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Property Real Estate SEO - The Case for Optimization v PPC

Aug 17, 2007
For anybody that has done their research they will know, that paying some-one to work on their website to get to that elusive Page 1 ranking on Google seems to be an expensive exercise with quite possibly no guarantees and the need for a level of trust that frankly, you would find difficulty bestowing on a member of your own family!

The arguments for obtaining the ranking spot are clear. It is widely accepted that to be noticed in the search results of the major search engines you need to be in the top 30 positions or top 3 pages. Anything less than this is frankly a waste of time. To seriously get some traffic then that Page 1 top 10 position is where 85% of all searchers stop looking and so is where you need to be, to get the traffic, to get the business, that makes your website not just an expensive advert that nobody sees unless you advertise it in conventional advertising media.

Now there are 2 ways to achieve that Page 1 slot. The first is through the Search Engine results. The second is via the Pay per Click sponsored links.

Which one costs more?

PPC v SEO

I am going to give you an example using some actual figures for the Real Estate Industry in Spain or Spanish property industry depending on which side of the pond you hail from.

The keywords I am using are: Spanish property, Spanish Property for sale and Costa Blanca Property.

On the 15th April 2007 the cost of PPC for position 5 on Overture UK, (Yahoo Search Marketing) was as follows. The figures are in British Pounds.

Spanish property 1.11
Spanish Property for sale 0.90
Costa Blanca Property 0.87

The mean figure then for a major keyword, for the middle page spot was 96p ($1.75) per click.

For the smallest keyword in terms of Number of searches, (Costa Blanca Property - 60000 a month), a top 10 position should bring an average number of visitors of;

10% x 60,000 = 6000 a month or approx 200 a day. Assuming an equal share of the market.

This would mean that if you had the budget, 200 PPC visitors would cost you;

200 x 0.96 = 192.00 pounds a day x 30 days = 5760.00 a month x 1.75 for $

Most people don't have this sort of budget!

So what do you get for 50.00 pounds a day budget?

Well in this example, from our pay per click visitors you will achieve 52 visitors a day.
With SEO you still get the 200 visitors and more. (You will have to ask me what the more is!)

Now these figures are not perfect. I have taken fixed positions and prices for pay per click taken at a fixed time on a fixed day. They were taken just before I wrote this and are not intended to mislead. Check the figures yourself at Yahoo Search marketing UK. I have also assumed levels of visitors as an average.

But even when all this is taken into account SEO still beats PPC by a factor of 4.

The only thing left to do now is to achieve that Page 1 ranking. But 'what about the entire trust thing you mentioned at the beginning?', I hear you ask.

Well the best way to judge if an SEO firm can achieve the results is to ask them to show you what they have achieved so far. If your market is Real Estate then make them show you the real estate sites they have put on Page 1. Call the owners of the site to verify.

If they are, what they say they are, then they should be able to prove it.
The old adage 'You get what you pay for' when it comes to SEO is probably true. Good SEO is time intensive as well as knowledge intensive. If some one says they can do it cheap then it is either by 'black hat' methods which may end up getting your site banned or by not putting in the hours needed to achieve the results. Either way you lose out.

SEO is a commercial decision. Treat it like one.
About the Author
Neil Ebsworth is co-founder of AMLAspain.com, a Spanish property portal for the Real Estate industry in Spain and SEO Real estate an SEO services company.
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