Posts Tagged ‘PPC’

SEO vs PPC Advertising

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising are both extremely popular forms of search engine marketing. Both can generate some excellent returns depending on how well they are executed. So what makes them different and what else do they have in common…besides three-letter acronyms?

Many search engine users (and even marketers) still don’t know the difference between the two set of results, so lets take a quick look:


The search engine results on the top and right sidebar are part of a pay-per-click campaign, so the advertiser is charged a fee every time someone click on one of these links. The search engine results in green are considered “organic” or “natural” results and can be influenced by SEO. While many internet users still aren’t aware that some of these Google results are sponsored, more people are becoming savvy to this and come to trust the organic listings over the paid results. Because of this, the natural listings often have a much higher click-through rate than the sponsored ads.

Let’s take a look at some of the other differences between SEO and PPC:

SEO Advertising Campaigns:

  • Can take weeks or months to generate traffic
  • Provide permanent (owned) rankings
  • Often less expensive over time
  • Organic results generate more clicks

PPC Advertising Campaigns:

  • Generate traffic immediately
  • Provide temporary (rented) rankings
  • Often more expensive over time

Generally, the two differ in three areas…time, permanence, and cost:

Time – When it comes to the times it takes to see actual traffic from a campaign, PPC is the winner by far. PPC campaigns can be launched within a day where SEO results can take weeks or months.

Permanence – The downside to this “instant traffic” is that it’s temporary and rented. The advertiser has to pay for every click and the traffic disappears as soon as they stop paying. With SEO, once top rankings are achieved much less (if any) ongoing maintenance may be required.

Cost – Many times, this is the first question we get from clients…”How much does it cost?” Initially, SEO is more expensive but has a better ROI in the long run. Think of it this way…would you rather rent an apartment or buy a house? We highly encourage all our clients make SEO their long term goal. PPC is quick and easy , but SEO allows you to build equity in your website and marketing.

So which one is better….SEO or PPC?

The real answer is “It depends.” They’re both tools for achieving success online. PPC is fast and agile, where SEO is slow and methodical. We’re definitely biased toward SEO as a long-term strategy for any business, but for clients that “need sales yesterday” PPC can make it happen overnight.

Google’s US Economic Impact…Exaggerated Warm-Fuzzy PR?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Google recently released a report that indicates their total contribution to the US and individual state economies in 2009. What’s not surprising are the truly massive numbers, but what caught my attention are the “conservative assumptions” they rely on to get these numbers:

Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (source) Now, Google has included the methodology behind this assumption but that sounds like a pretty bold statement to me. Are they implying that on average businesses receive a 100% ROI from AdWords?! It would seem so, as the entire report is on “Google’s US Economic Impact”. I’ve spoken with plenty of clients that have wasted hundreds or even thousands of dollars on AdWords with out a substantial return. This isn’t to say that AdWords doesn’t work, but generating a positive return from Adwords can be very challenging for the average small business owner.

Businesses receive an average of 5 clicks on their search results for every 1 click on their ads. (source) No complaints here! Many studies have shown that natural search engine results get many times more clicks than paid search results. The problem with this second “assumption” is the assumption they make afterward, stating this: “…clicks through search results may not be as commercially valuable as ad clicks, so we want to be conservative: we estimate that search clicks are about 70% as valuable as ad clicks.” Where does this estimation come from?! I’ve consistently seen comparable (if not better) conversion rates from natural search engine result clicks compared to PPC ad clicks.

Is Google just trying to create some feel-good, public relations during a time of otherwise economic downtime? I might be a little less skeptical if the report weren’t also accompanied by success stories from small business owners who have benefited from AdWords campaigns. Not to mention the video was published on YouTube on the “googlepublicpolicy” channel.

Here’s their presentation and summary of the report. You tell me…?

New AdWords PPC Reports In Google Analytics

Monday, May 17th, 2010

There are a number of ways to track the performance and ROI of a Google AdWords campaign. Now there’s another channel for AdWords PPC analytics….Google Analytics. No brainer, huh?! AdWords campaign data has previously been accessible in Google Analytics, but now there is extended metrics on what happens AFTER the customer clicks on your ad. This can be critical in optimizing your PPC campaigns and your website for increased conversions and overall ROI.

Check out this brief video for an overview: