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SEO Services vs Pay Per Click The No Brainer Decision

May 10, 2008
A pay per click campaign is visibly more costly than adopting SEO services in increasing online presence, hence companies recently are making their investment in the latter solution. After doing just that another problem arises for these companies; how do they determine which marketing strategy works better for them? A prudent company manager would not invest in anything without at least knowing whether it is actually contributing to their profits. This will also help companies decide whether to stick with PPC or SEO schemes for their online advertising needs.

Website stats and hits alone do not inform the company whether they are making money any more than numbers scrawled on a sticky note. Without understanding how SEO really works, some company analysts may evaluate its results using the same methodology in PPC, which is comparing the yield of profit per click. In such a case, SEO is almost always written off as inferior to PPC advertising because the average yield per click is always lower than that of PPC ads.

What analysts fail to consider is the essential difference between PPC and SEO schemes, one banks upon visibility while the other relies upon the inner workings of a website, respectively. It is only apparent that PPC yields more per click than SEO but upon closer examination it actually costs companies more. PPC sells only when they are visible and companies pay to be visible. When companies stop paying for PPC their yield likewise stops, no more profits for the company. Not so with SEO, once it is built into a site, it stays there and only needs to be tweaked from time to time. It needn't be visible because it works from within a site by bringing in more page views which may convert into profit because of the increased traffic. Thus, the worth of SEO cannot be properly measure by comparing the yield per click.

Another thing is that using the yield per click analysis presupposes that an analyst knows exactly when the PPC campaign begins and when it ends. This is made by comparing the profits generated per click from the time the PPC ads were utilized to the time they are taken down. In the case of SEO, there is no clear delineation when said scheme ceases to be a factor in upping company revenues because once it is built into the site it stays there. There is no proper way then of determining how much revenue should be compared to the clicks generated from SEO.

How can companies then measure or determine the benefits they reap from adopting SEO? As of yet, there is no definitive answer to such query, so we'd better leave that to statisticians and industry analysts. To be sure, the yield per click approach is not applicable to SEO and anyone uses the former to evaluate his return of investment (ROI) with SEO results is only bound to have misleading results.

Despite this, companies should not be discouraged of choosing SEO in launching their online ad campaigns. Instead, keeping in mind the essential differences between PPC and SEO ad schemes, the advertiser may decide which works for him. PPC, despite higher costs, is visible and results from such ad campaign are easily quantifiable from beginning to end is the better choice for the company in the short run. SEO, on the other hand, despite its invisibility and difficulty in quantifying its results, appears to be a better choice in the long run. Long after a company has paid the SEO provider, the improvements upon the site stays and keeps on hauling page views thus maintaining a constant online presence. Staying ahead of the search results is crucial for companies with an online ad campaign because of all the clutter filling up the Net these days. Even the adoption of both SEO and PPC schemes is not inconceivable for the company as their aim may cover increasing their presence in both the short and long time periods.

Sure, it is hard for companies to determine whether SEO is really working for them but this should not lead them to the hasty conclusion that it isn't working. In all likelihood it is working for them, hauling in site rankings and page views along the way, together with increased profits. In most instances it may even work better for the company than PPC advertising because SEO's benefits continue long after the PPC ads disappear. Seeing quick and immediate quantified results should not be everything for a company. If companies stick it out with SEO long enough, it would not be surprising for them to find themselves with unexplained revenues from online growth. That's the great thing with SEO, it is always pleasantly surprising.
About the Author
Moe Tamani is a consultant with Dallas based SEO Services specializing in organic search engine optimization .
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