Organic vs. Paid Search


You probably use a search engine every day. Think of the last time you used one to look something up. You probably used certain keywords or the exact name
of something to find what you were looking for. When you were met with the search results, you found one that you felt would help you and clicked on
it. You may not have noticed, but there are two types of search results: Organic and Paid. So, what is the difference between the two? Is one better
than the other when it comes to your business? Read on to find out!

What is the Difference between Organic and Paid Search?

Organic search results, also called “natural” search results, are the results that are most closely related to the search keywords entered. They come up,
ranked usually in order of relevance and popularity, based on what the searcher has entered into the search engine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is used to help companies gain higher rankings on a search result. The ideal situation is to be within the first three listings on the first
page of results.


Paid search results are just that – businesses, brands, or companies can pay to have their name show up as a result for certain keywords. They are usually
displayed at the top of the search engine results page, where they are easily accessible. One can usually tell the difference between the two, as search
engines differentiate them by displaying paid results at the top of the page, adding certain colors/lines, and/or simply labeling them as advertisements.


Pros and Cons of Organic Search

Some of the benefits of Organic Search results include:


  • Credibility: the results are more likely to be closely related and credible, especially if they ranked high.
  • Ranking: The results are ranked, therefore, you will know which result is used the most by others. Once you are ranked high,
    it is easier to stay at that ranking and be trusted by searchers.
  • Useful for Researchers: When someone is researching, organic results work best as resources for information.

Some of the cons of Organic Search results include:


  • Time: Ranking high on a search result isn’t something that happens over-night. It can take days, weeks or even years, depending
    on the popularity and competitiveness of the keywords used.
  • Large Effort: In order to consistently rank high as a result for a topic, marketers must use SEO tactics and constantly
    create new content. This can consume a lot of time, money, and resources.


Pros and Cons of Paid Search

Benefits of Paid Search include:


  • Less Time: There isn’t much waiting – the ads show up at the top of the rank as soon as they are paid for.
  • Audience Targeting: You can choose to target your paid search results at certain groups of people.
  • Good for Searchers who are Shopping: Searchers looking to make a purchase are more likely to click on a paid search result.

The Cons of Paid Search results include:


  • Lower Click Through Rate (CTR): Over-all, people tend to click on paid search results less than they click on organic search
  • Not Permanent: As soon as you stop paying for the ads, they no longer come up as a search result.
  • Not as Trusted: People tend to distrust paid search ads and therefore are more likely to avoid clicking on them.

Which One is Better?

The best way to approach your online search results when it comes to your business is to use a combination of both paid and organic results. This way,
you will build trust with your audience with organic results, while supplementing with paid results to ensure your listing shows up on the top of the
page and can be clicked on by a consumer when a purchase is ready to be made.


Contact the team at Brawn Media today to discuss SEO and paid search results options for your



Written by Brittany Caselnova, Social Media Specialist at Brawn Media. Learn more about her and the rest of our team here! Connect with her on LinkedIn.