We all have one thing in common: we want more web traffic, more leads, and eventually, more revenue (and more satisfied clients, of course!).

But, where we differ is how we go about doing so. Every business needs a set online marketing plan that is specific to their target market, which is why it’s so darn difficult to decide what’s better in the war of SEO: paid or organic advertisements.

For starters, there are significant upsides and downsides to both:

Advantages of Paid

  • You’ll see immediate results from a targeted audience using a predetermined budget.
  • Paid advertisements can serve as a safeguard against changing SEO algorithms.
  • According to WordStream, about 45.5% of people polled could not differentiate between results that had been paid for and those that appeared naturally on the results page.

Disadvantages of Paid

  • The ad will immediately be taken down once you stop paying.
  • Paid advertisements can be a bit more pricey especially if you’re in a highly competitive industry.
  • What about that remaining 55% who do realize it’s a paid ad? Chance are, they will purposely disregard your ad. They may also become skeptical of your services and company.

Advantages of Organic

  • Once you’re at the top, it’s relatively hard to get bonked down (unless of course, you went against Googles SEO policy). In other words, this is a more stable approach if you’re in it for the long haul.
  • Gain trust and creditability. High organic rankings carries weight of authenticity and shows that you have your foothold in the industry.

Disadvantages of Organic

  • It takes about a week for Google to crawl through your page so patience is key here. Also know that with a good SEO strategy, the website must be updated frequently with fresh, quality content (i.e. blogging).
  • You must have the right resources, whether that be someone in-house to study up and become the SEO guru or to outsource it to a company that specializes in Search Engine Optimization.
  • To get the best results, you need to follow Google’s “best practices” which, I’ll be honest, isn’t the easiest thing to keep up with.

So, what’s best for your company, you ask? It depends (yes, I know, we all hate this answer, but it’s true).

Ultimately, it depends on…

Your audience 

  • Say, for instance, you’re targeting the 18-25 year old range. You’ll probably want to stick to organic results since this tech savvy generation can easily differentiate between paid and organic ads.

The resources you have available

  • Regardless of if you choose organic or paid, making it a priority to get to the first page of your keyword search results is vital to the success of your business. Work within your available resources to make this happen.

How quickly you need results

  • If you needed results yesterday, paid advertisements are your best route.

If you’re still unsure, consider cutting all paid advertising and track the lead generation data during that time. It’s better to know rather than to aimlessly invest money into something you may or may not be getting any return from.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to choose just one method. In fact, there are many statistics out there that suggest having a balance between the two can be very effective.

Need some direction on what model best fits your business? Contact us for a free marketing consultation. If you decide to take the organic route, we specialize in WordPress Search Engine Optimization and can get your business noticed!

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