I’m a big fan of organic. Organic juices, organic veggies, organic fruits, lotions, soaps: you name it.. I want it chemical free. A lot of people hear organic now-a-days and think food. Organic applies to your search engine marketing (SEM) strategy too.

Organic (adj.): denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole. Characterized by continuous or natural development.

In the search engine world, organic rankings happen when your website shows up in the “natural” spaces: the place beneath and to the left of advertisements. That first positioning is the goal, but with Google platform changes: it’s important to be anywhere you can on that page.

Search engine specialists employ a variety of tactics to help their clients appear organically in search engine results. Some utilize social media and hybrid media to drive more traffic and tie in more regular updating in conjunction with a solid link building campaign that is in-line with Google’s rules.

*Please note: Google updates their rules frequently. Honest, ethical search engine marketers keep their clients in-line with current best practices. Learn more about Search Engine Optimization scams here.

Over time users have changed habits. A number of years ago after Google Advertising really took hold, a vast majority of users were clicking the 1st spot: the organic ranking. Cornell University’s recent study revealed that users are more inclined to click an organic ranking on a non-commercialized keyword. On commercialized keywords, however, nearly two thirds of the users are clicking in the ad space.


How do you divide it up?

Well, if we know that specific keywords have better success on organic rankings and advertisements have a better result on the more popular keywords, a solid search engine specialist is going to do some investigative work to examine your competition’s advertisements, the average number of searches various keywords have, average cost per click per keyword; all to get a sense of what kind of money you need to put in your campaign.

Think about it this way:

Let’s say there are 10 keywords in your targeted area(s) and there are an average of 1,000 searches per month. Let’s say 7 of the keywords are commercialized and the other 3 have a low to moderate level of competition. From those 3 keywords, you can also make more targeted keywords by including additional phrases and work on ranking organically since people would be more likely to click on the organic ranking. For the more commercialized terms, because it’s more likely that you will have a better click through rate, you’ll want to invest some advertising dollars.

In this scenario, 70% of the SEM budget would go towards Pay Per Click (PPC) and 30% towards organic rankings.

Of course, no scenario is this simple and that is why you hire a specialist.


The Bottom Line

You need both to ensure that you’re grabbing all potential customers. Search engine marketing can be extremely targeted (as well as other forms of digital advertising). When you can select your audience and get in front of the people who are searching specifically for what you are doing: you have a better chance of them contacting you and earning their business.