There is a lot of talk for those that are wanting to start an online campaign as to what is going to be the best option for their company and for their money. Is an organic search going to have a better ROI or is a paid search better? First off, I want to give you a definition of what each of these searches are and where they are placed on Google. So lets do a quick search for “Boostability”:
As you can see, I have three different colors that show you where paid, organic, and local search are placed in a search on Google. At times there will be ads at the top, but the majority of the time you are only going to see the ads to the far right of your browser. Organic is the main meat of a search page, and is what you see bordered in green.
So what is the difference between the two? Paid search is for those that are trying to advertise and promote their site or business through paying Google to have their ad show up in a search. Typically this is called PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising. It is the bread and butter of Google and is how they make the majority of their money. How it works is you place a bid for how much you are willing to spend to have someone click on your ad. Say you wanted to be on the top for lawn chairs. You look at what the average spend is per click (Google has a tool that helps you to see what the average price is) and place a bid. Lets say it averages to $0.45 a click, but you want to be above the curve, so you bid $0.50. Your ad gets placed and each time someone clicks on that ad when they are searching on Google, you will pay $0.50.
Now for organic search, there is no fee that you need to pay Google to be listed, but in order for you to actually show up in the rankings the standard method is to either do the SEO yourself, or hire an SEO company take care of it for you. Prices will vary depending on what you decide to do, but this option is typically what most businesses would want to invest in.
Why would they do SEO you ask? Well one major disadvantage of going the PPC route is once you stop paying Google, your ad is taken off of the search results page. That avenue that you used to generate traffic is now no longer there. The only way to get it back is to start paying Google again, and sometimes making that major of an investment ($0.50 times 10,000 clicks a day is a pretty penny) is not going to be profitable for a small or local business if people are just looking and not actually buying your product or services.
SEO has a disadvantage as well, being that the results are not going to be as fast as going PPC (typically it can take 3 to 6 months for you to see results in a search), but it can generate a much higher ROI because your rank in the search engine is going to stay there. It may move up or down depending on how much work is being done for that page, but you can get hundreds of thousands of clicks per month and not have to pay Google a single dime! It seems like a much better trade off to me.
Of course each scenario is going to be different depending on the business you are running, so it is best to talk with one of our experts and see what they recommend. 9 times out of 10 they are going to tell you that ranking in Organic search is a much better option and will give you a much better ROI. As always let us know what questions you might have.