Organic Vs. Paid Search – Benefits, Drawbacks, and Which Works the Best?


Organic Vs. Paid Search – Benefits, Drawbacks, and Which Works the Best?

  • By Shamsher Singh Bhullar

  • 25th March 2022

It can be a little complex task to identify which digital marketing technique works better for your business and what exactly these techniques are? Let’s understand the meaning, benefits and drawbacks of organic and paid search.

All About Organic Search


organic search

In simpler words, Organic search means the search results that advertisers do not buy. It is a non-paid search result from a search engine query. Organic search results are unpaid and displayed on the search results page.

Organic search results are also called “blue ink” results. There are various types of organic search results, as listed below.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets briefly answer the question in the search query. These are short snippets that appear at the top of the search engine’s organic search results, and the snippet is extracted from one of the top-ranked search results.

Video Carousels

Video carousels feature videos related to the search query. The whole video carousel is one organic search result.

Top Stories

All the recently published content about any topic is featured in the top stories box. Generally, the top stories box shows up for news-related topics in the organic search results.

People also ask

People also ask or PAA boxes display common questions that people usually search for. Each question or query is answered by a short snippet taken out from a relevant webpage in the search result.

Where do you see organic search results?

Generally, a search engine displays the organic search results on the top of the page or right below the ads. However, organic search results appear lower in certain cases, like a featured snippet or ‘People Also Ask’ section.

The cost incurred for organic search results

With organic search, it costs almost nothing to establish a digital presence and improve visibility. However, most businesses spend between $750 and $2,000 per month for the assistance of an SEO agency. Also, organizations invest in a one-time optimization project which generally costs between $5,000 and $30,000, and this service works well only if the business proactively manages the SEO.

Benefits of Organic Search

Let us how businesses benefit from organic search.

Free of cost

One of the most obvious benefits of organic search is the cost advantage. As compared to paid search, organic search has no upfront costs. Businesses do not require any monthly budget to improve digital visibility. Time is all you need, from learning about SEO basics to forming a strategy and curating optimized content.

Outstanding return on investments

Return on investment is one of the deciding factors in whether to invest money in paid search or organic search.  An organic search backed with an efficient strategy can create significant results.

Reduces competition

If used correctly and intensively, organic search can help you eradicate your competition. It can block your competitors’ digital presence. More efforts in organic search higher the search rankings hence dropping the competitors down in the digital world.

Increases credibility

From a user’s perspective, organic search increases a brand’s online credibility. Organizations that choose a paid approach for website traffic are more likely to fall behind in terms of credibility and online presence. If any business appears in various organic search results, it increases the brand’s awareness amongst the users.

Works well with a combined approach

Internet is a place of mixed approaches and viewpoints. For example, some users enter the websites via search engines while others regularly click on paid ads. Therefore, it makes sense for online businesses to have a combined approach and integrate both organic search and paid search for a harmonious online strategy.

Attracts the correct and relevant users

Organic search helps to attract relevant users to the business. If you are looking for a relevant user base for your products and services, organic search is the best option.

Drawbacks of Organic Search

Everything in this universe has some benefits and drawbacks. So, let’s see what the drawbacks of organic search are.

Needs routine maintenance

Organic search is not a once and for all thing; it requires attention on a daily basis. A business needs to optimize its website on a regular basis to enhance its online presence. Several updates such as improvement in the loading speed of the webpage to upload fresh content are required for effective use of organic search.

Needs time

Paid search starts driving leads and revenue immediately. In contrast, organic search results take a period of several months to deliver the results solely because organic search results take three to six months, especially if your aim is to be on the first page.

This was all about organic search. Now let’s understand the nitty-gritty of paid search.

All About Paid Search


paid search

Paid search states the online strategy of promoting the business via paid ads. Such advertisements appear at the top and bottom of the search results on the search engine.

Following are the various types of paid searches:

Search ads

The common form of a search ad is a Google Ad; it is a paid ad that appears above organic search results after putting the search query. Such ads are created to occur when a consumer is looking for an answer or a product.

Display ads

The ads that appear at other times are display ads. For example, the ads that appear before a YouTube video or ad banners appear beside the original content on the website.

Where do you see paid search results?

A paid search result appears at the top or bottom of the search results. Mostly, search engines display three paid ads at the top and three paid ads at the bottom. The format of the paid search result depends upon the type of ad.

The cost incurred for paid search results

There are various factors that decide the cost for a paid search, like platform and online strategy. However, on average, most companies spend $9000 – $10,000 per month on paid search.

Benefits of Paid Search

Let us how businesses benefit from paid search.

Quick results

Paid search ensures quick results. The turnaround time for paid search is faster than the organic search. The paid search channel shows the outcome as soon as the ads go live. Big platforms like Google Ads also help to improve the campaigns.

Great source of data

Businesses receive essential user data when using a paid search like user location, keywords, and demographics. The keyword data helps brands create fresh and unique content to target the keywords.

Attracts ready-to-buy users

Paid search targets the audience that would buy their products or services. Specifically targeting the ads to willing users helps businesses get immediate results and maximized revenue.

Provides potential data

Paid search helps businesses to gather potential data such as user engagement, time on page, and other user demographics.

Drawbacks of Paid Search

Following are the drawbacks of using the paid search strategy:

Requires high cost

The paid search strategy is expensive, and businesses need to form a budget for the ad spend. Therefore, an efficient and effective online strategy is required while going for the paid search results because money is on the line.

Short-term results

There is no doubt that paid search results are quicker than organic search results, but with spontaneity comes the inability for consistency. Paid search is effective till the time you are putting in some money.

Require regular maintenance

Similar to organic search, paid search also requires regular attention. It requires more attention, more often.

Which Strategy works the Best? Can you choose both?


Which Strategy works the Best - organic or paid

After reading the complete article, you are looking for an answer to – which one is better? Well, there is not any concrete answer to this question. But, as the digital experts say, businesses can use both for full potential and better results.

Suppose you want to promote a new service, then paid search would be considered the best channel. But, at the same time, organic search works best for the existing product or service.

To find out which channel works best for you, try to match your goals with the features of both channels.

You can win the digital game if you have the quickness of paid search and the reliability of organic search.


Written By
Shamsher Singh Bhullar
calendar 25th March 2022
Shamsher Singh Bhullar, heading the business and sales department at Deftsoft, has 12+ cross-industry experience that makes him an expert with thorough knowledge of upcoming business concepts. He has successfully led multiple teams in Digital Marketing and AEM and has an art of converting challenges into opportunities. Apart from developing innovative business and marketing strategies, he is committed to inspire and empower everyone around him to portray their very best.

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