Paid search and SEO (short for search engine optimization) are two sides of the same coin. Paid search targets those who search for keywords related to your business through ads on the search engine results page (SERP). SEO, on the other hand, ensures that your website, content and social profiles are prepared to rank well in organic search results. Content is the king of on-page SEO, which includes elements such as page titles, headline tags, meta descriptions, and the page URL.
Before you develop content around certain keywords, topics, etc., it's wise to test them out through paid search. This way, you can get an idea of how well they convert without wasting a lot of time waiting for SEO results. To get the most visibility and traffic for your website, it's best to invest in both PPC and SEO and make sure both strategies work together. Google itself states that “The joint use of SEO and Google Ads can give you the best chance of driving traffic to your site in the short term and improve the presence of your online business to achieve long-term success.” With that change, it became even more important to combine and leverage organic and paid search efforts into one.
For brands trying to communicate information, perhaps for a political campaign or a non-profit mission, SEO will be incredibly useful. By controlling bid, keywords, targeting, and creativity, you (or a paid search expert on your behalf) determine how effective your SEM is. Usually, with four ads on computers and three on mobile devices, the user will always see paid search ads, even if they decide to hover over them. My experience in this industry for almost 17 years shows me that when done right, organic search offers more volume at a better cost per lead than paid search.
Paid search has a direct cost, in the sense that companies must pay for their ads to appear on the SERP (via CPC or CPM). This is a great opportunity to integrate with the SEO team, which can offer suggestions for increasing mobile speed.