If you’ve written off SEO (search engine optimization) as a search engine marketing tactic in favor of the presumably easier PPC campaign (pay-per-click), boy are you missing the boat!
I am not going to talk about HOW to optimize your site for the search engines, but rather, showcase the tremendous importance it has for the success of your campaign, your website, and even your company related to traffic.
Before we talk about the future, let’s go back. Way back. Remember BANNER ADS? Sure, they’re still around. Actually, they’re still all over. But when is the last time you recall seeing a banner ad on a site and clicking on it? Chances are, you don’t…because you didn’t. This is so common, there’s a term that’s been created called “banner blindness“.
Basically, early on, people didn’t know what banner ads were. So when it said, “HEY, CLICK HERE!” – most people did! But what happened? You were most likely taken to some poorly designed website that asked for info that helped SPAM and credit card fraud go wild. Naturally, it didn’t take long for people to stop trusting those banner ads. So the easiest thing to do was ignore them, and that’s exactly what people have done! If you don’t believe me, read what Jakob Nielsen has to say about it.
Fast forward from the days of the great banner ad to the days of the great PPC ad. What’s happened? For years, people did not understand the difference between organic links (part of SEO) and paid ads in the search engines. So, they naturally clicked what sounded best to them (seeing the pattern here?). Well, it didn’t take long for marketers to wreck this too. Many ads today bring you to directories or squeeze pages, not exactly the content users are looking for. So what’s happened? They’ve lost trust and not only stopped clicking, they even stopped looking!
Here’s what’s going to blow you away. These statistics are from SEOMoz.org. In 2008, US marketers spent $11.9 Billion on PPC marketing (88.8%) and $1.4 Billion on SEO marketing (10.75%). However, the distribution of clicks (the traffic sent to sites) looks like this for the same time: PPC links received 10.5% of the search engine traffic while SEO links (organic) accounted for 89.5%. And they are forecasting PPC links to account for 4-5% of total clicks on the page in 2010.
I’m sorry, but if that’s not an eye opener to the power and value SEO brings you, I don’t know what could do it.
Ok, that being said, I am not trying to bash PPC. PPC can bring a tremendous value to you if it’s incorporated into the strategy correctly. We have statistics that indicate a site with a #1 organic ranking and a #1 PPC ranking converts 45% higher than if the site is only has a #1 PPC rank.
Here’s just a few pro’s and con’s of SEO vs PPC:
- Pro: Start driving traffic almost instantly
- Con: Costs extra $, limited to budget, higher financial risk
- Pro: Doesn’t cost per click, generates more traffic
- Con: Takes longer to get into the search engines
I hope this helps,