When most companies think of search engine marketing, search engine optimization comes to mind immediately. Although search engine optimization is a key component of search engine marketing, the two terms are not exactly identical. Technically speaking, search engine optimization is actually a subset of search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is a much more broad term, covering organic search engine optimization but also including paid results. Although most companies prefer organic search engine marketing, pay per click does have its place. Understanding the differences between the two will help you decide what’s best for your website marketing.

Basics of Organic Search Engine Optimization

Organic search engine optimization does not involve any kind of advertising budget. Instead of paying a search engine to be listed anywhere, your company will achieve rankings naturally with good content and careful links. Organic search engine optimization involves choosing keywords and then generating content that uses those keywords to their best effect. The search engines have specialized crawlers that scour the web for promising leads on new websites. When they pick up your webpage, they’ll note the keywords, and your search engine optimization ranking amongst other sites will improve.

You can’t pay for rankings like this; they’re only obtained by providing good content. These are the rankings designed to offer people the most relevance to their search term, and no good search engine will sacrifice their reputation by letting a business buy one of the top organic slots. Although getting to the top of organic search engine optimization results can be challenging, it has a benefit: provided that you maintain an updated site, you’re not likely to lose your spot.

Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing

Pay per click is very different from organic. This form of search engine marketing is advertising, and it must be paid for accordingly. Once you stop paying, it stops working and you receive no further benefit. Pay per click search engine marketing is clearly differentiated from the organic results in every major search engine. The search engines don’t want people thinking that their results are corrupted or can be bought, so they go through great pains to separate the two. Pay per click search engine marketing results can generally be found either above or to the side of the organic links, visible but not mixed in with their organic cousins.

Making The Choice…Or Using Both?

For many companies, the solution to the question of organic search engine optimization versus pay per click website marketing is not to decide. There is no reason to use only one; in fact, many companies find that using pay per click search engine marketing to give their initial website marketing a boost is a good tactic. The pay per click spending can later be cut or dropped as the organic search engine optimization takes hold.

Will you use organic search engine optimization? Pay per click website marketing? There isn’t a wrong answer – it’s only a question of what will be most effective. Considering how low cost this type of website marketing tends to be, most companies can afford to take their time and learn what works. Even if you’re on a tight budget, trying both at least for a period of time is a wise investment.