I don’t have to tell you the importance of your business’ visibility. You’ve got a product or a service and the only way you are going to be able to provide it is if people know you exist, duh.

But not all businesses have the extreme luxury of being household names like Nike, Sony or Coke. You may have to do a little leg work to get yourself noticed, remembered and build a loyal customer base. Fortunately, with the Internet and online marketing, this proposition is not the uphill battle it used to be. Utilizing smart and effective use of organic and non-organic marketing, getting your business to rise through the search engine ranks and across the computer screen of potential consumers can be easily achieved. (Editor’s note, July 2020: When we’re talking about business visibility on the web, we’re actually talking about SEO. While Whitney likely limited his tech jargon to make this blog more readable and far reaching, you cannot ignore the most pertinant initialism in digital marketing).


As its name may suggest, organic marketing is the method of naturally growing your online presence. Many smaller businesses prefer the organic method because it is the cheaper method. In fact, aside from the cost of having a website, it’s free.

Your goal is to help consumers to naturally find their way to your website. You can do this a couple ways, but one of the easiest is content generation. Writing blogs on your website is a great way to expand your website’s scope and improve SEO. If the keywords or terms potential consumers use as the look for information appear in your blog posts it is more likely your content will be presented in the search results.

The best way to get the biggest bang for your buck with this method is to make sure you have plenty of links to your other website pages so visitors can learn more about your business. You want your content to be bingeable, so be sure to include blog posts on like topics either as a Call to Action or as hyperlinks in the post itself. Using tools like Rich Snippets and Yoast on WordPress websites are also easy and free ways to boost your organic traffic via search.

Aside from being a cheap and easy method, organic search is also a long-lasting method. Unless you take them down yourself, posts, pages and links that you put up for your business won’t go away and will continue to show up on people’s search engines. Proper and effective use of SEO on your website and pages will help your site rise through the ranks as people search, so its important to take the time to understand and get the hang of it and to create content based on the type of customer you’re wanting to attract.

Another organic alternative is regular ol’ social media posting. Without using paid ads, simply posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites can get you traffic. Obviously, the hope when going this route is that your content will be compelling and interesting enough to consumers that they will like, share, comment or otherwise spread your content through their channels, making its way to other prospective consumers.

There are, however, several downsides to this method. You may have to wait awhile to see results and even then they can be somewhat unpredictable, making this method not ideal for the impatient.


Non-organic, again as you can imagine from the name, revolves around making consumers find their way to your website inorganically or driven, such as using paid ads on social media or sponsored ads in search engines.

Non-organic driven marketing should have quick results, using analytics you can see immediately if they are working or not. The whole process works in short burst, so you see immediate and high results in clicks and traffic.

Non-organic marketing also ensures your message is finding its way to the right crowd. Paid ads will actively search out and reach your target demographic, cutting through the fat of consumers who are A) not interested in you or B) not looking for you.

The cost to keep the ads up makes this option less attractive to some, especially those on budgets, as they last a limited time. Especially if you stop for any lengthy period of time, your position in search engine rankings can plummet. It also requires constant fine tuning as you search for the right formula for a successful ad.

However, with online marketing it is not either/or. Effective marketers will get the best results by using a combination of both methods. The majority of the “weakness” of each method can be covered by the other. For instance, the longer time it takes to get results from organic can be covered with non-organic, and any lul in paid traffic can be conpensated for with organic traffic.

Using a healthy dose of both methods covers all your bases and ensures you and your business have a fighting chance to stand out.


Roundpeg is an Indianapolis marketing strategy firm. Blog updated by Simon Efroymson on July 14, 2020