The Difference between Organic and Paid Search Engine Results

You can rank high in organic search results, also known as \”natural\” search results. Organic search results are the Web page listings that most closely match the user\’s search query.

One of the main concerns for language school owners is getting more students to book classes.

Paid result listings are essentially advertisements – site owners have paid to have their schools show up in specific keyword searches. Language school owners can distinguish paid from organic results on a Google or Yahoo! results page because they are separated by placing them above or to the right of the organic list or giving them a shaded background, borders, or other visual cues.

Understanding the distinction allows a searcher to make a more informed decision about which result is more relevant and should be considered before making a decision.

Paid results

Paid results are among the top spots in search engine results, and they can be labeled as “Sponsored Links” or “Ads”. The main goal of using this strategy is to promote your site on a web page that it wouldn\’t normally show up on (qualifying as “organic results”). However, you will have to pay for those ads; therefore, it is known as \”paid placement.\” Paid Advertisements usually appear at the top or right-hand side of a Google or Yahoo! listing. They also could appear either before a website\’s contents, after a website\’s contents but above its directory structure, or simply between directory structure and contents. Paid results can be distinguished from organic results on a Google or Yahoo! results page because they are separated by placing them above or to the right of the organic list or giving them a shaded background, borders, or other visual cues.

When it comes to SEO, there are many factors that influence how high you rank in organic search results. However, being at the top is determined by three main criteria:

  • Relevancy
  • Keyword Research
  • Competition

If you follow this guide from start to finish with a laser focus on satisfying these 3 criteria then I believe you have a chance to get your school ranking for some highly competitive keywords in most major cities around the world.

The purpose of paid ads is usually not directly related to a searcher\’s intent – an ad buyer is willing to pay for a click and the ad\’s performance and relevance play a marginal role in the return on investment. Paid ads could be used as a strategy to target traffic outside of your geographic areas, more information on this topic you will find in my post about SEMrush.

Organic search results

The main purpose of organic search engine results (or \”natural\” results) is to provide users with what they are looking for. For language school owners, this means more students booking classes. Google and Yahoo! give preference to research-related queries because of the importance placed on accurate information by their respective algorithms; language learning queries certainly fit under these categories. Organic (or \”natural\”) results appear either after paid Advertisements or outside of the paid results (natural search engine results usually appear below or to the left of paid results).

How To Get More Students To Book Classes in Your Language School

This guide is focused on getting more students to book classes in your language school using an SEO strategy that will get you far in almost any major city worldwide. I would like to start with some advice on picking keywords.

It\’s all about relevance

We first need to understand that Google wants its users to get the best results for any search they perform.

To do that, Google\’s search engine reads all the words on your page and then looks at words on other pages. It does this to determine which has the best ranking (i.e., relevance).

When you are picking keywords you will be targeting; make sure they are RELEVANT to what your school offers.

It\’s not about getting listed first

Once people read this guide they will see how much I like SEMrush (I\’ve already mentioned it in my 7 SEO tools post). One thing I really like is their organic keyword research tool. You can put any website in there and type in a phrase or just one word that relates to what your company offers. The results will show you the monthly searches for that specific phrase, which countries the searches come from, AND how much competition there is for it.

The competition column is important because you are looking for keywords that have less than 500 monthly searches with low competition. The lower the better, but it\’s more difficult to rank for these types of keywords.

Finding relevant, low-competition keywords is the best place to start your SEO strategy.

Getting back to our keyword examples here\’s a brief explanation of what each one means:

\”Learn Spanish in Madrid\” – As you will see in the rest of this guide we want to get your school ranking higher for all major cities where there are language schools present. So this phrase would be good if you were located somewhere else and wanted some traffic coming from Google\’s search results for Madrid Spanish classes. \”Best Language School In Beijing\” – This is a clever variation on our earlier keyword example. We are not saying \”language school\” in the title of our webpage which would result in us getting more broad results for searches involving that word but instead use the word \”best\”. By doing this we are saying to Google that it\’s ok if people search for \”language schools in Beijing\”, or any other city, because we know someone out there, will be looking for the best language school and they\’ll find our website when they do.

\”Spanish Classes Madrid Spain\” – Here\’s another example of using keywords with relevance to what your company offers. We are still targeting the city (Madrid) but also include something related to our product (Spanish classes).

I hope this gives you a greater understanding of how we will use relevant keywords and create content (the next part) that communicates exactly what your school offers to potential students who may be looking for it online!

It\’s also important to mention that Google looks at things such as words on your page, where those words are placed, how often they appear, etc. but NOT at domain names or company names (trust me they have their reasons for this).

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