Organic vs Paid Search. Who Wins?

  • Author: Danilo Halvorsen

What is organic search?

Organic search is a search engine scanning the relevance and quality of your content and relaying that information thus placing you a specific order. As web page listings are influenced by content factors, maintaining a strongly optimised website with a relevant up-to-date keywords is paramount.

The internet never sleeps and by investing time in SEO you can ensure you have brand exposure all day, every day.

With SEO requiring more time and effort in the long run, it is evident when you obtain the rewards. Companies should place a higher emphasis on their content, as doing so pushes the competition further down the search rankings. 

Traffic is more likely to click on an organic search listing rather than a paid advertised showing. How often do we avoid advertisements because they can be tedious and distracting? On the other hand, organic SEO can take a number of months to see a difference were as PPC click is instantaneous.


  • High ROI – SEO offers one of the highest levels of ROI than most forms of marketing.
  • Credibility – Research shows that about 60-80% of people tend to click on organic results, rather than sponsored or paid results. 
  • Reference – If the content is high enough quality and useful the searcher more often than not, will return and refer others.
  • Cost – No paid relationship between a company and search provider through paid ads, etc. Meaning no cost to you.  


  • Google statistic – There can be no guaranteed results as the search engines themselves decide the ranking.
  • Time consuming – Large allocated time in order to optimise results from months to sometimes years. This can be troublesome if you are a new upcoming business.
  • ROI – Initial ROI can be low until you build up credibility.

Why paid search?

As the title states, you pay for what you get. Companies pay to have their website listed above all overs to help optimise audience attention and funnel traffic potentially increasing the revenue. When we think of ads, we immediately jump to the conclusion of annoying in your face information that just won’t seem to budge. However, it’s not always the case. With google being a competition battleground, businesses are striving to come out on top above all overs.

Paid advertisement can have a huge ROI as you set your own budget and not obligated to pay any extra fees. With the majority of spare time spent on social media; businesses are now paying to advertise themselves through paid campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, etc. More often than not, PPC is used for a duration of time where profits will outweigh the expenditure.

PPC allows you to study analytics of your searchers for their preferences. In addition, you are able to see where ads are performing or not being as effective, allowing you to implement a strategic plan for greater upselling and CRO then ultimately ROI.

With PPC ads, traffic tends to not click on them as they don’t seem to trust sponsored links. As with all things there comes many different advantages and disadvantages to using PPC.


  • Cost effective – Because you only pay when a user actually reaches your website, it can be good value for money. You can choose to spend as much or as little as you like.
  • Targeted – You can choose your audience according to analytics and keywords.
  • Fast – Results can be instant.
  • Traffic – Consistent, targeted traffic can be game changing for a business that hasn’t used PPC previously.


  • Time investment – You need to invest time into optimising and improving to get the required results. Campaigns can’t be just left once set up.
  • Skills required – It can take some practise to set up effective campaigns. Many businesses choose to use a specialist agency.
  • Cost – Allocating a budget for PPC campaigns. Unlike SEO tactics where the investment is time and skill.
  • Clicks don’t always necessarily mean sales – You will need to convince searchers to purchase from you once at your website. Therefore, content is key!

Final Thoughts

Searchers want a smooth, quick and easy experience. The longer and more difficult it is, the less likely it is of customer retention. Ideally companies should place a higher emphasis on their content; rather than being at the top of the pecking order and pumping money into ads.

Do not just rely on paid advertisements to get your where you want to be on search results. Hard work produces the best results!

If you have any questions or enquiries regarding your SEO or PPC, why not contact us for a free complimentary marketing data analysis?


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