What’s Better: PPC or SEO?

Pay-Per-Click vs. Search Engine Optimization

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At SES Chicago, there was an interesting session in which a group of search marketing professionals debated the issue of which is better between PPC and SEO. Participants included Dave Naylor, Chirstine Churchill, Michael Gray, and Karen Weber, and Rand Fishkin.

Does PPC have more benefits than SEO? Comment here.

Churchill pointed to a study from Engine Ready on conversion rates by source of traffic (PPC vs organic). The study found:

– Conversion rates: PPC just barely beat SEO
– Average Order Value: Paid won
– Average time on site: Paid won

She gave the following as advantages of PPC:

Christine Churchill– Gives immediate online presence
– Have a new site? Have ads in an hour
– Start getting ROI sooner
– No ramp up time
– Great for seasonal items or time sensitive promotions
– Great for testing
– Easily test effectiveness of new marketing message or site design change
– Quickly gather feedback
– Regulate traffic volume
– Sales pipeline empty? Use PPC to push traffic
– Overloaded? Pause campaigns or cut back spend
– Have limited sales season? Saturate market while demand is high

"PPC is very agile. It’s also has targeting advantages," said Churchill.

For targeting, she says PPC provides opportunity for high visibility in multiple channels (search engines, content sites, mobile phones), expands results beyond search results, and gives you control over placement on SERPs and better control over landing page/message.

It’s often easier to sell PPC to management because the concept is similar to traditional advertising, and provides for direct accountability. It’s easy to track measures of success. It’s an effective way to drive qualified traffic to your site, and it allows you to expand your opportunities.

Karen Weber Weber says the top five reasons why "PPC rules," are: speed, flexibility, it’s unlimited, it’s goal-driven, and it’s controllable. You can quickly manipulate keywords to those that drive conversions, you can quickly change bid prices, and you can quickly get in and out of the market. You can turn your campaign on and off, and change ad copy, keywords, etc. You can target a much wider range of keywords, adhere to a budget, and have an immediate impact on sales.

Fishkin pointed out that PPC gets 10% of clicks, but 90% of spend. He said SEO is more challenging and less controllable, but the spend is there and the fact that people click organic results.

Gray said he believes that PPC could make SEO better, but Google is banning people now, so it makes things more challenging. Naylor said he believes SEO is more "open." Weber and Fishkin both said they would outsource PPC over SEO.

Michael Gray Gray said it’s important to get in the top during the early part of the research phase, especially since Google is personalizing results for everyone now. Churchill noted that Google’s personalization is a better argument for PPC. Like iEntry CEO Rich Ord recently noted, the addition of personalized results could "make people less reliant on organic search results for their traffic and in turn increase their use of Adwords."

Another point was brought up as we recently discussed – that the search engines are pushing organic listings down with mixed media (blended, universal) results.

Certainly there are many advantages to both PPC and SEO, and they can compliment one another. Actually, a recent study from a couple of NYU Stern professors found that organic search engine results can play a direct role in whether or not a paid listing is clicked.

Which do you think is more important – SEO or PPC? Share your thoughts here.

WebProNews reporter Abby Johnson contributed to this report.

Related Articles:

> Does an Organic Search Presence Help Paid Result Performance?

> Can You "Rank" in Google if Everyone Has Different Search Results?

> Optimizing for Mixed Media Search Results

What’s Better: PPC or SEO?
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  • http://www.nathancheeley.com Nate Cheeley

    I use PPC to test with and shape my SEO efforts. I could not repeat my past successes without one or the other.

    PPC is a huge time-saver for SEO efforts, and SEO is a great long-term, low-cost (once it’s up and running) cash cow.

    I don’t think I could sit and debate this because it’s almost like saying, “What’s more important: Money today, or money tomorrow?”

  • http://www.bidangle.com bidangle

    If I had to pick one… PPC for sure.

  • http://www.ssjiaxun.com Guest

    i want to be best seo

  • http://www.organicvisits.com/ Organic Visits

    In my views, We will use PPC for potential keywords and SEO for long tail keywords for new site.
    We will use SEO for good PR and pages sites. here we use PPC for very high competition keywords.

  • http://www.donomall.com DonOmite

    It all depends on what your looking at as far as marketing but a mix of the 2 is the best bet. You just have to figure out what mix works.
    Definitly ppc for seasonal or short term promotions but SEO for long term name recognition etc.

  • Adrian

    As others have commented SEO is better for long term organic ranking whilst PPC is the way to go for a new site looking for immediate business results or for a special campaign. PPC is a mine field though and you really need to understand how it works and how to set it up otherwise it can be a very costly exercise for little or no reward, as one person has already commented. Better to pay someone who understands how to set a campaign up, monitor the results and fine tune it than throw money down the drain and increase Google’s profits.

