Before you pay for any training, products, leads etc., do yourself a favour and spend some time to understand the pros and cons of using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click methods of finding and attracting (potential) customers to visit your landing pages…
SEO or Organic Traffic
Organizations of all sizes are realizing the importance of online marketing, especially through search engines. Nowadays, people are more likely to end up on your website via a search engine than going directly to it. In fact, according to Jupiter Research, a Forrester Research company, 81% of users find their desired destination through a search engine.Organic traffic is widely considered the most valuable traffic source for several reasons:
Google directs the highest amount of traffic and they are the most trusted source for people researching a purchase.
Google is very, very particular about their rankings and ranking in the top five results for a keyword indicates that your content is high quality.
Moving up in the rankings is difficult and takes time, but once you’re there you get to reap the benefits for a long time.
Results on the first page of Google (The Top 10) receive 92% off all search traffic on Google. Traffic drops by 95% on the second page.
The downside to organic search is that it takes time to get indexed and really start generating traffic from this source. (If you’re looking for instant gratification, look elsewhere!)
Before everyone and their mom was online and SEO became the norm, ranking well on Google wasn’t difficult at all. In fact, the competition was so bleak that simply writing a few articles about a subject was enough to gain the top spot for many niches. There was really no need to try to game the system.
But things have changed dramatically in the last ten years.
Now, every business has a website, most webmasters are at least vaguely familiar with SEO, and Google has cracked down on keyword stuffing and many “Black Hat” SEO methods (against their rules and sometimes illegal) that some marketers use.
Increasing organic traffic and earning top rankings takes time, persistence, and more effort than in the past — but it’s well worth it. Take the following facts into consideration:
Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78% of U.S. internet users researching products and services online
Some people will tell you that Organic Traffic IS NOT FREE. They are correct. Even if you don’t pay cash to generate organic leads, you should be factoring in the time invested in the SEO work, and the opportunity cost of having to wait say six to twelve months or even longer until you start seeing regular sales coming in.
Paid search accounts are those that companies have paid to appear the top of search results (above those that earned their page one spots organically.)
Despite the little yellow box next to their title reading “ad,” many consumers are unaware that these are even advertisements. The ads feel native and fit seamlessly into the results to be less obtrustive.
For these reasons, paid search has been more popular in recent years as organic search has become more competitive.
Rather than having to wait patiently for your SEO to build up, you can pay for the chance to get seen on page one of Google immediately.
To give you an idea of just how much money is being spent on paid search, take a look at Google. Google’s AdWords program is the most used pay-per-click (PPC) advertising program available today. While the tech giant owns YouTube and Android, among hundreds of other profitable brands, AdWords accounts for roughly 70% of their revenue — which speaks wonders for its effectiveness.
When starting your first campaign on Google Adwords, you need to be tactful. When done right, you can start getting a ton of targeted traffic to your landing pages much quicker than you would be able to get from organic search, but you can learn more about that here.
Organic Search vs Paid Search
Traditionally, inbound marketers have avoided paid search as we viewed it as more of an outbound method for marketing, but with Social Media Ads and tools like HubSpot Ads, it’s becoming far more common for the two to work together.
Realistically, it takes three to six months to start seeing movement in search rankings and most people just don’t want to wait that long. Paid search helps you get visitors to your website today and also speeds up the process of optimizing your landing pages for higher conversions, which pays off exponentially in the long run.
So, if you are weighing the pros and cons of organic search vs paid search, sit down with your team and examine your timeline and budget.
If you’re looking for the quickest results, paid search is better, but if you’re looking for the most cost-effective results, the answer becomes less clear cut.
In general, organic search is more cost-effective in the long run. However, with the right tweaking to your campaign and attention to landing page optimization, paid search can be very cost-effective as well.
If I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to make contact. Email is probably the best way.