Search Marketing 101: Why Paid and Organic Strategies are Essential to Your Company

Search Marketing 101: Why Paid and Organic Strategies are Essential to Your Company

Using the right search marketing strategies can increase conversion, but understanding the pros and cons of paid and organic search strategies is key.

Marketing campaign, Organic, Paid, Search marketing, SEM, SEO

Users typically click only on sponsored and organic links that appear on the first page of results.

Search engine marketing — or SEM — techniques are used every day by businesses hoping to attract customers to their online sites. Using the right marketing techniques can increase conversion, but understanding the potential benefits and pitfalls of both organic and paid search marketing is key.

You could see your customer base grow exponentially using these strategies, but if you and your workforce aren't ready for the increased traffic, it could potentially spell trouble. Making the right choices at the beginning of your marketing campaign can get you on that page and save you time (and money) down the line.

The Benefits of Organic and Paid Marketing

Organic search marketing relies on using search engine optimization, or SEO, strategies to drive users to click on your links. Paid search marketing uses your company's marketing funds to pay for sponsored results on a search engine result page. Google is considered the king of both organic and paid search engine marketing on the Internet. Users typically click only on sponsored and organic links that appear on the first page of the search results the engine finds.

Driving traffic to your site is the main goal when you're considering your organic and paid search options, and the benefits include increased sales, increased profits per customer and notably larger click-through rates.

The Latest Developments in Search Marketing

Choosing organic vs. paid marketing has become easier over time, as SEM techniques that rely on search engine optimization or paid searches have become integrated in SEO-boosting software. Software suites that help manage both organic and paid search campaigns make it easier to track how your campaigns fare.

Highly-optimized sites rank high in natural search results and are likely to enjoy increased click-through rates when users search for specific terms. Serious buyers, however, are also likely to click on sponsored links, which is a form of paid search marketing. Using tracking software can help you determine exactly which campaigns require more attention or generate more returns for your business.

The Costs and Potential Pitfalls of Marketing Efforts

Search optimization companies make a large amount of money by helping businesses determine the necessity of organic vs. paid search efforts. Optimization experts may point out that organic search arises from content and layout — all of which are natural parts of your site — while paid search costs money upfront without guaranteed results.

Bidding on Google search terms can cost anywhere from 10 cents to $5 or more per click. The costs of a search optimization overhaul for natural, organic results can range even higher. None of these efforts have guaranteed results, as Google constantly tweaks its algorithms, and user habits change frequently. When you have to determine the potential costs of organic vs. paid search campaigns, consider the track record of the software or company you plan to employ and the potential upkeep as the algorithms and search habits change.

Organic and paid marketing efforts don't have to be complicated. A site with a clear layout, excellent linking between the pages and quality content is likely to rise in organic searches because it has what Google and other engines seek: valuable, relevant information and a good user experience. The goal of search engines is to drive users to the best sites.

Focusing your marketing efforts on creating only the highest quality site and bidding only on relevant keywords that would interest real buyers is paramount to your success.