Organic Search and How it Differs from Paid Search

The World We Live In

organic search and paid search comparisonThe internet makes massive amounts of data available to us at a moment’s notice. It allows people and businesses to interact with each other, do research, and make purchases. Online channels become increasingly important, especially organic search on average driving 51% of traffic to websites.

In order to quickly identify the correct content and websites that will meet their needs almost all users will use a search engine such as Google. Typing a query into a search engine will generate a set of results that are a combination of paid and organic search listings. The user can then choose the most relevant link from these results or search again if the results are not helpful.

The process mentioned above is the core of our industry and is executed well over 3 billion times per day, so it’s worth highlighting one piece for a bit closer investigation – organic search.

 

What Is Organic Search?

Let’s define it before we jump into how it works and its effects on content performance marketing. Organic search is the process of using an unbiased algorithm to provide a user with content suggestions based on their search query.

A typical organic search listing:

Organic search Result vs paid search

This is important to understand because it is our job as content performance marketers is to build content that is going to drive success for our businesses. In order to do that, we need to create and tune our content to meet the needs of our target audiences.

organic search icon vs paid searchIf we can do that effectively, it is in the best interest of the search engine to serve our content to our target audience for us, providing highly targeted visitors to our pages at no incremental cost. This is the secret to the organic channel, and why organic search listings are so valuable. Other channels often come with additional cost for each new visitor provided.

You can build a valuable and well-targeted piece of content once, and it can produce for your business for a significant length of time. We describe this as long-term content equity. See additional detail what is seo?

 

How Paid Search Is Different

Now we understand what organic search is and how it can provide tremendous value to our businesses. The next question is how organic is different from paid search, since both types of listings are provided by search engines. Paid Search is the process of providing a user with content suggestions provided by third parties in exchange for payment.

A typical paid search listing:

Paid Search Listing vs organic search

This is significantly different from the way organic search works. Whereas in organic search the content is served based purely on its relevance and value to the person doing the search, in paid search the advertiser is paying-per-click to have their content highlighted and placed in front of the searcher.

It is definitely possible to bring visitors to your site using this strategy. Traditionally, paid search is very popular because it can produce quick results and provides high keyword and user visibility.

 

How BrightEdge Can Help

BrightEdge is the only technology that allows marketers to get an accurate understanding of how organic search rankings are tied to business value. It allows customers to track actual placement among all types of search results. BrightEdge users can switch data and reports between blended and classic rank results to gain more visibility and insight into the effects of local, images, videos, and more. You can also see how your content is performing across device types, like mobile, and in different regions within the same country. The image below from BrightEdge StoryBuilder shows Classic Rank in blue and significantly different rank for Blended or Universal results, which include universal rank types such as quick answers, images, videos, and shopping.

classic organic search rank and blended rank vs paid search

BrightEdge Recommendations provides content-based on-page recommendations which enable users to create high-quality, relevant content that guide multiple target keywords to an individual page.

BrightEdge Anomaly Detection enables you to build custom rules around virtually any data point which trigger alerts to specific users when critical changes, like this one, occur and change your rank and performance.

Using the BrightEdge platform means access to insight and more capability to respond to our always-changing industry environment. Contact your customer success manager or Request a Demo to review your strategy and response plan or contact us to learn how to start using BrightEdge today.

 

How to drive results across channels? 

Channel Performance white paper paid search organic search