Saturday, October 07, 2006

Organic SEO or Pay-Per-Click Advertising

When people hear about online marketing, they often think of two of the more popular methods that a company can use to enhance its visibility on the Web:

  • organic search engine optimization and
  • pay-per-click advertising.
But which is best for you?

Organic Search Engine Optimization
Organic search engine optimization campaigns offer several distinct advantages over pay-per-click advertising campaigns, as many recent studies have shown. What follows is a brief listing of some of the findings.

  • Propensity to Click - Study after study indicates people are less likely to click on paid search ads rather than on results from organic search engine optimization. For example, one study found that search users are up to six times more likely to click on the first few organic results than they are to choose any of the paid results, while an eye tracking study showed that 50 percent of users begin their search by scanning the top organic results. Majority of eye activity during a search happens within a triangle (Golden Triangle) at the top of the search results page.
  • Trust - Studies are beginning to indicate that the trust level for organic results is much higher than that of paid results, and that paid results are looked upon as a nuisance by some searchers.
  • Value of Visitors - Organic search engine results tend to be seen as non-biased, and they therefore are able to provide visitors that are more valuable. The overall conversion rate, or the rate at which searchers take a desired action on a site, is 17 percent higher for unpaid search results than the rate for paid (4.2% vs. 3.6%).
  • Pay-Per-Click Costs Rising - Meanwhile, pay-per-click costs are rising steadily. Between October 2004 and December 2005, average keyword prices rose from around $25 to just under $55.10 And the cost of keywords can increase by as much as 100 percent during the holiday season.
  • Long Term Results - While a pay-per-click campaign may produce results more quickly than an organic search engine optimization campaign, organic search engine optimization campaigns can give you results that last.
  • Relevance - Users also have rated organic search engine results as more relevant than paid results.

Source: SitePro News - By Scott Buresh

Search Engine Marketing and Optimization

Compiled by Ron Elli, Ph.D. - SOURCiS