July 23

Paid or Organic Results: What is the best return on your investment (ROI)?

Funny, when I was asked to do this article, I was thinking already about the title for this piece, “What is the difference?” The title reminded me of when insult comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay made a joke of when his math teacher asked the “Diceman” the difference between two math problems. . . . wait, let me not get into that! (for the rest of the joke-do a search of “Andrew Dice Clay what’s the difference”)

So, I went ahead and changed it a bit to: What is the best return on your investment (ROI)? So to begin: You want to know the difference between paid and organic search. Personally, I do not like to pay for searches, but we’ll get into this a bit later.

Paid and organic results

Organic Search Results

As you can see in the screenshot above, when using Google Search, organic search results are the web page listings that tries to match the best results by the user’s search query or term based on relevance. For example: Check out the search box where it reads “Web SEO and Design” and click the blue/white magnifying glass button. The top 10 results appear on display (disregard the ones with the yellow ad icon) would be the notorious organic search results. Note: Some prospects will see organic results as more trustworthy and guess what! It’s free!

Paid Search Results

Paid results are advertisements, which usually comes from Google Adwords. Search Marketing Campaign strategies such as Pay Per Click are common when going through this route. For example: Go through the same search box process as before. The paid results would be those placed at the top, side, or sometimes bottom of the page. As I said before, Google Adwords ads are paid results, and that’s for me a bummer because if you have a couple of free hours, some of the techniques in the next paragraph can provide you with all the search results you need and more!


Organic results is the process of gaining natural traffic that helps your website to become ranked higher on the search engine result pages. Now, there are many techniques, but I will only provide you a few here. Techniques include:

  • On-page optimization deals with making it easy for search engines to find you by having the website code built according to best practices.
      • provide a good title tag
      • engaging images, videos and diagrams
      • leverage SEO-friendly permalink URLs
      • use outbound links
      • drop keyword in the first 100 words
      • wrap your headline title in an H1 tag


  • Keyword Research are used to look for relevant information on search engines and be found online. As an SEO technique, it is important to choose quality, targeted keywords for your site.
      • Search for the term/phrase in the major engines
      • Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
      • Using the data you’ve collected, determine the exact value of each keyword by using the above tool


  • Backlinking are links from another site that point back to your site
      • Anchor Layer
      • Indirect Layer


  • Content Strategy is the planning, development, and management of content either written or via media channels like Youtube, Vimeo and other video sites.
      • Business plan
      • Business case
      • Audience personas
      • Content maps
      • Brand story
      • Channel plan


  • Getting social signals from your social media efforts
      • Direct impact
      • Indirect impact


Return on investment

So now, we have come to the end and here’s my opinion on how to get your return on investment (ROI). Try the hybrid model. It is a well known fact that in business “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients, so how about starting and focusing your energy towards your on and off page SEO with this principle for organic search by performing the techniques in the previous paragraph? For paid search, you can start with a low cost per click budget and target an area where there is not a highly competitive market. How does that sound? Web SEO and Design can provide help as well in this arena. Check out our Free Web SEO Course or call us! Ooow!(Diceman’s yell)

Here’s a great infographic on some of the items discussed-Google Ads and the War on Free Clicks http://www.wordstream.com/articles/google-ads



organic search, paid search, ROI of SEO

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