A common question many business owners ponder: Do I invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Pay-Per Click (PPC) paid search advertising?
Important question and an essential one for your business to grow.
Their intent is simply to invest money and energy into the one form of advertising and lead generation that will give them the best return on investment. Fair enough. As we will see in this article, although a positive slant might be given towards PPC advertising – a better approach to lead generation comes from combining both SEO and PPC.
Let’s begin our discussion by defining each of these approaches:
SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks at or close to the top of the search results for the keywords that best match the services/products of the company. SEO also involves maximizing the website visitor’s experience in an effort to provide the most relevant information matches to their queries. This results in the generation of leads without having to pay for the direct cost of advertising on the search engines.
PPC involves placing paid ads on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo to drive leads to your site. Properly done this involves testing and reﬁning ads to increase conversion. Obviously this approach to lead generation has a direct cost associated with it, as each of the search engines charges for each click on the ad placed by a business.
In order to measure the cost effectiveness of PPC advertising, when compared to other methods, it’s important to measure the Net Revenue Per Visit (NPRV). You make a simple calculation that takes your paid search revenue and subtracts the direct media cost from those clicks. By doing this calculation you can then properly compare the net costs of obtaining a lead from a PPC campaign to the costs of obtaining a lead from SEO.
All business owners understand that both of these methods take time and require a monetary investment. Thus, for some time many businesses choose one method over the other based solely on their beliefs and overall preferences. But let’s take a look at what the research is showing.
The Benefits of SEO
- There is power that comes from a customer or client typing in a query for a specific need and seeing your company appear at the top of the search results.
- Studies show that 92% of users choose a company from one of the top three search results. Therefore, an SEO campaign will focus on making the adjustments to a site or providing the content necessary to garner that top search spot. One way that this is done involves having a site that is structurally sound and easily navigated to in order to appeal to both the user and search engines.
- In fact with their “Hummingbird” algorithm update, Google is giving the top search spots to those sites that provide quicker and more relevant information to users.
- As a result many SEO consultants recommend using schema.org to markup a website in order to essentially provide additional layers of data. This enables search engines to associate their sites with user queries quickly.
- As we can see the SEO process is an ever changing process with associated costs involved.
The Power of PPC
- In a recent study conducted for a retail division of Hewlett Packard, researchers found definitive evidence that visitors arriving from paid search more proﬁtable than those arriving from organic search when comparing the NRPV.
- Furthermore, other studies show that even with an organic result at the ﬁrst position, consumers still click and convert on paid listings 39.6% of the time.
- As mentioned above, it is possible to command the ﬁrst search results for a given keyword, but changes in the search engine algorithms can cause your website to fall of the ﬁrst page. When that happens, paid search becomes the only viable option to being found on the ﬁrst page – albeit in the paid section.
The Power of Combining both PPC and SEO
- One advantage of combining PPC with SEO is the power that comes from leveraging the top results of a search query both in the organic section and in the paid sponsor area of the search results. In this way, the business increases its click share, visibility, and dramatically increases its proﬁtability.
- Click share is defined as the percentage of total clicks achieved when both a paid search and organic listing appear together. By leveraging a paid listing with organic search a business can take up space where a competitors ad may appear. This makes your company the users obvious choice.
- This combined approach also lends itself to collaborative opportunities. For example, by using the dynamic data collected from a PPC campaign, a business can use the same information to strengthen and improve their SEO campaign.
- Statistical information such as where the query originated, the type of device used to do the search, and the keywords that provided the best response, can be added to and improve the various areas of SEO campaign.
- Finally, it’s important to note that despite the best SEO efforts gaps will occur since the site can’t cover all possible search queries.
- Here PPC can be a true asset and provide the business with a comprehensive presence throughout the various viable search terms.
The research is clear when it comes to maximizing your lead generation using a combined method of SEO and PPC campaigns. This combination proves to be the best choice and provides you with the best return on investment. When looking for the latest business strategies and techniques to maximize return on investment, look no further than Bay Area Mastermind. At Bay Area Mastermind we stay on top of the latest information for our members. Come Test Drive a meeting today and take away a strategy that can improve your bottom line.