Pros & Cons of Organic, Local & Paid Search

One question that we get here at Clix on occasion is, “What is the value of ranking in organic, local and paid Google search?” The answer is plain and simple. It’s about owning as much real estate as realistically possible in order to improve your chances of landing a relevant visitor. Just like in a game of roulette, the conservative gambler would place their bets on a spread (red, even, etc.) rather than place all of their eggs in one basket. Sure, the amount of risk is proportional to the reward in roulette, but this is certainly not the case in the SERP’s. Ranking in only one location (organic, local or paid) will not increase the potential payout.

Organic search driven by a series of algorithms, which are then driven by another series of algorithms. It’s both complicated and simple at the same time. The complicated aspect involves every single little factor that Google takes into account when ranking a website organically. From title tags and crawlability to reach and backlinks, Google measures your site from header to footer. The simple aspect is text. Text brings everything together and it is how Google provides results. Imagine only having a site with images or videos without text associated with the images or videos. Your site would not rank. Those videos and images may reveal the secret to life, but your site won’t be shown to someone who is searching for the “secret to life.”

Perks:

  • Traditionally, optimizing for organic search is prone to pay off for most product/service companies
  • More than 80% of people perform research online prior to purchasing a product. Being found in organic search increase your chances of closing a sale

Cons:

  • Rankings are subject to the search engine
  • A long-term strategy (6 + months)

Local search is important to Google and it’s not going away. Google Maps pages are gone and it’s now Google + local that you need to use. Local search is driven by local search algorithms that we can assume run in conjunction with organic search in some way, shape or form. This resource displays a pretty in-depth article regarding how to rank for local search. Although it is a bit dated, some of the principles still apply today.

Perks:

  • Highly relevant for the local searcher
  • Integrates with Google +
  • Customers can leave reviews on Google + profile

Cons:

  • Rankings are subject to the search engine
  • Relevancy is objective in regards to the search. Your actual location makes a difference
  • A long-term strategy

Paid search is front and center. Commonly referred to as “pay-to-play”, Google’s paid search algorithm (CPC) runs completely independent of organic and local search. For all intensive purposes, it is an online auction for best placement within the ads sections of Google and its search partners. One of the chief benefits of paid search is instant pay-off. Once your campaigns are live, they are live. No waiting around for organic and local search results to climb the ranks. Competition is fierce but paying for the best placement for the most relevant visitor to your site may mean the difference between small and large ROI.

Perks:

  • Instantly get placement
  • Target specific keywords that are most relevant to your product/service
  • Drive targeted visitors to your website
  • Rankings are subject to your campaign settings

Cons:

  • Must pay for a click or impression
  • Search engine users generally search organic results more so than paid search results

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