Search engines are a staple of everyday life for most. Take the time to think about it. When was the last time you said “Google it“? Upon closer investigation, you’ll likely find that the search engine results page (SERP) contains a mixture of both organic and paid websites results.
What is the difference between organic and paid search results?
Organic search results are those which come directly from the algorithm used by the search engine; paid results are just that – links that come from advertising dollars being spent to place them on the results page. Paid results may be annotated with “sponsored content” or set apart with a shaded box, or even placed into an area of their own, such as a sidebar.
How do people use search results?
When it comes to search traffic, an overwhelming majority of users – 94%, prefer organic results to 6% for paid ads. And of the top results returned, the first result is the one that receives the most clicks. On the search engine giant, Google, the top result receives 33% of website traffic, based on the ranking alone. The second result receives 18% of web traffic, and traffic for the remaining results is a sliding scale dependent on position on the page as well as depth of results.
Receiving a full third of all web traffic for a search term can translate into any number of positives, the most desired of course being increased revenue. Obviously, companies aim for that top position. How websites rise to the number one position on search results is a larger topic for another time, but the bottom line is that higher ranking sites are there due to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Organic vs. Paid – which is better?
“Better” is a matter of opinion, of course. The best approach for you will depend largely upon the type of business you have, the objectives of your web presence and your budget. High ranking results that are organic in nature carry with them a sense of authority and respectability, which is particularly useful if your company is service-oriented. But for companies that are product- or brand-specific, paid ads can help to drive clicks and by extension, conversions.
Organic search results also have a more evergreen presence, meaning they have the continued opportunity to rank even after you produce the content. Paid ads; however, stop displaying as soon as you stop paying. It may even be that a combination of organic search engine optimization and paid search ads deliver the best performance for your targeted keywords.
We are proud to proclaim our love for organic search results, and we are a perfect example of making it to the top of Google without spending one single dime on ads.
If you need help with your SEO and organic search results please contact us today.
Chris A. Hughes