Organic Natural Search Engine Optimization versus Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Advertising

When you purchase visitors or "clicks" from a search engine, this is called "pay-per-click" (PPC) search engine advertising (or PPCSE). Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Advertising allows you to quickly get top search engine placement by "bidding" (paying) for keywords related to your product or service.

"Organic" or "Natural" search engine optimization (SEO) is accomplished by optimizing your web pages and by increasing your "link popularity" by acquiring or paying for links that point to your web site. This gives you high rankings at the Search Engines for your chosen search terms.

In this article, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of both methods of search engine marketing.

"Natural" Search Engine Optimization

Today, there is a big myth that natural search engine optimization is inexpensive and easy. For example, if you wanted your web site to rank high for the keyword phrase "life insurance" or "debt consolidation" you're going to need to budget a minimum of $50,000-100,000 a year!

Yet still, natural search engine optimization usually gives you a much higher return on investment than pay per click. This is true for two main reasons:

1. More searchers click the natural search engine results versus the pay per click ads, so you'll get much more traffic for less.

2. One of the biggest factors to improving your rankings with natural search engine optimization is by boosting your "Link Popularity" by acquiring or paying for links that point to your web site. These links give you lasting results by giving you top rankings and traffic from the search engines. Plus, the links themselves will provide a significant boost in long term traffic.

With that said, the biggest weakness of natural search engine optimization is the time required to generate links and "tweak" your web pages and keywords to get those prized high rankings you so desire. It can literally take 3 months or more to finally enjoy the benefits of your search engine optimization campaign.

Pay Per Click Search Engine Advertising

The biggest benefit of pay per click is the fact that it will provide you with an immediate boost of qualified visitors, lead and sales giving you fast results within just hours or days. In fact, a pay per click advertising program is your best option if you seek fast results and a good return on investment while you are waiting for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program to "ramp up."

Depending on your traffic goals, you can budget $100 or $100,000. PPCSEs also give you the added benefits of being able to quickly test your web site and track your conversion rates (leads, opt-ins, and sales) and turning keywords (visitors) on and off easily.

So, as a short term strategy pay per click gives you the clear advantage over SEO. But, the disadvantage is the cost involved. Depending on the market demand for your keywords and clicks, your PPCSE campaign can generate tons of traffic and can cost hundreds, even thousands per day. With various optimization strategies you can lower your costs, but over the long term natural search engine optimization will give you a higher return on your marketing dollar.

In Conclusion

The golden rule in marketing is that you should constantly strive for maximum results and ROI for your budget. In other words, if your marketing is making you a profit - even if it's a thin profit - it's worth it. By this model, pay per click is worth doing, but overall pay per click will leave you with thinner margins.

The reason for conducting a natural search engine optimization campaign is to significantly increase your margins over the long term.

About The Author

Matt Hockin is President of Interactive Marketing, Inc., a small business marketing consulting company and the editor of the Interactive Marketing newsletter, one of the Internet's leading free small business marketing newsletters. Subscribe now at http://www.interactivemarketinginc.com.

In The News:


Practical Ecommerce

PPC Ads: Understanding Keyword Match Types
Practical Ecommerce
In the world of pay-per-click advertising, a keyword can have different variations. For Google AdWords and Bing Ads, there are five variations, called “match types.” Each one has a specific use that can be leveraged by savvy PPC marketers to improve ...
10 Signs You Need Help with PPCWordStream (blog)
3 New AdWords Certified Team Members at EZSolutionDigital Journal

all 17 news articles »

PR Newswire (press release)

Top PPC Expert and Author David Szetela Joins Bruce Clay, Inc. as VP, Search ...
PR Newswire (press release)
Szetela's articles on PPC advertising have been published in The SEM Post, MediaPost, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Land. He will continue to host a weekly radio show and podcast called PPC Rockstars and will also join as a frequent co-host ...

and more »

Business 2 Community

9 Frequently Asked Questions About Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Business 2 Community
Pay-per-click advertising is a popular and economical way to generate more website traffic and reach a larger target audience online. Although it can be quite daunting to get started, the ROI on most pay-per-click ads is higher than its other digital ...


Are You Wasting Thousands on PPC Advertising?
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin (blog)
Lots of online marketers, and especially newer ones, waste thousands and thousands of dollars in pay-per-click advertising every year because they neglect to follow one simple rule: look for buyers, not searchers. Never forget that the goal of your ...


Guest Post: PPC bidding restrictions on agents is an issue that won't go away
Travolution
However, our experience is that many operators are seeking to exclude agents from the online marketplace, by restricting their Paid Per Click (PPC) advertising. At Travel Club Elite, we believe that this is incompatible with UK and EU Competition and ...

and more »

Business 2 Community

5 Common PPC Mistakes You May Be Making
Business 2 Community
The character limits for PPC ads are very small, but that doesn't mean that you can ignore the ad copy. It is this that will encourage the click, so it is vitally important – include a call to action and have several different versions running at the ...


