25 Nov, 2009

Organic search engine results vs pay per click (PPC)

Posted by: drobs In: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Which results do you think are best and which are most valuable?

It is simple to get to the top of a Google or other search engine results. All you need is to put in the highest bid for a particular keyword or phrase. However, this can be expensive and not necessarily profitable. (You may get lots of visitors, each costing you your bid amount) but few or non may convert into sales. If you are working to tight margins and have an expensive keyword, you could be playing a very dangerous game and end up with a high PPC/adwords bill and few sales or profit. Pay Per Click/PPC is more likely to be successful if you have good/high profit margins on each sale and are able to purchase a popular keyword at a reasonably low PPC rate. If setting out for the first time with PPC adverts or Google adwords, make sure that you set a limit you can afford so that you don’t get caught out. You can also assess if the campaign has bought you sufficient sales to justify continuing.

How do those searching and potential visitors perceive PPC results versus organic?

Personally, I put more faith in sites that have achieved top rankings organically than those that have purchased their position on PPC adword adverts. There are of course ways to get to the top of search engine results being a small or start up company through clever search engine optimisation/SEO, but a lot of people (rightly or wrongly) consider those at the top of organic search engine results to be bigger and/or more reputable companies. Therefore, achieving top organic search engine results can potentially add more value to your site in terms of perceived reputation and visitor confidence. If visiting a site through PPC adverts, I always try to establish before placing any business how reputable the company using the site is. If they cannot be found easily via organic means (I mean checking them out with the website name after having visited) it could be they are very new or that something dodgy is going on (although not necessarily the case). Knowing many people that have been stung by scam websites, I am very cautious with unknown web companies. Therefore, in addition to saving marketing money by gaining organic search engine sales, good organic results can help your business status and help convert sales from new visitors.

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