  • http://www.unclehowards.com Steve

    I start a campaign spending 80 percent of my time on SEO and 20 percent on PPC. I spend 80% of my budget on PPC and 20% on SEO. Those numbers seem to yield pretty good results right off the bat. As my SEO efforts yield results, I usually adjust my budget allotment to compensate. I’m a year and a half into one project that we’ve been able to bring PPC down to 10% of our initial budget and focus all of our remaining effort on SEO.

    SEO is always the better long term investment, as it continues on whether you’re putting cash in it or not. PPC is a great shot in the arm for the reasons listed above, but as a long term strategy, I find it very lacking.

    Having said all of that, the new personalization and localization initiatives that Google has launched may be game changers. If the bean counters in Mountain View can reshape the current state of search to increase revenue through adwords, I’m sure they are going to push hard for it.

  • http://www.cyber-key.com M.-J. Taylor

    I’ve had more than one client whose site enjoyed top 5 position in organic results pull a modest PPC campaign and lose up to 2/3 of their inquiries or leads. That speaks volumes about using them together. Repetition works! And there is something about seeing the result in both the ad and the free results that makes a potential customer more likely to trust and click.

  • http://pagestat.com PageStat

    My 2 cents.

    If you have a ton of content (content is king) i think seo will get you further.

    If you have a product, and very little content use CPC ads.

    Both will generate chatter, but only so many people want fish tacos. If conversions stats tell you that you can spend .30 and make $2 you should do that all day long. Unless of course you don’t like tacos.

    Thats what i think.

  • enterprisefrank

    I provide SEO as a consultant. I agree that PPC is quicker and that is what business owners are looking for but buyer beware of some companies providing PPC outsourcing. I have client that is being crushed with charges from one of those companies. They provide reports of little value and took 3 weeks to adjust the key phrase list I revised that racked up an additional $700 of irrelevant click charges for the client. Too much to go into here but it goes on and on…

    I’m not sure if this is allowed but the company is called Idearc and there are numerous issues posted about them.

  • http://www.marketingloudly.com Mike G

    Any intelligent online marketer is going to incorporate both SEO and PPC in their marketing mix to varying degrees for different reasons, different campaigns, different times of year, new product/website launches, etc, etc.

    IMHO, it seems like a complete waste of time and energy to discuss which is better and why, much less host a panel discussion on it..

  • Ryan Berger

    I believe that SEO work and PPC campaigns work very together. Some consumers who are familiar with paid advertisements rarely click on them and would rather choose organic search results. If the consumer is unaware of how paid advertising works they would be more likely to choose the site with a description that best matches their search inquiry. So to have a PPC ad at the top of the page with its own site description, keyword match and a organic listing somewhere on the first page of Google will improve the chances the consumer chooses their website. It gives the seller the chance to have multiple options for the customer to choose from.

  • http://www.pinkpigwestport.com deb

    Hello …..i could use some help with my site as we are doing well in the search engines for my original keywords…however the site is offering new products rather than just furniture and i am wondering how to get more exposure out there as most hits to my site are still for the original keywords and not the new products and yet i don’t want to lose that placement which is #1 for original keywords on Google by revising my Title Tag ……Can anyone out there advise me????

  • Guest

    PPC brings in a lot more money. You might be #1 today in organic search for a keyword and be #1000 the next. You can always rely on PPC to bring traffic. and sales I also use PPV companies like trafficvance.com and linksador.com to drive traffic to my sites.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com James

    Tough one. Which do I like better? SEO…

    Which one is the most suitable strategy? It really depends on the project. I think anyone who chooses one over the other without considering the overall project is just someone you don’t want to listen to.

    Also… let’s hope the rest of you can figure out that there is simply more than just two different choices out there to choose from. It’s a big world.

  • http://www.heavenpeturns.com Noma Czer


    The PPC may help but it can be costly if you get clicks but still no sales but it may get your business out there but you still have to know how to bid and watch your bids. SEO will still be needed as marketing provides a great part of getting your site out there.

    visit our site http://www.heavenpeturns.com for pet cremation urns, dog urns, cat urns, wood photo urns, pet grave markers, pet stones, pet cremation keepsake urns, containers for pets ashes, small animal urns and more.

  • Nate

    That’s like asking which is more important to a car – the front tires or the rear tires. In my experience the two channels must work together in tandem, as PPC tends to drive top-line growth while organic drives the bottom line at a fraction of the ad cost. With ad spend for PPC getting pricier every year, conversion rates dropping, and consumers spending more time in the purchase cycle, organizations must have a strong organic presence to offset the increased cost of doing PPC advertising, or risk having a business that drives revenue but no profit.

