The Case for SEO

  1. SEO is like word of mouth advertising or public relations. It is exposure that comes with a very high degree of credibility and trust. According to Google, traffic coming from traditional search listings have higher click through rates than paid searches.
  2. PPC results always appear in a “Sponsored or Featured” area, which is usually at the top or side of the regular search results, and while it is nice to be at the top there are still a lot of users that would rather search through the regular editorial search results.
  3. PPC will never help improve your positioning in organic search results.
  4. When you stop paying for PPC, it disappears along with the traffic it brings.

The Case for PPC

  1. PPC gives you the ability to have complete control over your search traffic—you select the keywords and write the listings. You control where you’re listed and what the listing says.
  2. You decide what your budget is and can adjust your spend.
  3. PPC delivers immediate results—it’s only a matter of days before your site is placed and the leads start coming in.
  4. It’s trackable! PPC syncs with Google Analytics so you can easily follow paid traffic on your website. You can build up a knowledge base with respect to your business, including which messages perform the best, which search terms have the best conversion rates, and what destination URL is best for specific users to land on.

Why would a user click on a paid result when they could be clicking on an unpaid (more objective) result? While it’s often true that when a user is searching for information they may prefer unpaid results, when that user is interested in acquiring a product or service, a relevant paid result is just as appealing. However, users tend browse organic listings first.

So, PPC or SEO?
For most companies it will be a combination of the two.

SEO and PPC are complementary. In fact, a PPC program can help identify the most successful search terms, copy and call-to action and can then be used to optimize the site. PPC budgets can be adjusted up (and down) based on results, including the improvements delivered through SEO.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you should spend your marketing dollars on the venues that deliver positive ROI. A campaign that includes both PPC and SEO helps you to saturate search result pages with your listings. As long as both remain profitable (which is easily trackable), both should remain a priority.

Search engine marketing, whether through SEO or PPC or both, should be a fundamental component of your overall marketing mix. After spending many thousands of dollars developing a website, businesses often discover that the site is invisible to the major search providers. Failing to take your website’s visibility into consideration when making development decisions is an expensive mistake, both in real dollars and opportunity costs. By recognizing both the importance and the need of search engine marketing in the development of your website, you hold a significant advantage.

Only one of two outcomes is possible each time a prospect performs a search: They will find your website. They will find a competitor’s website. Which outcome do you prefer?