Four States Small Business Blog

Blogging V. Paid Search | Build Your Organic Traffic

Posted by Jason Dittmer on July 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM
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organic search versus paid search
Continuing with the series on blogging that we started last week, we'll be digging deeper into organic search versus paid search. Understanding the differences between these two methods for web growth will be key to your company's success online. So, let's compare the differences between them. 

Pros and Cons of Organic & Paid Search

As we talked about last week, there are significant differences between paid search and organic search, so we've simplified the advantages and disadvantages below. 

Organic Search Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Steady and reliable traffic growth

Organic Search Cons

  • Slower
  • Potentially difficult  

Paid Search Pros

  • Faster traffic growth
  • Access to more difficult keywords

Paid Search Cons

  • Costly
  • Traffic evaporates when you stop paying

Increase Organic Search Traffic

We can plan a web growth strategy based on the pros and cons of organic and paid search. Because the organic search traffic earned from blogging and other web content is less expensive and more stable, it is the obvious place to start building your website's ranking. Think about it this way: your blogging and organic search strategy are like the framing of a house. You want strong, stable materials to support your structure over the long haul. 

Blogging strengthens your website by bringing in a steady supply of natural web search traffic. While organic traffic does change over time, it is more predictable. Good content on your website will continue to bring in traffic years down the road. Regular blogging will increase your website's online visibility by signaling to search engines that your website is active and maintained. You will also be able to write new content that satisfies user search intent and increases the number of keywords your website targets.  

Finding the Keyword Sweet Spot

We've established that blogging for organic search performance is the best first step to gaining web traffic for your website. That raises the question, "How do I know what to blog about?" There are a couple of criteria we can use to answer that.
  1. Only blog about topics relevant to your business and your target audience.
  2. Blog for lower-competition, higher volume keywords.
Blogging about relevant topics ensures that potential customers and visitors will not feel like your website is using bait and switch tactics. It also will help you avoid being penalized by search engines. Search engines like Google are increasingly sophisticated and can detect if the content you are offering is relevant to your website's purpose. Irrelevant blog content may cause Google to suppress the reach of your website.

Beyond blogging about relevant topics, you should also target specific keywords with your blogs. Generally, you should target keywords in the sweet spot. For a keyword to be in the sweet spot, it must have a lower ranking difficulty and relatively high monthly search volume. Targeting keywords like this gives your website the greatest opportunity to rank higher on the search results page.

Example: As a local farm feed store owner, you maintain a blog about all things livestock care. You want to do a blog about keeping stock tanks free from excessive algae. After a little work with a keyword research tool, you discover that although the keyword "stock tank" is searched thousands of times per month, it is hard to rank for it. Instead, you find that the keyword "cattle waterers" is searched a thousand times a month and is low competition. Based on that knowledge, you title your blog "5 Best Products to Keep Your Cattle Waterer Clean" and target that keyword in the headings and body of your blog. You've found the keyword sweet spot!

Long Tail Keywords

One of the best ways to get your foot in the door when you're starting your blog is to target long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are longer, more specific search phrases that get less traffic but have less competition. For instance, "solutions for wasp problem in the attic" is a long tail keyword. It is highly specific and likely gets fewer monthly searches, but it will be much easier to rank for it. Long tail keywords also often have easy-to-understand searcher intent. That means you can precisely answer the searcher's question and meet their needs. 

High Competition Keywords

High competition keywords are where paid search campaigns offer certain advantages. Certain keywords may be so valuable for your business that you need to earn traffic from them right away. Running search ads for those essential keywords necessary to drive sales does make sense, but always in addition to an already robust organic search strategy. That way, you'll receive a base of steady traffic from organic search, and you can adjust your ad spend to meet sales goals as needed. If organic search is the framing of the house, then paid search can be considered the attention-getting features on the exterior that increase curb appeal.

Blogging V. Paid Search Verdict

Much like last week, we see that both organic and paid search have their place in your web growth strategy. You should orient the majority of your web traffic growth efforts towards blogging and organic search. With the stability and ongoing growth that comes from organic, you can then use paid search to increase your prominence for important, high-competition keywords.
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Topics: Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing