Ask Bonshaw: Paid Search vs. Organic Results

So, you’ve likely heard about how important it is for your business to show up on search engines, and you’re probably wondering how you can take those first steps. 

First, it’s important to understand where and how you can show up in search engines. This blog post will focus on two places: paid results and organic results. As we’ve covered in another blog post, you can show up in paid results through a strong search engine marketing campaign

So, which place should you aim to be seen? While one will get you ahead of the pack with immediate results, the truth is that each will compliment the other when done well, or impede your overall performance when done poorly.

Here are a few big reasons why it’s important that your business is showing up in both the paid and organic sections of search engine results pages:

Why Do I Need to Show Up in Paid Listings?

Once upon a time, people waited until they were home in front of a computer to conduct searches online. But, in the age of smartphones, this method is ancient history. As of 2015, mobile searches eclipsed desktop searches, and with every year has widened that gap. 

Why is this important? When searching for a product or service on a mobile device, text ads are typically the top result, which will dominate the screen as soon as you click the search button. 

A study released by Google found that when viewing web pages, ads shown above the fold (the area you see before scrolling down) have a viewability rate of 73% while ads below the fold only had a 44% viewability rate.

Whether you have a new website that hasn’t been touched by a marketing expert, or an established brand that is climbing up the organic results, search engine marketing will get your website out there immediately and on top.

Why Do I Need to Show Up in Organic Listings?

While it is true that paid ads are displayed above organic listings and in many instances occupy all the real estate above the fold, there are some users who will automatically bypass the paid ads and go to the organic results. 

A survey in 2017 showed that although 58.9% of users do not know the difference between a paid and organic listing, 32.2% of users can tell the difference and choose not to click on paid ads. 

This means that if you are putting all of your efforts strictly into paid search, you are missing out on a third of your potential user base. Furthermore, the double coverage can help tip the scale for a discerning potential customer and establish your brand as the top option for their search.

Be Prepared For Both

Besides covering your bases when it comes to showing up above the fold and where savvy searchers are looking, there are a number of benefits to investing in paid search and organic results. A few key benefits being: 

  • You can use search data from paid search to build your organic web strategy. If you run a paid search campaign, you’ll be able to see your highest-converting search terms, which will allow you to identify how to improve your website and reach more customers.
  • You can improve confidence in your site and business. If your site is displayed in both the paid search and organic listings, it brings credibility to your site since you are showing up in multiple listings on the same page. As an added bonus, it also takes away real estate from your competitors! 

Bottom line: A paid plus organic approach will increase conversions.

At the end of the day, working together always triumphs. If you are putting all of your focus into one area of search, you won’t be taking advantage of the results a paid + organic approach has to offer. This approach to marketing your business on search engines is the best way to make sure you are reaching the highest amount of relevant people possible while maximizing your marketing dollars. 

If this sounds like a lot, don’t panic. At Bonshaw, we can take care of both your organic and paid search for you with our search-friendly and custom-built websites and Search Engine Marketing services.