JumpFly PPC Advertising News (blog)

Google AdWords Advertisers Impacted as Chrome “Stops” Flash Ads
JumpFly PPC Advertising News (blog)
If your various PPC advertising campaigns are running flash ads, this change is something that should be further explored. If flash ads are just a small portion of your current ad inventory and their results have not been historically any better than ...
Chrome switches off Flash by default tomorrowDispatch Times
Chrome's Dev Channel Mutes Auto-Play Media Opened in the BackgroundFx Report Daily

all 128 news articles »

Best Twitter PPC Management Firms Selected by 10 Best PPC
Press Release Rocket
Awards organization 10 Best PPC frequently assesses exceptional work in the Twitter PPC (pay per click) online advertising realm. On its most recent list, the organization selected Internet Marketing Ninjas as its best Twitter PPC management firm ...

and more »

How SEM and PPC Are Different, and Why It's Important
Business 2 Community
With the amount of acronyms being thrown around in the online advertising world, things can get a little fuzzy. PPC, SEO, SEM, CTR, CTA – what does it all mean? This time around we're going to focus on SEM and its two main components: SEO and PPC.

and more »

Dispatch Times

Amazon to Shut PPC Ad Option Which Drove Traffic Away from Marketplace
Dispatch Times
The bay area Amazon.com Inc quietly shuttered a ppc promotion training program that permitted corporations to reroute traffic that are caused by the retailer's network to their personal web content on Tuesday, saying it could enduringly interrupt this ...
Amazon Ending Pay-Per-Click Ad Program That Took Shoppers To Other Retail ...The Consumerist
Amazon Swaps Product Ads for Text Ads, Challenging GoogleTheStreet.com
Amazon (AMZN) to Pull the Plug on its Product Ads ProgramZacks.com
WebProNews
all 85 news articles »
Google News

Pay-Per-Click Marketing & Natural Search Engine Traffic

PPC advertising has many great benefits. First of all, you... Read More

Relevant Ads Increase Adsense Profits

If you've started using Adsense as a way to increase... Read More

Increase SEO Sales by Teaching Clients about SEO Truths

In private consultations with some Search Engine Optimizers I am... Read More

The Perils and Pitfalls of Pay-per-click Advertising

In this age of speed dialing, T1 lines and other... Read More

The Truth About Google?s Adsense Affiliate Program

The truth about Google's Adsense program is that it is... Read More

Ten Tips for Affiliate Marketers Using Google AdWords

One of the hottest ways to sell affiliate products is... Read More

$1 Million in Google AdSense Earnings

They are calling him the million dollar man. Jason Calacanis... Read More

Cost Per Click Bid Management

Cost per click or pay per click is a common... Read More

Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing - Starting A Campaign

Pay per click advertising is an on-going and growing arsenal... Read More

Googles AdWords Select(tm) Groundbreaking Program

One of the absolute best online marketing processes available to... Read More

Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization ? A Perfect Marriage

Pay per click or search engine optimization, which one should... Read More

Is Click Fraud Really a Problem?

Click fraud is currently a major topic in online advertising.... Read More

Independent Search Engine & Directory Network (ISEDN) - Breaking News!

Watch out for a shift in the pay-per-click (PPC) industry,... Read More

So You Want Big Profits From Your AdWords PPC Advertising Campaigns?

So You Want Big Profits From Your AdWords PPC Advertising?... Read More

Is Pay Per Click your Best Marketing Bet?

You may already have heard of this method to get... Read More

Advertising Click Fraud Rampant Online?

"Pay-per-click," by far the most popular form of online advertising,... Read More

Market Research Means Money

I recently made a critical mistake in my progression towards... Read More

How to Maximize Paid Search Results

Because of increasing competition that has led to higher advertising... Read More

Is Adsense Going To Turn Associate Programs Obsolete

When Google introduced their new Adsense revenue sharing program, people... Read More

6 Easy Ways to Increase Your Adsense Revenue

How much revenue do you generate from Google Adsense?Recently there... Read More

Choosing the Right Keywords for Your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign

Introduction:Of all the important decisions that go into a successful... Read More

How to Skyrocket Your Paid Search Profits

Faced with a mediocre or worse performing paid search campaign... Read More

The Basics Of Pay Per Click Search Engine Advertising

Not long ago, Forbes magazine has reported that pay per... Read More

Sell Multiple Products Through a Single ClickBank Account

A ClickBank merchant account allows you to define and sell... Read More

AdWords Ads: To Syndicate or Not to Syndicate

When running ads on the AdWords network, one of the... Read More