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Organic SEO vs Paid SEO

Search engines like Google will regularly crawl websites and carry out an “assessment” of some sorts. Based on this assessment Google will then decide an appropriate position in which your website can be listed. Search engines like Google will take into consideration things like keywords, pages included on the website, relevance of content etc. There are primarily two different types of SEO; organic SEO and paid SEO.

What is the difference between organic SEO and Paid SEO?

SEO and particularly organic SEO is a long term solution whereby actions are carried out to help your website achieve a better listing / better ranking on search engines. To achieve good organic SEO listings it is likely that a lot of time and work will have to be spent on a website. It could be months before the work carried out on the website is taken into effect and therefore it could be some months before you see your search engine listings improve.
In contrast to this paid search engine listings can be altered almost immediately. Controlled by a PPC campaign, once you have input the required details and set your cost per click you can expect to see your ad appear in paid listings. Google will rank your ad and place it in a position relevant to its quality score and bid.

Where will my website be listed?

Paid listings usually appear at the top of search engines like Google and are usually placed within a faint yellow background. You will also often find paid search engine listings on the right hand side. Organic listings on the other hand will usually be listed in the middle of the page underneath the top 3 paid listings. These organic listings are not paid for and have instead technically “earned” their places here through work that has been carried out on the website.

How can I improve my organic listings?

  • Keyword optimisation
  • Alter image sizes
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Improve site navigation
  • Publish regular content

How can I improve my paid listings?

  • Choose relevant keywords
  • Target your campaigns to locations, demographics etc
  • Set appropriate bids
  • Improve your ads quality score
  • Write persuasive ad text

Which type of SEO should I concentrate on?

Some research still suggests that people trust organic listings more than they do paid listings and therefore are much more likely to click on those listings that do not appear at the very top or down the side. Having said that as people being to familiarise with the concept of paid and unpaid listings a shift is beginning to take place and it seems that more and more people are now beginning to click on paid listings.

This is introducing a new form of competition and new methods in which SEO experts have to tailor their SEO marketing efforts. It is always recommended and it is in fact suggested that improving your organic SEO can be fundamental to your websites success. However if you are looking for more immediate short term results you might want to consider setting up a PPC campaign as this can generate / increase traffic to your website instantaneously.

To conclude… 

Regardless to what type of SEO you choose to enrol, it is vitally important that you monitor the results so that you can assess your websites performance and look for places for improvement in both organic and paid listings.


Sophie Angell
Sophie is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, concentrating on running your social media channels, writing blogs and writing content for your websites. You can follow Sophie on Twitter @SophieWNW or alternatively email her at

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