  • http://www.blackballonline.com Dave Durbin

    Google will always push its own products above other forms, it’s basic business practice, but the fact that they dominate search and PPC makes it even more of a reason to relegate Organic to second or even third if you consider the maps listings. A seasoned blend has been Blackball Online Marketing’s formula for our clients with striking success. Everyone’s search habits are different so why not please them all is our motto. We call it the Google trifecta. PPC, Maps, and Organic on page 1 = can’t lose.

  • http://www.coded.ie jamo

    Seems to me the Google is slowly edging organic search results out of the viewport, what with adverts at the top Google maps in two or three sizes and now live results.
    They are selling so much now around organic results that users have to look twice to see what’s real and what’s pushed. Is all of this is beginning to make it hard to get the results via organic SEO alone?

  • http://www.technotate.com TechNotate.com

    Actually, I suggest the opposite. SEO has more benefits than PPC plus it is much less costly than paid campaigns. The primary reason I tell my clients to exhaust all efforts before entertaining PPC campaigns is because there is no longevity in a ppc. Once the funding stops so does any benefit derived in the process. In short, if you can’t manage visitor referrals organically due to lack of skill or experience….you will likely lose money in paid campaigns and perhaps not realize how much is being invested until the funding dries up and then those individual site owners are left with very little to show for their time and effort. I have worked in search marketing for seven years and have seen it too many times. So, it is best to stick with SEO especially if you are not a seasoned webmaster.

  • http://deck-boards.com Mr. Deck Boards

    I call TOTAL BS on this one. I’m thinking this may in fact be the last advert, um article, I ever read here. I mean, come one everyone in the business knows this is no where near the truth!

    . . . could “make people less reliant on organic search results for their traffic and in turn increase their use of Adwords.” . . . What the . . .? More accurate search result would result in in more people clicking on the ads? Maybe in opposite land!

  • http://www.sixthsensemarketing.com.au/about/bradley-davis/ Brad Davis

    As mentioned above by Nate. If you use ppc to your advantage for testing the real search trends of keywords you can then use the data to refine your seo efforts. You also find that your seo efforts will have faster results as you will most likely discover some longer tailed keywords to optimise for.

  • http://www.placeofclocks.com Randall

    This article is misleading. SEO is an absolute must when dealing with new web sites. None of the search engines are going to rank you very high in the organic searches if you are not meeting their criteria.
    And…the Organic search results are 24 hours per day ads. Not so with PPC, unless you are dealing with an unlimited budget.

    PPC should be used after SEO to target special sales, or services. It is a great way to help searchers locate your products when they are on sale, or your services when a special price can be obtained.

    Wisdom dictates that the only reason to be in business is to make a profit now and in the future. Be carefull with PPC and SEO. You will need them, but be careful to use them in the proper order and at the right times.


  • http://www.avaricemedia.com Nigel Martin

    Personally for my own projects I like to start with a PPC campaign to identify targeted keywords and develop SEO strategies around the results.

    The biggest advantage of PPC is that you have better control over the ad text when you are chasing shorter keywords.

    Of course in the longer term, my plan is to dominate the next big Google product ‘Google Moon’ It could be quite an expensive investment, but I plan to book out the first ‘Branson Space Shuttle’ and divert it to the moon to set up a business there, and then I will be the only business in the world with a spot on the moon…..yes, I hear you, EoI for potential partnerships are welcome.

  • http://www.newsuperhuman.com Dan

    I think it is plain to see, as several have already suggested, that Google is going to push people into using adwords while they continue to degrade organic search in every way possible. In my view, Google becomes more evil as time goes on, and it’s a pity we allow them to have a virtual monopoly on search.

    This is not only bad for small businesses, it is bad for the free flow of information. Google controls information, what people see and don’t see, and this is too important a function to give to one company.

    Boycott Google.

    • Guest benghiman

      As a total novice here, at near on 70 years of age, I have tried to evaluate what works and what does not. Adwords, despite my following to the letter their instructions for my site www.remede-naturel.net, has brought nothing but a big invoice. So, I am looking elsewhwere.

      I found PPV, Pay per View. Has anyone experience of this? I would welcome any help and advice from those who know what they are doing. I do not!!!!!

      • Stupidscript

        Sounds like a virus … 😉

        Seriously, though, I’ve been a web advertiser since GoTo.com started PPC advertising, and I’ve only heard of 3 different “PP” schemes, and they don’t include “Pay Per View” (which is a television programming scheme).

