Regardless of an organization’s size, all of them are seeing the importance of online marketing, primarily the use of search engines on a daily basis. With the technology of today, people are finding their way to your website by a search engine than going to the website directly. Jupiter Research, which is a Forrester Research Company, actually found 81% of their users found the site using a search engine.

Using this research shows how important it is for your company to fair strongly in the world of search engines. To win the online search battle, you must be in front of the audience you are looking for. With all this in mind, there is still one big question to ask yourself – to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or PPC (Pay-Per-Click ads). Which one of these choices will get you in front of the audience you need is what you need to be thinking about when making a decision.

Either option can get you front and center on the search engines if things are done correctly. With that being said, each option has its costs and benefits to get you in front of your desired audience. SEOmoz, an incredible resource in the world of SEO’s, published an article from the members at Enquisite that quantified how effective SEO is versus a PPC.

The highlight of the article is that unpaid search results are 8.5 times more likely to be clicked than paid search results! That is a significant difference and is due in large part to searchers beginning to know the difference between paid and unpaid results. They are also learning that outstanding results are generally more respected than paid results. With the use of heat maps, researchers have been able to prove that a searcher focuses on the top unpaid results and barely noticed ads located to the right when searching.

PPC does hold an edge when it comes to conversion rates, however. Paid search results are 1.5 times more likely to convert clicks thrus from the search engine they are using. The research done by SEOmoz indicates that a paid search result’s “text and landing page is custom optimized by the advertiser.”

Once you have looked at both of these numbers, “the opportunity from organic search is 5.66x that of paid research” when all is said and done.

If given the choice of great PPC ads or ranking high naturally and unpaid, the highly logical choice is outstanding. Even with that thought process, we all know it’s not that easy. SEO takes time; it is not achieved overnight.

The greatest strength in PPC is its speed and expansiveness. Using PPC, you could be on the front page with specific terms in less than a day. Gaining that speed does come at a cost, however, if it is done correctly. It is best to hire a firm that can handle it full time as well, so the costs can add up very fast to get the quick results.

The Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, also known as SEMPO, says on average 87% of money spent on search engine dollars are spent on PPC versus 11% spent on SEO. That comes out to be $10 billion spent on PPC versus $1 billion on SEO. SEO is five times more effective but is only getting 1/8 of the money spent in the market! It is hard to say PPC expense is justified when SEO has more success and better long-term value.

PPC does have a time and place – think when a company is launched and you need a way to get your name out there. PPC is also handy to get your name out there that SEO would not have the time for.

PPC is also more useful for products than for a service company. PPC advertising is usually a waste of time and money for certain service firms.

When thinking of the long-term of the marketing you use for the internet, SEO offers a definite value in search marketing. It won’t work in a day, but SEO is more cost-effective, and the results have been proven over the long term. All of this goes to show that your company should spend more time and money looking at SEO versus PPC.

This post is brought to you by the guys at Hurricane Web Design.



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