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Natural Search vs Paid Search

Jun 13, 2008
The war is on! Yes! The hottest war over the internet is not between businesses but between two options of online marketing: SEO and PPC. According to a research, almost 85% of internet visitors start their product or service or information search using some of the top search engine like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. All internet users while looking for relevant information type a word that is more commonly known as the keyword and it helps search engines to bring up result pages that have natural organic listings as well as pay per click (PPC) advertisements.


SEO and PPC are two different sides of the same coin and are an integral part of major Search Engines and can increase your overall brand visibility. According to a research, 60% of search engine visibility will depend on effective SEO vis-a-vis PPC. The average states that almost 70% of all clicks received from various search engines take place through SEO. The fact of the matter is that SEO clicks are able to convert 25% more than PPC clicks according to BusinessWeek. A Marketing Sherpa study has shown that most organic referrals are able to convert at 4.2% vis-a-vis 3.6% for PPC.


Let us look at what are the different benefits of using SEO:

1. Most of the listings through SEO campaigns have a definite psychological advantage vis-a-vis sponsored links.

2. SEO is a long-term investment

3. It has recorded some of the highest conversion rates as well as best ROI

4. SEO can increase your PageRank

5. Brands get top positions so searchers trust more on organic search results.

6. If you are planning to go with SEO on long-term then it will be cheaper vis-a-vis Pay Per Click.

7. SEO can get you or your business almost 30 times the traffic as compared to sponsored links for the same cost.

Some of the drawbacks of SEO include:

- SEO takes more time to fall into place and provide good returns as compared to PPC

- You will not be guaranteed of Top Rank on Search engines always

- Determine the actual value of a high organic ranking is difficult


Now let us take a look at the various benefits of PPC:

1. Pay-per-click is a great option for a business looking for immediate exposure.

2. PPC campaigns work well with a bidding model i.e: you select the keyword and bid on it. The advertisement of the highest bidder will reflect at the top.

3. In PPC, you will have to pay only if a user clicks on your advertisement.

4. It is a good platform for testing the effectiveness of a new product

5. It is easy to measure the effectiveness of PPC

Some of the drawbacks of PPC include:

1. It is expensive on a long-term basis. Popular keywords can cost around $10 per click

2. The targeted traffic to your website will stop the moment you stop paying

3. You will need to manage your PPC campaign and keep a tab on the clicks vis-a-vis conversions

The crux of the matter is that you need to use SEO and PPC both if you want to keep ahead of the race.
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