic comes directly from the search results on Google, Bing, and other popular search engines. Businesses can also generate a substantial amount of both types of traffic from social media. That’s because backlinks to a website on these platforms can generate a significant amount of traffic.

A Backlink Strategy is Important

A backlink strategy is one of the most important parts of promoting a business on the web, and it is vital to ensure that the sites that the links are posted on get plenty of traffic and have a strong reputation. These are not the only things that site owners need to consider when creating a backlink strategy.

Backlinks should originate from sites established as authorities in the primary business industry that the target website operates in. Backlinks from on-topic and informative websites can improve online authority and increase web page traffic. Here are a few other concepts about backlinks to consider:

Organic backlink strategy
Natural backlink strategies are important for generating site exposure. Data graphic from Backlinko

1. Backlinks Can Generate Both Paid and Organic Traffic

While some backlinks can be part of a pay-per-click strategy, it’s also possible to acquire backlinks for free, improving search rankings and generating traffic to a web page.  Best practices would be to use a mixture of paid and organic backlink strategies both on and off social media for a well-rounded backlink portfolio.

2. Google AdWords is Highly Effective

As a business owner, Google AdWords is likely to be the most effective paid search engine optimization technique that a business can choose. While the traffic generated with Adwords strategies will not be organic, these advertisements offer a great way to inform people of a company’s products or services. PPC campaigns can help a business reach a large audience very quickly.

Paid Marketing Techniques Can Be Useful On A Wide Range Of Social Media Platforms

Not only can websites effectively utilize paid digital marketing strategies to get more traffic through Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, but a LinkedIn user can also create pay-per-click ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and numerous other social media platforms. Here is what business should know about using PPC advertisements for some of the most popular social media marketing channels:

Comparisons between SEO Strategies

1. Facebook Paid Advertisements

While Facebook is not the only platform that allows users to create effective pay-per-click ads, it’s undoubtedly one of the most popular social media sites, making it a great place to post PPC ads. Here are a few tips that can help to create effective PPC ads for a business:

  • When using Facebook to promote a business, it is essential to use both visual and text marketing. It is easy to post videos on the platform, which is an excellent choice for companies with an audience that engages well with video promotions. Video marketing tends to work well with a younger audience or provide “How To” content.
  • If video marketing is a digital strategy with a high conversion rate, YouTube offers advertising rates comparable to Facebook and often lower than Adwords costs.
  • Because Facebook is one of the oldest social media sites on the web, the platform’s reputation is quite strong, and it’s likely to remain an effective platform to promote a business for many years to come.

2. Twitter

Twitter Paid AdsWhile Twitter does not allow users to post long-form content, it can still be an effective platform for promoting many different businesses. Twitter content is limited to the number of words included in a post. Despite this, Twitter has a large audience of active users, making it a great place to promote any brand.

Many digital marketing experts believe that Twitter is likely to increase in popularity in upcoming years, and it is clear that Google reads and recognizes tweets.  This means that promoting a business on Twitter could be a highly effective marketing technique for reaching the Twitter user base and Google visibility.

3. LinkedIn

Paid Ads With LinkedInWhile LinkedIn is most well known for being a business networking platform, it has become an advertising portal for many businesses functioning in the B2B market.  Companies with products or services highly focused on B2B (business to business) clients, as opposed to B2C (business to customer), can use LinkedIn research tools to target specific market segments with branded messaging. LinkedIn’s users base is made up of either business owners, freelancers, or individuals who are in the process of networking.

4. Instagram

Paid Instagram AdvertisingInstagram may be one of the most underutilized social media marketing platforms. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (now Meta), has turned into a promotional platform that can quickly grab a user’s attention with images or video. Instagram is a platform for posting photos and pictures, and the audience age range is typically younger than Facebook and Twitter.

With Instagram, businesses can include written descriptions under images, but the idea is the attention grabber and the actual sales catch. Companies can also post backlinks on Instagram, increasing a website’s traffic.

5. Reddit

Reddit Paid Advertising and PPCWhile many business owners ignore Reddit as a place to promote their brand, this can be a mistake. Reddit receives substantial traffic, and it offers affordable PPC marketing opportunities. Reddit users are unique because they are very educated about specific topics and engage in discussions and posts more actively than other platforms.


Paid Marketing Can Be Effective On Video Streaming Platforms

Paid marketing is helpful on more than just social media platforms and search results pages. One of the most effective pay-per-click marketing strategies can be used on YouTube. Video advertisements placed at the beginning of videos reach targeted users already engaged in viewing the content within the same industry. YouTube ads are relatively inexpensive. Here are a few of the best ways to take advantage use of this video marketing strategy:

  • Make sure that the videos present enough information for viewers to determine whether or not products and services will suit their needs.
  • Ensure that videos include a mixture of engaging language and eye-catching imagery. Bright colors and images with real people receive more views than just text or a graphic.
  • Selecting the right keywords for the video advertisements is very important. Often a business can use the same data from their Adwords keyword research.
Paid Placement in Video Ads
Paid video ad placement on YouTube and other streaming video channels offer competitive ad rates. Graphic courtesy of Smart Insights

Why Use Both Paid and Organic Search Engine Optimization

To succeed as a business owner, it’s essential to use both paid and organic SEO tactics. While paid ads will stop displaying as soon as a business stops paying, it may be necessary to use paid strategies early on to gain a following and initial traffic.

