Paid Search vs. Organic Search or What am I clicking on when I run a Google search?

Paid versus Organic Google Search

What am I looking at when I run a Google search?

What happens when you type a search term into Google? Normally you’ll get a page full of results. Some of these will be matching pages from across the Internet. Some of these will be matching content from news sources or image links. More than likely, you will see ads that appear above or to the right of the main search results. These paid ads are known as Paid Search or PPC (pay-per-click) or Google Adwords and they are clearly differentiated from the organic search results by the word “ad” or “ads.”

1. What is PPC Marketing and why does my business need to use it?

PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a form of online advertising in which advertisers pay when users click on their ads.  These ads appear at the top and/or right side of internet searches so they are usually the first listings that users view and/or click on. In order to have your website ranked high up on Google organically can take a lot of work and time invested in your website. If you don’t have that kind of time or are not a web expert, than perhaps your best bet is a PPC campaign.

2. What is Google My Business and how do I make sure my business is listed?

Some search results may look like business listings with results plotted on a Google map. These map-type results are called Google Places or Google My Business pages.

Google has created a search algorithm which provides an easier way for local businesses to rank at the top of Google in searches within a specified geographical location. In many instances, Google My Business local listings will appear above organic search results.

It is more important than ever that your Google+ profile and page are optimized with complete and detailed business information to extend your likelihood of coming up in local searches. And the best part is there is no cost to you.

3. What is Organic Search or SEO?

Organic search refers to the natural search engine results that appear for any given search. The organic search results will appear just under the PPC ad and Google My Business results. You want to make sure your web content is optimized to appear in organic search engine results, so it will be easier for users to find you when searching valuable information. This optimization of keywords in your website does not cost you any money and is an important component of making your business more “searchable.”

4. So . . . What is the best search strategy for my business?

The answers will vary depending on what your immediate and long-term marketing goals are and how much you are willing to invest to achieve them.  You will most likely want to use a combination of paid search and SEO. You should make sure your content is optimized for both, as this will allow you the flexibility to do both and have them complement each other.  Your digital strategy will change and morph over time. As you grow your online brand awareness, you will necessarily shift your focus from just driving traffic to your site to more sales-driven conversion tactics.

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