Organic Search Engine Optimization Versus Pay Per Click Advertising Presented By:
Search engine optimization is a key component of online marketing. It offers strongbenefits for virtually any business and costs much less than conventional advertising.Although this excellent option is available to all companies, there is another path thatmany consider: pay per click advertising. Pay per click seems to offer many of thebenefits that come with organic search engine optimization, but its results only last aslong as the company continues to pay for it, just like conventional TV or radio ad time.Organic search engine optimization costs nothing to maintain, continues to benefit thecompany for years to come, and appears far more trustworthy to the millions of peoplewho use search engines every day.Unpacking The Search Engine: What You See When You Type In AKeywordDiscussing search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) marketing firstrequires that you know exactly which is which. Both of them will be evident on the firstpage of results for any search term. If you are not clear on the definition, go to Google,Yahoo!, or Bing, and type in any word or phrase you like – kitchen design, for example.When you type in the words kitchen design into a major search engine, at the very topof the page you will see three or four links to websites. If you look carefully, you will seethat they are sitting against a different background color, and are identified by wordingin the top right corner as sponsored links, or ads. There are more of them along theright hand side of the page, again marked with the separate coloration and noted assponsored ads. These are the paid results. Every one that appears on the page is therebecause the company is willing to pay for the clicks they get as a result, hence thename pay per click.Now look below the sponsored links. These are the results from organic search, orsearch engine optimization. These websites are not paying for their position. They aresimply the results that the search engine believes is most relevant for the chosen term.They are also the most coveted spots on the Internet. Ranking on the first page amongthese results virtually guarantees that you will be seen by customers who are searchingfor you and want to buy your products. Joining the ranks of the first page has turnedstartups into runaway successes. Unlike the PPC ads elsewhere on the page, thesespots cannot be bought. They can only be obtained through aggressive, targeted searchengine optimization. But once a company obtains that spot, unless it stops its marketingefforts entirely, its likely to maintain that ranking unless a very strong challenger comesalong.Side Note: Googles Terms Of ServiceGoogle handles more than 70% of all search traffic worldwide, making it the mostimportant focus of SEO (and PPC) efforts. Google is also leading the way in acrackdown on so called black hat SEO, punishing people who violate its terms ofservice to unfairly inflate themselves in the rankings. Its easy to avoid violating theterms of service, which are posted prominently online – just make sure you read thembefore starting any SEO plan yourself or agreeing to one proposed by anothercompany.
Basics Of Organic SEOThe goal of search engine optimization is simple. Using a number of differenttechniques, your company will raise its rankings in major search engines for certainkeywords important to your business. These keywords should be chosen ahead of time,and should be woven-in throughout the different elements of your SEO plan. There aretwo main factors that influence the success of a typical search engine optimizationendeavor. The first is the content found on the website in question, including its keyworddensity. Organic search engine optimization relies upon having enough quality contentwith a good targeted keyword density, which tells the major search engines that yourwebsite will provide information that its searchers want to see. The second componentis more difficult because it relies on links to your website from other websites. Theselinks show the search engines that other people consider your website as an authorityfor that particular term, and so you receive higher rankings.Maintaining SEO Is Cost-FreeA successful search engine optimization campaign will get your company onto the firstpage of search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Although your company is notguaranteed to stay there, you are not paying for that position. Your ranking iscompletely independent of payment; if you decide to stop spending a penny onmarketing, you wouldnt automatically lose visibility. In addition, search engineoptimization can be self-perpetuating. People search for keywords, find your site, andthen you get backlinks from other websites that are looking to you as a leader on yoursearch terms.Inbound Marketing In Its Pure FormSEO is an example of inbound marketing, a contrast to many of the traditionaloutbound, or push, marketing methods. Inbound marketing involves finding the manypeople who are already looking for you, rather than convincing someone to becomeinterested in your product. Search engines are a vital element of inbound marketingbecause they are by far the most common way for people to connect with products. Theweb is the worlds largest marketplace, and SEO is the way to put your name out therefor people to see. If theyre interested in your product, strong search engine optimizationensures that they can find you.Pay Per ClickIn contrast to organic search engine optimization, pay per click advertising (as its nameimplies) has companies pay every time someone clicks through to their site. Youchoose keywords, select how much money youre willing to actually pay-per-clickthrough, and put a daily limit on how much youre willing to spend. When an individualsearches for that keyword, your website will come up in a very clearly defined paidadvertising space.
