Excerpts From ILM East: Paid vs Organic Search

One of the questions I often hear from both sales folks and businesses I talk to is-  what are the differences between paid and organic search and how are they most effectively used? There seems to be a whole lot of confusion out there on the whole PPC vs SEO question- even down to the basics of understanding how they operate (and I find a whole lot of people won’t even ask for fear the other kids in class will think they’re slow…). The reality is it can be very confusing, but to effectively harness one of the most powerful marketing channels today (search), you need to know the basics (I touched on this subject as well in an earlier blog post where I discuss the power of combining paid and organic search strategies together). In the video below from my talk at the ILM East conference in Boston this spring, you’ll see the basic analogy I like to use to help people to understand differences between the two.

My analogy is that Paid Search is like renting a house (an approach that works for you as long as you keep continuously paying rent), while SEO is like building and owning a house (a strategy that takes longer to see results but that will keep paying dividends long after you’re done with your initial investment). In this excerpt you’ll also see why I believe that search visibility through SEO is also a major opportunity that most marketers still have overlooked:

Hopefully, this overview helps give you a basic foundation on the benefits of each strategy for search.  And if you want to take your search strategy to a whole new level, you might also read my post on how adding Social Media to Search can elevate the impact of your marketing.


John’s digital experience dates back over two decades, to before the web was born. He is currently VP Marketing for Advance Digital, and is a regular writer and speaker on topics including Search, Social Media, Content Marketing, Local Media and the Digital Marketing Revolution.

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