Adwords & SEO, Paid vs Natural or Organic Search Results – what’s the difference?

Below on a Google Search for “didgeridoo stand” we’ve highlighted the Natural or Organic Search results vs the Paid or Adwords Search Results in Google for our client Didgeridoo Breath in Perth, WA (click the image to enlarge)

 

The Difference between Natural and Paid search results


SEO or Search Engine Optimisation helps you rank higher in the organic or natural search results.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the process of getting more traffic to your website by getting the site listed and ranked highly for queries relating to your product, market or business in the natural or organic search results.

These are the results Google & the search engines display on the left hand side of the search results. SEO also helps control & determine how your site actually appears in the search results – Google your business name and the blurb under your listing in the search results in controlled through an SEO field called the “meta description”

Search Engine Optimisation is done through a variety of website structure best practices and offsite traffic building techniques. These techniques are both visible (content tweaks and changes) and non-visible (website code changes such as the meta description) to the visitor. There are over 200 factors search engines take into account when determining how and where to rank your website so SEO can be a quite complex field.

Google Adwords – Google’s paid advertising platform

Google Adwords is Google’s paid advertising platform. With Adwords, your business listing can be displayed alongside the natural search results when people search for specific keyword phrases in Google. Search results displayed by Google Adwords are also called Pay Per Click (PPC) results because you pay for each click made by a visitor on one of your ads. We’ve illustrated the difference between the natural or organic search results and the paid Adwords search results below. .

SEO versus Adwords

We generally recommend using a combination of both SEO & Adwords to ensure maximum exposure for your business on the search results page. Even if you rank in a top 3 position in the organic search results we still recommend Adwords in most cases, here’s why:

  • Adwords can be turned on and off instantly whereas SEO can take a lot longer to impact search results
  • Adwords almost guarantees your business is being displayed in the search results. There are literally hundreds and even thousands of ways people can search for you, your business or your products and services. There’s no guarantee you’ll rank in the organic search results but you’re almost guaranteed a ranking with Adwords
  • SEO usually takes longer than Adwords to take effect but can help you rank number 1 in Google for a number of key search terms. There’s no cost per click associated with the organic search results however usually a small ongoing cost is required to maintain your search engine rankings.
  • Adwords also allows you to react very quickly to a changing marketplace targeting new terms visitors may be searching for as a result of a recent newspaper article or TV segment or some other event such as a recent storm for example. Search engine optimisation also controls how your business appears in the search engines.
  • Some of the real estate on the search results page can only be accessed via paid ads. In the example screenshot above, the product listing in the top right hand corner is only available via Google Adwords Product Display Ads
  • 99.99% of the time, Adwords ads are displayed above the organic listings – on some screens this often means all the visitor sees above the fold (before they have to scroll) are ads. Take a look at the example below of a search for “balingup accommodation” on an iPhone

Google Search Results on an iPhone

On the Google search above we searched for “accommodation balingup”. As you can see  on some screens often ALL of the search results above the fold (before you have to scroll) are paid search results. Balingup Heights have a top 3 organic search ranking however without Adwords they would not appear at the top of the search results for iPhone users.