While organic search focuses on unpaid rankings in search results, paid search focuses on paid rankings. With organic search, companies use SEO to optimize the visibility or positioning of their site in search results. In comparison, paid search allows users to pay for a prominent place in search results. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
It refers to any tactic adopted by a website owner to obtain more favorable organic rankings in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It refers to any online marketing strategy related to search engines. SEM is essentially a general term for both SEO and SEA.
While most medium and large companies make SEO and SEA efforts together, smaller companies with tighter budgets often have to choose one or the other. Next, we'll describe the trade-offs between marketing campaigns and the importance of SEO and SEM so you can decide which strategy makes the most sense for your business. We must emphasize this last point: there is no direct link between Google's paid and non-paid algorithms. At first glance, the amount you spend on Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) doesn't influence your organic ranking.
SEA drives traffic to your site, increasing your SEO in that regard. In addition, numerous studies have shown that when an organic, paid result from the same website also goes to the same search query or keyword, traffic increases exponentially. You can read more about this phenomenon in our recent article, Why SEO and PPC Drive More Growth When Done Together. In this important sense, SEO and SEA are loosely connected.
And you're interested in working with an experienced digital marketing team that understands both. If you're still not sure about the difference between digital marketing strategies, here's an SEO and SEM infographic. The process for optimizing organic search (that is,. Getting your site higher (in the unpaid ranking) can take time.
Google's organic algorithm analyzes many factors to rank your website in a given query. If you follow the best SEO practices, Google will often award you points that will outperform your competitors. For a detailed list of Google's ranking factors, read our recent article, How to Perform an Ecommerce SEO Audit. On the other hand, SEA sends your site to the top right away (assuming you've set up your ad account optimally).
In the SEA world, there's no need to wait for Google to take note of your efforts and then re-index your website. In this sense, SEA is similar to the “fast shipping” option, where you have to pay a little more, but you get to the top faster. The price per visitor varies widely depending on several factors, such as competition, expected traffic, and the relevance between keywords, ad text, and landing page. If your SEA consultant set up your account optimally, they are likely to pay less per visitor than your competitors and gain a more favorable position in the SERPs.
For example, 88% of local searches result in a call or store visit within 24 hours. In a nutshell, the user is already actively searching for your services. They often have a “buy” mentality and are willing to read your content and research your product services. In comparison, other digital marketing tactics, such as social media advertising, interrupt a user when their mind is NOT focused on buying.
They're simply browsing Facebook, Instagram, or another social media site to catch up with their friends or get distracted. They are not thinking of buying a pair of shoes, for example. But when someone types in a search engine “red tennis shoes for men”, they are actively thinking about the purchase process. This translates to a significantly higher conversion rate.
But with that said, SEO is an advanced marketing strategy that requires significant financial and time commitments. A new website can take between six and 16 months before it starts ranking favorably in search engines, which translates to a strong ROI. So, to answer the question, companies with a long-term vision and the investment available to keep them for long enough to start positioning themselves well would likely benefit from an SEO strategy. If a company doesn't have time or money on their side, they might want to consider SEA.
The operation of SEA is quite simple, at least from a broad perspective. Almost every company would benefit from, at the very least, a small SEA campaign. However, the companies that would benefit the most are startups or companies with a low SEO rank. Perhaps the most common line of thinking is to invest heavily in SEA at the beginning as you start building links, improving your website's E-A-T, and increasing your ranking.
Once you've gained ground in organic searches, you can start to move away from paid advertising. SEO %26 SEA works best when done together. Specifically, SEO %26 SEA can help increase CTR when done together and improve research and keyword performance. CTRs have been shown to increase exponentially when companies monopolize Page One SERP results.
For example, here at Pedestal Search, we bid on our own brand. We also rank first organically for our brand and have a Google My Business listing for our name. Organic search also benefits paid search marketing by acting as a testing ground to see how your website is performing for different keywords. If you're bidding on a specific keyword and have a decent or good conversion rate, you should start investing in getting an organic ranking with the same keywords.
At the same time, we naturally optimize the keywords that customers request. In addition, we adjusted our SEO campaign based on the feedback we received from Google Ads. Once our SEO efforts gain traction, we recommend that customers abandon paid results and start reaping the benefits of SEO. There's no better deal in digital marketing than being found for free, but it takes time to get there.
In the meantime, it's okay to pay a little to attract traffic and improve your knowledge. Over time, the lessons learned from these efforts will translate into organic traffic. Free-flowing traffic on the most important keywords for your business. As a bonus, enjoy being on top.
In addition, you can rank according to the terms that matter most and, at the same time, you learn which keywords to use naturally. Aaron Levenstadt completed his degree in Statistical Data Science from 26% at Stanford University. That approach has given him an unparalleled, data-driven approach to digital search engine marketing. Before founding Pedestal Search, Aaron worked at Google at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California.
At Google, he worked on organic search, paid search and Google Analytics products, allowing him to gain extensive knowledge of the mechanisms that drive the Google algorithm and other Internet search engines. Your organization, for example, may not provide the budget or working hours needed to develop your SEO skills, which will require you and your team to dedicate your personal time to learning about SEO. When you launch and maintain your SEO strategy, in addition to expanding it, your company can maximize all the benefits of organic SEO. Although SEO can cost time and money to pay freelancers or agencies, and SEO tools, in the long run, it's still cheaper than PPC.
We've also provided some pros and cons of SEO and PPC strategies, along with descriptive statistics and real-life examples to help you decide if your company is the best fit for SEO, PPC, or both. .