SEO vs PPC (The battle is on!)

Both search engine optimization (SEO) & pay per click (PPC) advertising are excellent online marketing strategies without a doubt, but which is the more dominate, more popular and more cost effective?

Interestingly enough, Google recently released some info regarding just this: on average 20% of web browsers clicked on PPC adverts (text adverts on the right hand side and sometimes at the top of Google’s results page) while the other 80% of them clicked on the organic listings (website listings on the left hand side of Google’s results page).

So we can safely say that the more popular of the two is SEO (according to the web browsers / website visitors).

Previous to this, stats showed that 1 in every 20 people used to click on a PPC advert / Google Adwords campaign. If this is so evident, then why do most people spend the largest part of their online marketing budgets on PPC campaigns rather than SEO?

“It could be that SEO is a long continuous and time consuming process of optimizing and making strategic alterations (sometimes even restructuring the entire website), while PPC advertising displays instant (yet short term) results – results that CEO’s want to see immediately”.

In the US, (in 2007) companies spent 89% of online budget towards PPC adverting, and only about 11% on SEO. In 2008, the ad agencies in the US reported that on average companies spent $300 000 on PPC advertising and $90 000 on organic SEO. The companies that spend their budget on SEO still remain to rank (organically) today, while the companies, who spent their budgets on PPC, either don’t rank or rank very poorly. These figures show that PPC is more dominate over SEO in this case, but SEO appears to be more cost effective and provides a greater return on investment (ROI) especially in the long run.

“In my opinion, the reason Pay Per Click gets higher spend is due to the fact that large corporations and companies are more focused on instant gratification and their short-term bottom line”.

The hard truth is that SEO is a far superior long-term strategy. It is probably the most cost effective and powerful online marketing strategy that currently exists. Roughly 88% of all website visitors originate from the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.); this means that when you are ranking well in the organic listings you are targeting approximately 70% – 80% of your online market.

The three primary advantages of SEO over PPC:

  • No direct marketing costs when your ‘ads’ get clicked.
  • Organic rankings are more credible and thus have a higher conversion rate. In fact, between 68% and 72% of web searchers believe organic search results produce the most relevant information.
  • Far higher visibility on search engines and therefore more traffic.
  • You can rank for hundreds / thousands of keywords with a professional SEO strategy
  • Your website will continue to rank as long as it is live

From my experience in online marketing, companies that allocate their budget on SEO, experience far greater returns, and if you are currently spending your online budget on PPC, then contact me for a chat to discuss a personalized SEO strategy. I am willing to help! 🙂

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