If your company has a website (and, let’s face it, what firm doesn’t these days), you’ll no doubt have come across the seemingly endless problem of trying to find ways to drive more traffic to your pages and attract more footfall online.

The growth of the web and associated technologies has brought tremendous benefits for firms big and small to compete for customers on a level playing field, regardless of budget. However, to take advantage of the considerable rewards that exist through online marketing, you must find the right vehicle to promote your firm and its products/services.

The opportunities for promotion arising from a web-enhanced world

In the pre-internet days, companies had very limited channels for promotion – in essence amounting to print (magazine/newspapers/flyers), TV, radio, or billboards. However, with the advent of the web and associated web-based services, there is now a virtually limitless range of options available to companies looking to promote themselves. 

As content on the web has increased exponentially in recent years, so the importance of search engines has grown to help us sift through the massive number of sites and pages. Indeed, it’s now estimated around 71% of consumers start their purchasing journey with a search while 74% go on to formally consider and purchase online (note these figures roughly translate to business services/partnership decisions too).

The breakdown of organic vs. paid search results in numbers

With search engines playing such a pivotal role in the purchasing process, it’s more important than ever that your company ranks high in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but the question is, which is more valuable – paid search listings or organic results?

While it might be surprising to some advertisers, recent studies on Google have found that the figures lie undeniably in favor of organic results. First-page organic search results are estimated to account for around 71% of all click-throughs, with the first five listings generating some 67% of clicks (results in the sixth to tenth bracket only lead to just over 3% of clicks). Results on the second and third SERPs generate a little over 5%, which means the remaining 15/16% (approximately) of traffic goes through Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns or users simply giving up and trying another search term. 

In pretty much all studies into the effectiveness of organic vs. paid results, organic reigns supreme – though it should be noted some heavily-targeted PPC campaigns can work well if the user already knows exactly what they want.

Other advantages of organic search through Search Engine Optimization

In truth, for complete coverage online, the most successful advertising campaigns will often combine paid and organic listings. However, while advertising for placements in SERPs can result in immediate exposure, many specialists argue it doesn’t bring the considerable additional benefits that structured Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can offer. By working with a professional web marketing specialist like www.clickintelligence.co.uk, you could also reap other advantages of SEO including, (but not limited to):

  • Organic listings translate into higher quality, more reliable traffic that is easier to convert to a sale
  • Users view organic search results as being far more believable, trustworthy, and reliable than paid adverts
  • SEO will help promote all your site’s pages, increasing the likelihood of users finding your content through more gateways than just your homepage
  • SEO has longer-lasting results and can help build a reputation
  • SEO can also help promote your firm’s additional content e.g., blogs, Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc
  • SEO is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing
  • SEO is measurable with detailed reporting allowing you to constantly change or optimize your strategy
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