Paid Vs Organic Search: Where Should I Put My Efforts?

Are you looking to rank your business higher on search engines but aren’t sure if you should prioritize organic or paid searches? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to which method is more effective at getting clicks and conversions. First, let’s review the basics of what paid and organic searches are.

What Is Paid Search (PPC)?

Paid search is a form of digital marketing where businesses pay search engines, like Google, to show their ads at the top of search engine result pages, commonly referred to as SERPs. The most well-known example of this would be Google Ads. Businesses can have their links appear above all other search results with a small ad demarcation next to them. 

The most common form of paid search is pay-per-click, PPC, where advertisers pay a set amount of money each time their advertisement link is clicked on. 

What Is Organic Search?

Organic search is another form of digital marketing; however, it does not require money to see results like paid search does. Organic search relies on methods such as search engine optimization, SEO, to signal to the search engine that your website is relevant and reliable. This allows your website link to appear higher up on the search results than your competitors and therefore gain more attention and clicks.

Is Paid Search Or Organic Search More Effective?

The good news and the bad news is that neither method is explicitly more beneficial than the other. While this means you can’t exclusively pursue the more successful avenue, it does mean that you can assess your resources and find a combination of both methods that is tailored to your needs. When considering which method will be more beneficial for you, there are a few factors to consider.


Time is a big factor in whether paid or organic search will be more effective. Firstly, consider how much time you have to put into your website and SEO. More time is required to create content, optimize your website, and perform the required maintenance to rank organically and see results. If you have very limited time to work on SEO, paid search requires less time for the results you will get, but remember, this does come with a much larger price tag. 

When considering time, it’s also important to think about how quickly you are looking to see results. If you are expecting to see very fast results, paid searches will be more effective. Ranking organically and getting the results you want can take months. While this seems undesirable, establishing the formula for successful ranking can be maintained while keeping costs low.

Brand Trust & Credibility

Paid searches will appear at the top of the search results and organic results will rank below depending on the strength of your SEO. Appearing at the top of the page in the ad results section is undoubtedly beneficial for your business. Your name will be one of the first to be seen and your website will be easily accessible. 

However, there are instances where being featured in ad results will not be a benefit to your business. This heavily relies on how much credibility your brand has established and the type of products and services you offer. Many consumers are aware that getting to the top of search ads requires money. This can often cause mistrust if the consumer is not familiar with your brand and suspects that your brand is only high-ranking because you’ve thrown a substantial amount of money into ads, not because you are a trustworthy and reliable company. This is why, especially for smaller businesses, finding a combination of paid and organic search is a more effective strategy so that you can get your name in front of consumers while also building brand trust and loyalty.


If you are trying to spend as little money as possible, paid search is not going to be an effective choice. As with any advertising platform from Google Ads to Facebook Ads, there is a threshold that you should reach with your advertising spend if you want to see consistent results. Putting as small of an amount as possible into your ads will not return the results you’re looking for.

If you plan on doing the work to rank organically yourself, then this method can be completely free. However, unless you are prepared to put in the time and effort to learn about SEO and website optimization, hiring a professional will likely be your best choice. Obviously, this is a monthly or quarterly expense depending on your needs but marketing experts often offer a variety of services to make their services worth the cost. 

Where Can I Find SEO Marketing Professionals?

If you’re looking to take the next step for your business then you’re in the right place! At Blackbear Media we can help optimize your website so that you are able to rank higher organically and draw in new business. Are you interested in running ads but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered there too! If you’re ready to get started contact us so we can take the next step for your business!