Purchased vs. Organic Search Engine Results
The goal of any website is to be found and therefore generate viewers and perhaps some money. Of course we’d like that to happen immediately, for free, for everything that we do, automatically, and maybe even have some cookies delivered along the way too, just because we’re doing such a great job.
Unfortunately, that’s just not how the internet works. We’re all vying for the top position and obviously we can’t all have it. Instead, we have to choose how we’re going to go about getting the best rankings for our business for the keywords we want to focus on (which you can find help choosing by reading some of our previous posts).
Option 1: Organic SEO Campaigns
Organic SEO is based on all of the practices that we’ve been discussing over the last month, it’s a matter of filling your website with the best possible information, keywords in the right places, keeping it fresh, and building genuine inbound links in order for the Search Engines to deem your website “worthy” of high rankings. Organic SEO takes time, effort, and constant upkeep, but the rewards are great.
According to Search Engine Watch, out “of the 1.4 Billion successful search queries, the vast majority ended up with natural results being clicked.” 94% clicked on the natural result to be exact, which is huge! Why is this you may ask? Searchers can see which results are paid for, and they are more likely to click on the organic results rather than what people are paying to have them see. It’s human nature, we don’t particularly like to be “sold to” and these findings prove that.
If that’s not enough of a reason to try organic search engine optimization, let’s try this, when you stop paying for a paid results, do you know what happens? Nothing. You are no longer in the rankings, your page falls off the radar, and you have to start from scratch, probably by focusing on organic search results!
Option 2: Paid (aka purchased) SEO Campaigns
Purchased results are often acquired using “quick and dirty” methods. Paid search engine campaigns can manifest in a couple of different ways. Pay per click campaigns with Google Adwords or other similar programs work by displaying your ad when particular search phrases are used. You are paying for visibility at this point, and you have to hope that the 6% of “paid clickers” choose to click on your ad to make it worth your expense. Pay per click advertising isn’t “bad” per se, and it certainly won’t hurt you, just your pocketbook. In fact, depending on your target market, it might be a great solution! For instance, if your target demographic is primarily female and over the age of 55, and you are selling a product online that people may be searching for, pay per click might be the best way for you to get your website off the ground. For the rest of us, maybe not.
Other types of paid search campaigns usually entail stuffing your site with keywords, buying link space on other websites (generally not the highest quality sites), or just generally trying to “trick” the search engines. These tactics tend to work quickly and get great results – temporarily. Unfortunately, when they catch you, and they will, the search engines will actually penalize your site for bad practices. Your time high on the search results will be limited and getting back in their good graces can be difficult, if not impossible. You want to be well aware of what tactics a company plans to use to fulfill the promise of a #1 ranking in 30 days. If they are using shady, unsanctioned SEO methods, you’ll want to steer clear!
I may seem slightly biased here, and that’s partially because I am, I am a 20-something female that NEVER clicks on paid ads so I have a hard time understanding how they work on other people. I do have to admit, they do work for some businesses. I also have to admit, that some companies are playing the “paid search campaign” well, and if you’re willing to pay them to get you a good ranking, more power to you. For me, I’d start with the basics outlined in this blog over the last few weeks and see what I could do on my own!
I will end this little SEO mini-series with two very important things I hope you’ll keep in mind.
1. SEO takes time. Expect to wait at least 30 days to see results from your efforts. At least.
2. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Any company that is offering you great SEO results very quickly, or very cheaply, is up to no good.
You pour your heart and soul into your business and your website is just another piece of that. Invest the time, energy, and care into developing your company’s website and then promoting it, and you’ll reap the benefits.