        1) PPC = Pay Per Click

        This is what I would imagine a “pay per view” scheme might be selling … each time someone clicks your ad to view your page (1 click = 1 view), you pay the ad vendor. This is one of the schemes used by Google, Yahoo and the rest.

        2) CPM = Cost Per Mille (thousand .. don’t ask me why they use the French word)

        In this scheme, typically applied to “display” ads (banners, skyscrapers, tiles, etc.), you pay for each thousand “impressions” of your ad, even when nobody clicks on it. So for every thousand times the ad shows on a page (counts stored in a database), you pay the ad vendor. Usually you negotiate with the vendor (often a website owner) for the scope of your agreement (how many pages it will show on … “run of site” – every page – is typical for smaller sites) and even the demographic group you want to show your ad to. It can be surprising how much information some sites have about the people who visit them. This is usually the least expensive, and least effective, scheme.

        3) CPA = Cost Per Acquisition (sale)

        In this scheme, you pay the ad vendor only when a sale results from the click. This is the newest of the three, and requires a much tighter integration with the vendor’s infrastructure than the others. This is still experiencing limited rollout with the big vendors because it is often very tough to confirm when a sale has been made unless the sale mechanism is programmatic and can be automated to notify the ad vendor.

        I don’t know everything, but I cannot think of an online advertising model that would use something other than one of those three schemes. Get references from any company pushing a “PPV” scheme, and be sure to speak with them personally before you turn over any credit card info. Best of luck with your ventures. Be careful out there.

        • http://www.buildanartcollection.com Nigel Thomas

          Can you advise a good company that does CPA

  • http://www.homenotion.com Ms. Liz

    SEO definitely takes more effort and thought but I happen to like the challenge of SEO. If you can get a page to top rankings, my personal experience is more traffic and ultimately more sales, but it all starts with a product people are willing to buy and a salesworthy website …without those things neither PPC or SEO will help you.

    If you’re looking for an immediate reach PPC is the place to start, but often times there’s some tweaking involved to make sure your ROI is worth it, but one of the great things about PPC is it’s a good test, you can see which keywords bring you the most clicks and also if those clicks actually make sales. Once you know those things, you can use them to your SEO advantage as well.

    But it also depends on your product, if you’re promoting something people expect to pay for, they will click on your PPC ads. If they’re looking for free information, your PPC ad may not turn up many clicks, in which case good ranking will be key.

    There are a lot of variables in terms of which is better, I would have to say a good mix of both is to your advantage, and like most things in business and the web, testing is key.

  • orch

    I think PPC vs SEO is like trying to evaluate marketing with advertising. Use SEO to get people to the site and to get to know you or your product. Use PPC to get people to buy or use services at your site. Most people know sponsored links and PPC is a commercial exercise. SEO is more hit and miss and with google and others trying to keep rankings strategy under their hat, the average punter wont know when the rules change.

  • http://www.CompuNerds.Net Dr. Bob the CompuNerd

    We’re using both PPC and SEO, so I don’t think it’s fair to oppose them. They work together, PPC for instant exposure and SEO for long-term staying power. One of my sites has been on Google’s first page for 14 years, strictly using SEO. Another of my sites, www.CompuNerds.Net – a recent startup, has gotten quite a boost from PPC. One person emailed me and I responded: he said, “You’re the only company out of 14 that I contacted who responded!” So with PPC, follow-up is essential — no point in throwing away your money on PPC if you’re not going to convert those leads into sales.

  • http://www.siskiyouwebdesign.com Siskiyou Web Design

    In my training for SEO, it was recommended to stay away from PPC and just work on the “Natural Search Results”. For the last six years, I have held to that notion, but thought I would give it a try. What I have found is my add has been “Pending Review” for a couple of weeks and has not been added. I also found that .10 PPC bids, have not cut it. It is over $5.00 for my Keywords, that is a lot for just a click. If you look at the old 80/20 rule, you are going to spend a lot for just a little and depending on your Mark-Up or Product Margins, it may not work for many small businesses.

    I really hope it works out though, as a balance in the Search Results seems like a logical way to go while you are working on the “Natural” way of things.

  • http://www.hpsem.com Luke Brown

    … your target market tends to be those with no more than a high school education. I saw a study early this year which showed that 50% of those with a high school diploma or less clicked on PPC ads while only 1% – no misprint, ONE PERCENT – of those with doctoral degrees clicked on PPC ads.

    Obviously, there are exceptions but if your target market is downscale and you sell inexpensive items, PPC is can make you some nice money. For more educated target markets, PPC doesn’t work nearly as well and has far more negative ROI campaigns.

