Choosing Between Paid Google Ads and Organic Traffic

Man writing in a notepadEvery business owner has over a thousand details to work on and not a day passes without something important on the calendar – especially if the business has an online presence. Sometimes, it’s not a question of cost when choosing between paid and organic traffic because if it were, hands down, organic traffic would win over spending on Google Ads because it’s free! Unfortunately, life for a business owner is never that simple.

Last July Google introduced an update to its text ad format and it was geared mainly towards mobile use. It expanded the paid ad space by 50% with the suggestion that this change would improve clickthrough rate (CTR) by as much as 92% vis-à-vis lower costs.

Results show that while costs did decrease the CTR was, at best, mixed. It did not help everyone. For instance, Guitar Center reported a CTR increase of 100% while make-up giant, L’Oreal revealed their CTR increased by 92%. These were two of the lucky ones and it’s probably due to the fact that they were part of the beta test group.

Does this mean you should focus on organic traffic instead? Not at all.

The advantage of paid Google ads is its immediacy. If you want to send out your message quickly and reach as many people as possible, the most effective way is through Google Ads. Your ads will show up on searches, meaning you don’t have to wait and work for higher rankings. And Google ads can cost as little as one cent depending on the real estate and terms.

However, just like in traditional media, once you stop the ads, you lose contact with your traffic and market. It’s gone unless you have a back-up plan.

What about organic content?

Google still puts a lot of weight on organic content. Their mission is to provide the most relevant information and make the search fruitful. While you don’t have to pay Google to be on their search results, you can boost your chances by spending on select optimized keywords. It’s a more difficult choice because some keywords have been taken by the multinationals and big brands.

The downside to this choice is the uncertainty in results. You can enjoy immediate results or you may have to wait ages for the keywords to convert. For this reason, SEO companies are available to bring home the bacon, so to speak, provided they have the experience and track record to convert within six months or earlier. The other advantage of using an SEO expert is the opportunity to build your presence online, increase traffic, improve lead generation, and advance your ranking on Google. This is something that is more permanent than Google Ads – even if you decide to stop the SEO service.