HW Creative Marketing Blog

Are You Confusing Organic Search and SEO With Paid Advertising?

[fa icon="calendar'] October 28, 2016 / by Nicole Batten

Your Shopify store is full of great products that you want people to find and purchase. The key to selling your products online is bringing the right traffic to your Shopify store. There are several ways that you can drive traffic to your site, but the two key ones that most businesses are focused on increasing are organic search and pay-per-click advertising. While both are valid methods, organic search and paid advertising are two very different things. Here we will discuss the two and give you tips on how and when to use both.

Organic Search and SEO

Search engines provide marketers with a powerful opportunity to be found by prospects before they ever decide to buy a product or service. SEO or "Search Engine Optimization" is the practice of optimizing your website to get found on search engines.

Search engines will seek out the site with the most relevant content for each search. Creating valuable content that solves your prospect's needs and optimizing that content to get found by search engines should be the long term goal of any website.

With SEO, your web traffic and brand recognition grows organically and customers come naturally, because according to their trusted search engine, you hold the appropriate solution to their problem. When done correctly, this is the best way to reach your target audience, because your high ranking indicates that you are exactly what they are looking for.

SEO strategizing may take a lot more thought and time than simply paying to be seen, but your investment will pay off in the long run. Once your site starts to gain traffic and authority, your site only grows from there.

PPC and Search Advertising

Search advertising also referred to as "PPC" or "Pay per click" advertising is a great suplement to SEO traffic. Not everyone can afford to wait to start getting quality traffic and leads to their website. Newer businesses especially find it hard to start generating traffic when competing with already-established brands, and paid ads are a great way to overcome this obstacle. They guarantee you’ll be seen, with a high chance that you’ll see a good return on investment. PPC ads allow you to customize your display preferences and only bid what you’re willing to spend per click.

When you pay for a spot, you bid to be the top result on the search page. Note that you need to use targeted keywords in your ads and attractive metadata to rank high on the page you want. You can also target your PPC campaigns to target specific areas or demographics. 

Whether it’s Google, Youtube, Bing, or any other search engine, you can choose which platform you want to be shown on based on where you expect to get the most relevant viewers.

Pro tips: 

1) Make sure your website is optimized and that there is valuable content for people to see when they come to your site, before you begin running PPC ads. If your site is underwhelming, you won't be able to reap the benefits of traffic from your ads.

2) Make sure your ads link to relevant pages on your site. Make things as intuitive as possible. If you talk about a specific offer or deal in your PPC add, make sure that add links to a landing page for that offer. If the visitor can't find what they were looking for, they will probably lose interest.

3) Keep tweaking your campaigns. Don't just create a bunch of campaigns and let them be. You should be constantly checking your results and looking for improvements.


While you should always practice good SEO habits, the paid ads can offer a much needed boost to your website's traffic. A traffic boost is also a positive signal to search engines, and can therefore increase your rankings. SEO and PPC make a great team. 

Free Ebook: The Ultimate Guide To Shopify SEO

Topics: SEO, Ecommerce

Nicole Batten

Written by Nicole Batten

Nicole is known at HW as the “brains behind the operation,” she oversees all of the development and back-end work. As an experienced developer, Nicole has been advancing her skills in web design & development since she was a high school student and is an irreplaceable member of the team. She is an expert at problem solving and works hard to help maintain HW’s impeccable turnaround time.