1. Organic Traffic Has A Higher Conversion Rate, But Paid Traffic Is Faster To Get

While it can be easier to get paid traffic, organic traffic is often more likely to convert. Conversions mean more income for businesses or acquiring more clients for services offered. SEO efforts for organic website traffic tend to have a lower bounce rate, and visitors spend more time on the website. This holds accurate 65% of the time.

A search marketing campaign focused on targeted search queries and organic traffic and help to build organization brand awareness. The opportunity to reach multiple industries using a combination of organic and paid marketing strategies can create higher visibility and a great first impression and generate interest in a business.  Brands build a foundation of site activity, with SERPS being the source for the majority or website traffic.

Both paid and organic seo benefits online web presence

2. Paid Traffic Is A Quick Fix, While Organic Traffic Lasts Longer

While PPC advertisement immediately generates site traffic, organic search ranking requires more time and effort to acquire top search ranking and generate traffic. Once this traffic flows, it is far less expensive to maintain, and the conversions are typically higher.

PPC traffic is easy to obtain, but it can disappear quickly when users stop paying for ads. Organic traffic will continue to reach web searchers even after an SEO campaign has ended. Organic SEO campaigns are a better long-term investment.

Hire An Agency That Specializes in PPC Ads

Hiring a brand visibility agency specializing in PPC ads is ideal for most business owners. This will, ultimately, depend on the marketing agency a business selects to perform PPC setup, content production, maintenance, and monitoring. Here are a few tips for finding the right agency for a business:

  • Make sure to choose an agency that has worked with other business owners in the same industry. This will help ensure that the PPC strategy is built around the unique needs of a marketplace.
  • Ensure that the company selected to create PPC ads for a business has a strong reputation in the digital marketing community.
  • Create PPC ads that effectively promote a business with text and powerful imagery.

Maximize the Return on Investment (ROI) That Can Be Expected From PPC Ads?

To maximize the return on investment from PPC ads, it’s important to use artificial intelligence software to select keywords and optimize the pay-per-click campaign. AI can help with campaign setup, determine the best keywords to target, and create content that increases sales.

It is important to know how PPC ads and Google Adwords work. Taking an online Adwords campaign course is one of the best ways to learn PPC marketing strategies. There are a few essential things to know before taking a class about PPC marketing:

  • It’s essential to ensure that the course is geared towards beginners.
  • Do not simply choose the cheapest course that is available. While there are many low-cost courses on pay-per-click marketing, not all of them will provide the information needed for a proper campaign strategy.
  • Ensure that digital marketing experts created the course. Not only will this improve ROI, but it will also help to ensure that the PPC strategy has a better chance of success.
  • Each course should discuss the entire Google display network and search ad placement methods for optimal ROI.

Listings in organic search rankings

Is Organic Traffic Free?

The answer to this question is yes and no, but realize that a business will need to pay for a successful marketing strategy. A company will need to spend considerable money to hire the expertise of a qualified SEO agency to develop search strategies to ensure that a website ranks highly with search engines. Though, a business will not directly pay for organic traffic.

Top search engine ranking often takes months to succeed with a careful SEO strategy. Many factors need to be considered when implementing an SEO marketing campaign. Most SEO strategies include content creation, blog posts, on-site edits, search data from SEO tools, optimization, link building, and extensive competitor research. The length of time an SEO campaign requires to be successful depends on algorithm updates, the existing link portfolio, how well optimized the current site is, the campaign budget, and the competition level in the target industry. Businesses need to be patient when getting results and implementing a strategy for long-term digital success.

Why Do Businesses Need To Pay For SEO?

A business will need to hire experienced copywriters to create long-form content for website copy, and there will be a significant cost associated with this. A link-building strategy will need to be utilized to build website authority, acquire better search placement, and promote site traffic. Link building is an art form and requires extensive research, data resources, and negotiations to be successful.

SEO requires software programs and AI to perform SEO research and competitor analysis. While the specific SEO expenses that can be expected expect will depend on the size and type of the business, these are a few things that most business owners can expect to pay for when they are correctly optimizing their site for search engines:

  • Content creation
  • Keyword planning
  • Market research
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Social media marketing
  • Link Building
  • Report Generation

Is Pay Per Click Marketing Always Cost-Effective?

In most cases, organic SEO and SEM campaigns result in a higher ranking in organic searches. They are a far better investment for organizations to increase sales and deliver new clients.  PPC campaigns deliver immediate traffic, but lower conversion rates and paid advertisements are often a quick fix. Businesses looking for long-term growth can gain far more traffic with less cost than PPC. For short-term goals, PPC can be a very effective marketing strategy. For the best results, businesses should consider a digital marketing campaign that builds long-term and sustainable traffic with organic SEO and implement a PPC strategy to complement the more extensive organic SEO campaign.