Go organic!

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digital

Katherine Haine
Special to The Voice

How often to you use the phrase “Google it“? Chances are you have already “Googled” something today. If you did, you probably found the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) had a mixture of organic and paid search results.

So what is the difference between organic and paid search? Organic search results are those which come from the algorithm used by the search engine; paid results are just that – links that come from advertising dollars being spent to place them on the results page. Paid results are usually on the top of the page and may be annotated with “sponsored content,” set apart with a shaded box or even placed into a sidebar.

So which is better for your business organic or paid? The best approach for you will depend largely upon the type of business you have, your business goals and your budget. Most businesses benefit from organic search and may decide to increase their presence with paid. Paid will cost you money each time the ad is clicked on and of course the ad will disappear as soon as you stop paying for it. Ad rates range from a few dollars to $50 depending on the popularity of the search term.

Another reason organic is popular is that an overwhelming majority of users – 94% — prefer organic results to a paid ad. Consumers are more likely to trust links that aren’t ads. People think organic search results will provide answers that are more relevant, and are thus more likely to click on them.

So how can you increase your organic results? There really isn’t any secret except for ensuring your website has quality content that is updated often.

It’s interesting to note that you do not need to create all that content yourself. Reviews, media mentions and Facebook all help. If there is an association with the local newspaper in the link it lends more credibility to the link – so post your Chatham Voice Marketplace ads on your website and Facebook pages. If it’s shared often through social media, it will become more popular and typically ranks better in organic search.

If you want to grow your presence on Google, consider how you can improve your organic search. Take the time to optimize your website, share your content on social media and invest in audience extension programs that are connect to a credible source, such as the Marketplace hosted by The Chatham Voice.

Katherine Haine is a Digital Media specialist and founder of City Media and ShopLocalNow.ca. Learn more at learn.citymedia.ca.

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