It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger just starting to monetize your website or the digital marketing specialist at a large company. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in driving website traffic to your website.
You need an SEO strategy because without one, how will prospective clients find your website? We live in an age when we expect answers quickly and efficiently. So it should come as no surprise that over 90% of website traffic comes from the first page of a Google search results page.
But did you know that there are different types of SEO? Many of our clients are coming to us now and asking us about the difference between organic SEO versus inorganic SEO. We’ve put together this guide that looks at these two different types of SEO and the benefits of each.
What Is SEO?
Before we dive into the whys and wherefores of organic and inorganic SEO, let’s look at what exactly SEO is. SEO is a marketing strategy where digital marketers make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and rank the websites they manage.
Google determines how a website ranks depending on many different factors. These include the age of the domain, bounce rate, keyword relevance, and more.
The benefits and comparisons that we’ll make in this article will focus on Google. This is because it holds a significant majority of the search engine market, but all the points in this article apply to other search engines as well.
What Is Organic SEO?
Organic traffic comes from users who enter a search query and then click on one of the websites that are displayed on the search engine results page. The biggest difference between organic and inorganic SEO is that websites do not pay for organic traffic.
Organic traffic is considered more valuable than inorganic traffic. Part of this is because the websites that are displayed are the best ones available for that term. The other part is that visitors are considered to have a more legitimate interest in the subject.
Organic SEO is built by a combination of quality content and keyword optimization.
What Is Inorganic SEO?
Inorganic SEO refers to optimization through paid strategies for your website. These can include pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and paid social media advertising.
When you buy website traffic via PPC, a brand pays the search engine whenever someone clicks on an advertisement for their website. The most common form of PPC advertising is through the Google Display Network.
To set up an inorganic SEO strategy such as a PPC campaign, a digital marketing expert must research keywords that they want to target. Afterward, they write text ads that will be displayed when users search for that keyword.
Benefits of Organic SEO
One of the main benefits of organic SEO is that users frequently see these results as more trustworthy than their paid counterparts. In fact, one-third of internet users skip the paid results in favor of the first organic result displayed for their search query.
Another benefit of organic SEO is that there is no direct cost associated with it. Improving your website’s organic SEO increases awareness about your brand and improves your company’s credibility at the same time.
Much in the way that Google displays websites higher in the search rankings based on trustworthiness, users assume that if you’re ranked highly by Google then you can be trusted by them as well.
Benefits of Inorganic SEO
You must be wondering, if organic SEO is free and brings in better website traffic, why would anyone pursue inorganic SEO strategies? But like anything, there are two sides to the coin and that includes the benefits of using an inorganic SEO strategy.
Firstly, although inorganic SEO is more costly than organic SEO, it also provides results much more quickly. Organic SEO is a slow procedure and it can take months before your keywords start ranking. With inorganic SEO, you can create and execute a campaign in a matter of days.
Another benefit of SEO has to do with the placement of the advertisements. Even though many people are ignoring them in favor of organic results, they’re still seeing your company name, which helps to increase brand awareness.
Finally, companies who are selling products can take advantage of the Product Listing Ads (PLAs). This is a feature in the Google Display Network where companies can set up ads that show pictures and prices of a relevant product. Not only that, but a user who clicks on one of these PLAs is brought directly to a page where they can purchase the item.
Which Is Better for My Business?
Unfortunately, there’s no black and white answer to this question. Instead, all we can tell you is that it depends on your business. Before you choose between pursuing an organic versus inorganic SEO strategy, there are some internal and external factors that you need to consider.
Your Company’s Marketing Budget
If you’re operating with a negligible marketing budget, then you may not have the resources to spend on an inorganic SEO campaign. For companies in this position, it makes more fiscal sense to pursue an organic SEO strategy as opposed to taking money from other areas of the business.
That said, you can run an inorganic campaign for less than $20 per day. Although this campaign will have limited reach, it will give you access to tools that allow you to test the effectiveness of your website CTAs and track user behavior.
Your Marketing Goals and Target Demographic
Depending on the topic of your website, especially for companies that sell products that are traditionally bought in person or ones that don’t sell a product at all, the goal of your marketing campaigns is likely to drive traffic and brand awareness. If this is the case, then inorganic SEO campaigns may cost your business more than the benefits that you reap from it.
On the other hand, if you can drive high-value sales for a relatively low cost-per-click, pursuing an inorganic strategy will be an effective way to both drive traffic to your website and increase sales at the same time.
Competition and Average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Rates in Your Industry
Not all advertisements are equal and neither are all CPC rates. It’s important to consider not just the level of competition in your industry but the cost of competing as well. As a digital marketing expert, you should be well versed in the keyword research tool of your choosing.
Use this tool to find the popularity of keywords that are relevant to your company and the search volume of those keywords. Look for keywords that are low competition and have a high search volume for your inorganic SEO campaigns.
In popular industries, the first search engine results page will be heavily saturated by the companies that dominate the industry. For example, if you’ve developed a new line of furniture, you’ll struggle to compete against brands like Ikea and Crate & Barrel.
The other thing you need to consider is the cost of CPCs in your industry. For example, the keyword “leather sofa” has an average CPC of $3.00. A more specific long-tail keyword like “black leather sectional sofa” costs just $1.60.
Two Strategies Are Better Than One
Ultimately, a savvy digital marketing expert will craft a strategy that combines organic SEO and inorganic SEO. With an integrated SEO campaign, you are able to take advantage of the benefits of both strategies.
When prospective clients see that Google has given you a high organic ranking, it gives credibility to your inorganic SEO efforts. Additionally, as a digital marketer, you benefit from being able to use the analytics in Google Ads to improve both your organic and inorganic SEO strategies.
There is a two-fold financial benefit of combining both strategies. It comes down to the return on investment for your marketing dollars.
With a combined strategy, your company website benefits by receiving more traffic than if you only used one strategy. Additionally, there is a limit to the number of keywords you can organically target.
It just isn’t feasible to target keywords for every article posted on your company’s website. With inorganic SEO, you can monitor the performance of keywords and create your organic strategy accordingly.
So, What’s Next for Your Business?
The Google algorithms have made it more and more difficult for new businesses to rank highly unless they target a very niche market. Using both inorganic and organic SEO is the best way to show Google that your website deserves a high ranking on the search engine results page. But it’s certainly a lot of work!
That’s where we come in. We can help your business with targeted traffic from the right demographic. Contact us today to learn more.
Digital marketing specialist with over 10 years experience in SEO and advertising. Currently working with traffic masters. I love all things digital, self confessed data nerd.