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Brendan Egan

Organic Traffic Vs Paid Search Engine Traffic

When it comes to search engines, whether you use Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Ask, or virtually any other search engine out there, there’s always going to be two sets of search engine results, organic and paid.  Organic results are typically shown as 10 to a page and are websites that naturally or through SEO rank for a specific keyword.  Paid results are typically highlighted or mentioned as sponsored ads and are websites that pay the search engine by the click to be shown for a specific keyword.

When it comes to advertising your business, you can utilize SEO to rank organically, a PPC management service to rank for paid results, or both.  Depending on your business and niche, it may make more sense to do SEO, PPC, or both.  This article will discuss the differences and who should consider utilizing which marketing medium for their business.  Please remember, this is only a general overview and may not apply to every business out there in certain niches.  To learn more about your specific niche, please submit our consultation form to the right so one of our experts can analyze your business, niche, and competitive environment to form a plan specific to your business.

Organic Results

Search engines believe that websites should naturally rank organically.  That means that other sites should link to them because they’re an excellent website or resource, and they will then rank naturally.  The reality is it doesn’t work this way in the real world.  The vast majority of websites found on page 1 of search results are there because they’ve done extensive SEO work with an SEO firm to achieve these rankings.

The only factor that determines how long it will take and how much it will cost to rank on page one or even number 1 organically is your online competition.  The ten websites already ranking on page one are who determine how much work has to go into the SEO campaign to pass them up.  For some businesses there can be virtually no competition and it can take as little as $500 and a few weeks, and for others the competition can be so fierce it can take upwards of $100,000 and several years.  The only way to determine the level of competition is to have a qualified SEO company analyze your website and the competitions website to determine how much work needs to be done.

Depending on your business, it may make sense to invest in SEO to rank organically.  In our several years of working with SEO clients, there have only been one or two cases where we turned clients away because SEO wouldn’t have delivered a good ROI for them.  In virtually every other situation, we’ve identified a proper keyword set, strategy, time frame, and budget for our clients and have successfully ranked them on page one and helped them see a fantastic ROI from their SEO campaign.

It’s also worth mentioning that organic results seem to attract better website visitors.  For whatever reason, our experience has been that for service based companies, organic results are the absolute best way to go as PPC results deliver low quality leads, and for product based companies while PPC results definitely do work, organic results deliver even better, stronger new customers.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Results

The results on the very top, sometimes very bottom, and right side of search engine results are pay per click (PPC) results.  This means they show up because they have ad campaigns setup through the search engine and each time someone clicks on their ad, they are charged a fee for that click ranging form as low as $0.50 to as high as $30+.

The main benefit of a PPC campaign is immediate results.  Unlike SEO which depending on the competition can take some time, PPC campaigns can be setup and generating leads in a matter of a few hours.  In general, however, the long term costs associated with PPC are dramatically higher than those associated with organically ranking through SEO.

PPC results, as mentioned earlier, generally work better for product based businesses rather than service based businesses, and even then in our experiences the quality of clicks is lower than that of organic results.

SEO Or PPC? Which Is Right For Me?

Again its going to vary based on your budget, expectations, niche, and market, however as a general rule of thumb PPC is better for short term, immediate results while SEO is better for medium to long term results.  In general the cost associated with SEO is lower than the costs associated with PPC.  In some situations, however, it makes more sense to use PPC over SEO or to combine them both to work together to form a full marketing plan.  The best way to determine which one is right for you and how much it will cost is by requesting a free consultation by submitting the form to the right or by calling us at 888-918-1665.