There are two routes to get your brand’s website on the first page of Google Search results:

1. Organic Traffic – Your site appears naturally in Google search results because you have some compelling content with a little bit of SEO. Building a site that ranks well in organic search results requires effort and time but the traffic cost is absolutely zero.

2. Pay Per Click – When your site has a problem getting “organic” traffic for certain keywords, you try to buy that traffic through SEM (Google Ads). Unlike organic traffic which is free, here you have to pay each time a search visitor clicks on your link on the Google page.

Google Search Results Page

google search - seo vs sem

SEO vs. SEM

So should brands spend money on Pay-per-click advertisements to make their site visible in search engines or should they invest that marketing budget in building organic ranks for their website via search engine optimization?

Well, here’s a clue. A new report suggests that search visitors who land on retail websites by clicking on sponsored links are more likely to buy stuff than those who come via clicking on organic results.

And there’s more. The report also suggests that visitors who come to a site through PPC ads are more likely to spend more on that site.

If we were to apply this finding to our example above, Orbitz and PriceLine have better natural ranks in Google for the query “airline tickets” but the traffic to Yatra and MakeMyTrip could be converting better.