As challenging as the competitive field of search engine optimisation (SEO) is, it might seem as if a large spend on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing is the answer. Organic SEO has its own costs, in education and time, or in hiring an expert. Possibly PPC would offer a better return? While the best strategy for many businesses is to do both, ultimately the answer to our question of the better value comes down to costs per click (CPC) and conversion percentages once a visitor arrives at the site. Some conventional wisdom has stated that PPC works better for business-to-business offerings, while organic SEO works better for business-to-consumer offerings. While this may have held some truth in the past, one thing is now clear… paid search traffic is on a continuing decline.As none of the inner data from search engines is public, SEO experts have long been left to cobble together estimates using leaked data and market intelligence.A few years ago, estimates were that roughly 30% of clicks went to paid listings, leaving 70% for organic. Part of the reason for this was that the public wasn’t crystal clear on the difference between paid and organic results. By 2008 this number had dropped to closer to 11%, and in 2009 dropped 26% more to 7.25% (Source: Experian Hitwise). This means that organic results are receiving almost 93% of all clicks.
This dwindling traffic can be verified in a quasi-scientific manner from within Google’s own Traffic Estimator tool (part of the Google AdWords product). The tool will give you ‘Estimated Daily Clicks’ for a search phrase, which can then be multiplied by 30 to get a monthly number and then be divided by the ‘Total Monthly Searches’ to come up with the percentage of total available traffic you could buy. Even if we assume Google is being conservative, the number is still dismal.
Further adding to the case for organic SEO is the distribution of clicks within the search results page.
• The #1 organic position receives as much as 41-45% of available traffic
• #2 gets 11-18%
• #3 gets 7-15%
• #4 through #9 get about 2% each
• #10 gets 3-4%
So it’s clear that most of the clicks go to the results on the first page in Google, but also that the #1 organic position is getting 10-20 times more traffic, and for free. Even the organic result in spot #9 is getting as much traffic as the #1 paid result, and it seems to be worsening for PPC over time.
So, should you use PPC? Depends on if you can get an acceptable return on your marketing investment. Should you use organic SEO? Definitely!
If you want to discuss PPC or Organic SEO further contact: Berry Burgess at Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com