Sponsored versus Organic SEO

September 10th, 2011 by | Print

You know you need to get the word out about your solopreneur business if you want to grow and thrive. You know that in most cases growing your presence on the Internet is your best bet mixed in with some offline marketing. And as a solopreneur, you know you must focus on those activities that leverage your personal strengths and produce the biggest results. You decide that you’re going to outsource your marketing to a consultant. You simply don’t have the time. You set a budget. How much of your marketing budget do you allocate to organic activities versus sponsored advertising?


This is a difficult question for many solopreneurs, especially if you have little experience with Internet marketing. Hopefully, you’ve chosen wisely whom to hire as your marketing consultant. If you have, they should be able to provide you with an educated recommendation.


Before we go further, let’s get into some examples of what are sponsored and organic activities.


  • Blogging
  • Articles and article submissions
  • Press Releases and submissions
  • Social media on major networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter

While paid-for campaigns can be a great way to get quick traffic to a site quickly if properly implemented, it usually results in lower CTR (click thru rates) than organic links on the first page of a search where everyone wants to be. Why? Because people trust organic links more than they trust advertising. And page 1 gets more click thru success than the following pages. Don’t believe me?


The following is a breakdown of the percentage of clicks the various sections of a search page receive on page 1:

Top Paid Results (those ads that appear under the search bar and above the top organic listings) receive 2% – 3% of page clicks.

Side Paid Results (those ads that appear on the right side of the page) receive 1% – 2% of page clicks.

Organic Result #1 (the first organic return) receives 41% – 45% of page clicks.

Organic Results #2 receives 11% – 18% of page clicks.

Organic Result #3 receives 7% – 15% of page clicks.

Organic Results #4 – #9 receive 2% of page clicks each.

Organic Result #10 receives 3% – 4% of page clicks.


If you’re PPC campaigns get 1% – 3% of the clicks on page 1 (and that’s IF your ads get to page 1), you’re still far behind the number of click thrus you will get if you have top organic link ranking. The average even falls below the number of clicks you will get if you have the organic link on the bottom of page 1. Plus, statistically the clicks you receive from organic listings have a higher conversion into buying customers than those that click on paid ads.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you don’t consider sponsored Internet marketing. There are some great, targeted opportunities for gaining visibility, building a list of prospects, and converting customers using paid-for marketing. However, I wouldn’t suggest that you only use this method. You need to balance your sponsored Internet advertising with organic SEO tactics.


So when you are considering how you are going to spend your time and / or money to attract customers online, if you don’t get started with organic SEO tactics now, then when?


If you need help with your SEO, get started with SmallBizMedia.TV.


All the Best,


Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


One Response to “Sponsored versus Organic SEO”

  1. Business Money Today Says:

    Doug, as always a great prospective on driving traffic to a new or growing business. It is all about return. What will provide your business with the most benefit for the cost (time or money).
    Try one – measure the results. Then try the other. See which works better for you. What you might find is that a combination works well – say 30% PPC and 70% organic – or some combination.
    Also, sponsored ads or even buying links on other sites can help drive your SEPRs if the links back to your site are from relevant website content.
    Great post as usual.

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