Organic Search or PPC? The question is being asked by thousands who are doing business on the internet and seeing that the cost of pay per click search campaigns seems to be getting higher and higher as the value of premium keywords rises. This leads to a need for more creative campaigns and many businesses are targeting secondary keywords because they simply can’t afford to run campaigns on their primaries. So the choice is presented. Should you continue with paid search engine marketing (SEM) or seek out ways to promote organic search results?
If the answer was a simple matter of calculating cost versus return the decision would be easy to make, but it is far more complicated than that. If you have a product to sell then you can gather data on how many clicks it takes to get a conversion. This tells you if your PPC campaign is worth it, provided your keywords don’t go up in price. If you’re using Google Adwords then you have to deal with their algorithm in the equation. The quality score of your website is an important factor in determining how much you pay for clicks and the formula used to determine it changes on a regular basis.
Of course, if you’re relying on organic search for quality traffic then you will still have to maintain a high quality score and now you also need to examine your links for their site’s quality score. The weighting system used by major search engines has changed recently to discount “automated” submissions to article directories and links obtained from “link farms” or sites that are only there for the purpose of posting links.
The numbers posted in the first quarter of 2009 by Adwords and other PPC programs show a decline in overall spending. Many believe this is due to more companies turning to Organic SEO and moving away from paid traffic. Others feel it’s a direct result of retail stores going out of business. Many of the giants, like Macy’s for instance, are closing stores and not spending money on internet advertising. The answer to the decline in ad dollars spent is most likely a combination of both.
The solution for your company should be determined by someone who is familiar with the changes in algorithmic page rank calculations and experience in link building and SEM. Paid traffic is still a powerful way to bring visitors to your website and should not be overlooked completely, but techniques used to increase organic search are more lasting. A quality article manually posted on a site with a high PR Page rating like Ezine remains one of the best methods to generate a link that will bring consistent traffic and high rankings from Google and Yahoo networks.
Properly managed PPC campaigns can enhance organic search techniques and bring you instant traffic while you’re building your own web of links and directory registrations. The answer to the question asked in this article should never be an absolute one way or the other. Each company’s needs are different and a quality internet marketing service will recognize your unique needs and guide you in the right direction.