Problems With Paid Search AdvertisingThere are two big drawbacks to pay per click. The first is that it will last only as long asyou keep paying. The moment funds run out, you won’t be able to continue financingthe campaign, and it will immediately stop. Your website will have no lingering visibilityafter you stop paying per click. In effect, your website will just disappear.The other problem is one that will appear from the moment you start a pay per clickeffort. The simple truth is that people trust paid advertisements a lot less than they trustorganic search engine results (unpaid). Paid advertisements are considered little betterthan push advertisements which interrupt people and bombard them with unwantedsales pitches. Pay per click ads are not inherently push marketing because they dochange depending on the search query, at least a little bit. Someone searching for "dogkennel" isnt going to find results for a bookstore. But they might find information from acompany offering alternatives to a dog kennel, or perhaps a sales pitch from a newbrand of dog food. Because this type of marketing can so often appear like a traditionalpush, most search users will simply tune out pay per click ads.Exploring The Value Of Pay Per Click And Search Engine OptimizationPay per click advertising and search engine optimization are both related to searchengines, but are actually quite different and very disparate in their effects and how theyhelp boost your company.Search Engine Optimization: • Requires time to reach its full potential. Your company will not see results immediately, as it takes time for major search engines to change their rankings. SEO tends to manifest itself in a snowball effect, slowly building momentum as your website rises to the top. • Has a hard to measure ROI, especially when combined with other programs. Determining the number of people who visit your website from a search engine is possible, but determining how many of those become customers is less simple. It can be tough to understand exactly how much value youre getting for each dollar of SEO. • Obviously works or fails, leaving no ambiguity. After a short lead-up time to let the SEO campaign get rolling, youll be able to very quickly see whether your efforts have met with success or not. You can objectively track your ranking for various keywords, so youll know when you rise and when you stay the same. • Has staying power for every dollar. Everything you invest in good search engine optimization will create lasting value. Think of it as money well spent on a classic branding campaign rather than a temporary ad blitz. Search engine optimization creates the foundation for your company to remain high in the rankings long into the future, although maintaining that will require some maintenance of your initial SEO strategy.
Pay Per Click: • Is easily measured. You can tell exactly how much you pay for each person that visits your website. You cant tell how many of those visitors ultimately become customers, but you have a high degree of control over your total costs. • Starts working immediately. Assuming youre willing to pay enough to rank for your chosen keyword, your link will start showing up in the sponsored results as soon as you start the campaign. There is no wait time, no lead up time, just immediate presence. • Stops working once the money runs out. When your payment is done, there is nothing more from PPC. It has no impact on your companys overall web presence. You get no benefit with the search engines from having used this method of marketing. If you have not used search engine optimization to get your company on the map, when your PPC funding runs out, youll disappear from the search engines entirely.Running The Numbers For The Best ValueWhat is the better value, SEO or PPC? For most companies, the answer is SEO. Youmight not see results immediately, but once those results start coming in they tend to bea lot stronger than from PPC alone. People trust organic results, making every incomingvisitor more likely to become a customer. PPC advertising receives less baseline hits,and few of them turn out to be qualified leads, giving it an overall lower return oninvestment.PPC can be a useful tool, especially when combined with SEO and used with theguidance of an experienced web marketer. But when you are looking to understandwhat gives the best value for search engine marketing, organic SEO always comes outon top.