To pay or not to pay? That is the question, with a range of different answers depending on your business and the state of your marketing campaign. First, it’s useful to understand the difference.

Paid search includes services such as Google AdWords, where you assign each keyword a budget and bid against competitors in order to be displayed in the top search result slots. Yahoo! and Bing also offer paid options, but by far the largest provider is Google. The results are instant – you’ll immediately start appearing in search results provided you pay enough for the slot.

Organic search refers to the results attained naturally through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Google’s internal algorithm has its own way of determining which websites are going to offer the best and most useful results for searchers, so appealing to this algorithm makes your website appear high up on the results page without spending any money. The results take a lot longer – months or sometimes years to reach sought after positions.

Both have their place in a marketing campaign, but here at Avatar we typicallly put the focus on strengthening organic results. Here are a few reasons why:

Of course, paid search has its place too. It can take a while for Google to recognise a website as an authority. In the meantime, paid search can give less established sites a much-needed rankings boost to get started. As long as your website is set up to capitalise on any traffic coming in via ads you should make a return on your investment. Some industries are also extremely competitive with generic keyword phrases – ads can be useful for getting a foothold in search areas such as this.

If you plan to go the route of paid search, it’s essential that your campaign is set up to make the most of the visitors you’re paying for – otherwise you’re just throwing your money away. Avatar offers assistance in setting up paid search campaigns, based on our extensive experience.

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