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Saturday, April 3, 2010

What Are The Advantages of SEO Compared To PPC?

With the current rise of pay per click (PPC) advertising services such as Yahoo Search Marketing, Google and Microsoft adCenter, professional search engine optimization (SEO) companies are having to deal more and more with the issue of why their clients should spend money on traditional SEO when they can simply spend money on PPC and see instant results in the search engines.

Traditional Search Engine Optimization

First I will define what traditional SEO is. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a procedure of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. In simple terms, SEO is the straightforward activity of making certain a website can be found in search engines for important words and phrases

Pay Per Click

Now I will define what PPC is making use of Google Adwords as an example. PPC or pay per click can be described as service in which an advertiser selects particular keywords or phrases and then creates a listing that will show up when somebody searches for that phrase. The advertiser chooses an amount they are prepared to spend for each and every click on their listing which results in a visit to their website - thus the term "pay per click". At Google Adwords, you can bid anywhere from $.10 up to $50.00 for every click.

If other advertisers have selected the same keyword or phrase as yours, you then are competing against them for the highest position. Whoever is willing to expend the most shows up first and the others following in order. What PPC has granted one to do then is to quickly "pay" their way to the top whereas conventional SEO takes a lot of time and effort.

The overriding question then is how important is PPC and should it replace standard search engine optimization techniques?

Pros and Cons of Pay Per Click

First of all you must realize that PPC will never help improve your positioning in the typical search results. PPC listings most always appear in a "Sponsored or Featured" area which is usually at the top or side of the regular search results. While it really is nice to "show up first", however recent studies by Comscore shows that clicks on paid search results has gone down over time, and is now ~22%. That means 3 out of 4 individuals will trust the results in the natural listing in contrast to the results in the PPC listing, and will click on the organic results - which are attributed to SEO.

Pay per click will not optimize your site so that it reflects who you are and what you offer. If your site is poorly optimized before you begin to advertise it with PPC, it will still be poorly optimized afterwards. Furthermore, the cost per click (CPC) is dependent on the 'quality score' of your web page. If it is not properly optimized for the search engines using SEO, you will always be paying more for your PPC ads compared to your competitors who have integrated SEO with their PPC advertising campaigns.

On the other hand, a well executed SEO plan will enhance your position in the organic search results. You will have a finely tuned web page that reflects who you are and what you provide. One particular client in the dry cleaning business was averaging 8% of their new client acquisitions from their web site. They employed a conventional SEO campaign targeting 7 keyword phrases and are now seeing 83% of new client acquisitions come directly from their website. They have been maintaining this campaign for a period of 6 months now at a cost of only $100 per month, in contrast to the $1000 per month they were previously spending on PPC marketing.

Another downfall to PPC is that when you stop paying for PPC advertising, your listings disappears and so does the traffic they bring. With the recent move by numerous PPC search engines to raise their minimum bid requirements, the charges for keywords are only going to increase over time as far more advertisers join the market, bid higher prices for each keyword and fight for the significant #1 position in the paid search listing results. With PPC advertising, it's a bidding war that favours advertisers with greater budgets.

In most cases, once you have good positioning in the regular search results via SEO, you will continually receive free traffic. It may require some minor adjustments from time to time but all in all brings in consistent free traffic so long as people are searching for your products or services. You are not held hostage to having to continuously throw money at search engines to maintain your listings.

SEO has to be the foundation of your online marketing strategy simply because in the long run, the rewards of SEO will far outweigh anything else you do.

By Adrian Ang

About the author: To learn how to get your website ranked on the 1st page of the Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), visit AdVantage SEO to find the best advice on Search Engine Optimization for you.


plc training in india said...

Most websites get benefit mostly from utilizing a combination of these two approaches

jindi said...

There are some differences to search engine listings as achieved by SEO vs. PPC:Best SEO Company

Best SEO Outsourcing Company in India said...

WOW!!! What an awesome blog, seriously you have performed an excellent work, You have so much knowledge about SEO. I really appreciate your blog.

cmsbuffet said...

Great Blog !!! Thanks for sharing such a useful information. PPC services play a vital role and helps to get more traffic & business to your site.

PPC Company

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