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Organic versus Paid SEO: which is better?

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It's the age old question: Is it better to pay for your SEO, to put money into pay-per-click and guarantee you'll be at the top of Google, or if you should add keywords, pages and quality back-links to up your organic SEO? Both have disadvantages and drawbacks that can both help and hinder your website. Putting your website at the top of Google is everyone's goal. But, sometimes it just doesn't work out the way you want it to. So when it comes to Organic versus Paid SEO - which one is better?

You can never guarantee that a website will garner high ranks, even if you do everything you can to improve its organic SEO. If you're working in a very popular field, or for some reason the text content isn't producing the desired results, it can be extremely disheartening. On the flip-side, pumping a lot of money into pay-per-click may drain your resources, so you need to choose wisely. What do you spend the most time on? What do you put the most resources into? How do you rank Organic versus Paid SEO? And prioritise your resources?

The solution, as you may have guessed, isn't all that simple.

Pros and Cons of Organic SEO

Organic SEO is how search engines judge where your website should be placed. How well your keywords and locations rank, whether you have authoritative material, if you have any back-links from good sources. Organic SEO covers a wife range of aspects.

In the long run, organic SEO is vital if you don't use paid SEO as well. Without it, your website just won't rank well and it's unlikely that your website will have very good content on it. Pages should be written around your keywords, which will likely create authoritative, interesting and engaging content for any potential customers to look through. If you do your organic SEO well and get to page one, you don't have to spend any more or any less money to stay there. With paid SEO, you need to continue to pay to stay at the top.

Cons of Organic SEO

Its main drawback is that it's time consuming. You either need to have a person (or two) in-house to handle your organic SEO, or hire a professional company. This will cost you money that you might not want to spend. The fact is that you might not even get to the position you want to and even if you do, it may not affect how many click-throughs you get, or even add to your enquiry numbers.

Other than that, there aren't a lot of other bad things that come with organic SEO. The major risk is that whatever you put in, you might not then get what you want back out. Time, money and effort may still not give you the results you want. But, usually, as long as you increase the frequency and authority of your organic SEO, it should improve your rankings.

Pros of Paid SEO

Unlike organic SEO that can take months, or even years to show the results you want, paid SEO will give you that "top of page one" result immediately. You don't have to spend all your time adding keywords, getting external links and improving your content. It doesn't matter what you have on your website, whether it's ranked well before or not, you'll be at the top of Google until you stop paying.

You can also target certain places, ages, education level, marital status and industries with your paid SEO. This means you're targeting the people you think will be buying your product and no one else, which could prove vital to creating your specific niche. Selling to the right people, in the right places, at the right time could be the turning point for your company.

Cons of Paid SEO

Honestly, the major issue with paid SEO is the cost of it. Depending on your line of work, if it's a popular product or industry, you may have to continually up your bid price for each click. You'll need a high level of expertise to know how to manage your PPC (something that only web design companies, such as Smart Domain Group, provide) without spending a high amount of money on it. You might also miss out on business with paid SEO due to users' general mistrust of paid for adverts at the top of Google. Many people won't click on them as they don't seem trustworthy, unlike a website that has gone to the top of the rankings using organic SEO methods.

The thing that ties this all together is that when you stop paying for your SEO, it goes away. You might not think this is such a bad thing, that you'll just keep paying, but then that reverts us back to our first point. You'll be stuck in a cycle for paying, otherwise your website will drop to page two, or three, or whatever page it would be on with no time spent on organic SEO.

So, Organic versus Paid SEO: What's the best solution?

When it comes to organic and paid SEO, what to do is actually pretty simple: mix them together.

SEO works best in partnership, trying to engage the most with the widest user base you can. When you use paid and organic SEO together, you won't have to spend so much money keeping your advert at the top of the page because, if you do your organic SEO right, it'll be on page one anyway. The paid SEO means that you can target specific areas and specific keywords that may not be performing as well, to balance out what you're doing with the organic SEO. If you're struggling in one area more than another, spend more time on it. So it's not a case of Organic versus Paid SEO. It's a case of combining the best of Organic AND Paid SEO.

The age old question: Is it better to pay for your SEO, to put money into pay-per-click and guarantee you'll be at the top of Google, or if you should add keywords, pages and quality back-links to up your organic SEO?

The answer: if you work both types of SEO into your website, you're bound to see better results than either on its own.