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“Organic” vs. Paid Search Engine Listings

So what is organic search marketing in essence? Why is it so important to be in the top ten “organic” results? Let’s say you are a law firm looking to grow your business online. When people search in Google, Yahoo or MSN using one of your keywords i.e. “personal injury lawyer,” they will see two types of listings: Sponsored (Pay Per Click) and Natural (Organic).

Pay Per Click ads will appear next to the Natural “organic” search results, either way, you are advertising to an audience that’s already interested in you. Great, but what does that mean to your business?! What is the difference between these two search marketing approaches? Pay Per Click is a quick and dirty way to get immediate but limited traffic results. It’s like bribing your way to the front of the line only to find out that you have to pay even more to stay there. Alexander Pope said it best: “A small discredit of a bribe – scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe!”

Marketing research studies have shown that sponsored Listings get less traffic, lower click-through and conversion rates then organic Listings. Moreover, the cost of sponsored ads is growing exponentially, as the market gets more saturated with competitors eager to take your place.

Search engines use a natural selection process when deciding which of the millions of websites belong in the top 10. Only the most relevant, high quality sites make the final cut. This has a profound effect on consumer behavior. Users prefer organic listings to paid ads because of the underlying trust factor. Even though getting high rankings for popular keywords takes time, dedication and commitment to excellence; it is justly rewarded with quality traffic and a higher ROI. Organic search engine marketing is a winning cost effective strategy for the smarter business.