    • http://www.apexxgroup.com etreske

      Luke, interesting statistic, I would love to know where you saw that study…could you put a link to the reference?

  • http://www.bigears.net.au Gnomag

    Every industry is different so whether PPC is better than SEO (organic links) comes down to what you are trying to achieve.

    It also comes down to what country your site is targeting if localised based. In Australia, it wasn’t till just the last few years that PPC advertising started to take off. As a user (Google Searcher) I very rarely click on sponsored links because years ago you could never find an Australian Company as it was predominately populated with overseas websites. My buying habit was then formed to go straight to organic links when sourcing or researching. I have no reason to change from this habit.

    With things changing so rapidly with Google from a day to day basis and PPC costs going through the roof like one particular keyword for the transport industry, only 6 months ago, initially costs $1.80 per click and is now $4.20 per click for top position. I know of many Transport companies that cancelled their PPC campaigns due to this fact.

    It seems to me that Google’s latest changes and coming changes will lead people back to other marketing platforms like radio, tv, print etc due to their costs reducing over the last couple of years giving a higher return on investment.

    Obviously with this latest change to personalised searching we will have to look at other mediums to entice a person to visit our website so it will come up in searches in the future when they are googling. This will definately increase the amount of spam emails.

    My studies show that a PPC campaign actually increases your position in organic results not the opposite as mentioned by someone else in this blog. Google definately does give link benefits.

    Anyhow, as things stand today, I recommend a PPC campaign hand in hand with SEO.

  • http://tradeshow-stuff.com tradeshowTerry

    I’ve used both PPC and SEO for a number of years and I don’t think it’s fair to choose between one or the other. As all the comments before this point out, PPC has it’s benefits and downfalls. So does SEO.

    For us, it’s more a question of how we can best utilize them both to benefit our business.

  • http://boatplanswooden.com/ Leo

    For me it depends on you which is better the two: SEO or PPC.
    Also maybe both of this are good for you.

    Like me i am a newbie internet marketer and has very limited or no money at all. For sure PPC is not for me. Also those who are afraid to spend money in PPC and has not fully equipped of knowledge how to be successful in PPC then SEO is the best. In PPC you can lost a lot of money if you do not know what to do. It is not as easy as creating an ads campaign and bidding on keywords. Because after you do that you also have make a test and analyze the results of your campaign. It means you also have to always monitor your campaigns as well as analyze your PPC ads results. If you don’t do that you may wake-up one day and saw that you lose a lot of money in PPC with little ROI. Its like stocks that you need to keep your eyes on your investment as well as thinking and analyzing your PPC campaign.

    In SEO, yes it is not easy as PPC. It takes time before you can see results, maybe 3months to 1 year or more. But sure this is more powerful as time goes time. Its like planting a tree that needs a care and takes time before you can harvest a fruits. If you have a good site and targeted the proper niche then sure after some years you have a good placement in google rankings. Just do the right thing in SEO and make sure your site deliver the right information that people wants. Even if the google change an algorithm for sure you will still be on google rankings. Look at those site that are created before 5 years ago. You will notice from Alexa rankings that a thousands of visitors they have monthly. 5 years ago they have little numbers of visitors, but as time goes by and as they take care of their website they get more and more visitors daily. It takes time and once you build your site, for years to come they will still be there and you’ll harvest the fruits of your effort and hardwork. In PPC, you didn’t plant a tree. You just buy fruits in wholesale price and sell it on retail price. Tomorrow you have to do that again.

    Also i notice that more and more people are now aware of advertising in internet. They know what are the advertisement and what is not. Advertisement is boring. Just like watching tv, if you can only eliminate and put off the advertisement for sure you will do because you want to watch the tv programs continuosly without any annoying advertisement. That is the advantages of advertiser in radio and television, they have the control to their visitors that whether they like it or not the advertisement will be injected to them. In internet the control is on the visitor, if they do not want to spend time looking on advertisement they wouldn’t click on it.

  • http://seo-guider.blogspot.com VICKY

    Dear All SEO’s,

    As well know that the PPC and SEO both has different scenarios. PPC is the paid phenomenal whereas the SEO is the process for increasing the generic volume of the traffic for any site. PPC guaranteed your site to be listed for the time period against any targeted keyword whereas the SEO process is based on the optimization of the site for the Organic search results. SO its prove that PPC and SEO cant beat each other !!!

    For more visit my blog,



    SEO Specialist !

  • http://www.bisnisfresh.com andhi

    who for marketing web?

    • http://jokesbaskets.blogspot.com/ arun

      This site is very nice

  • http://www.greenfish.rs Guest

    Use PPC to determine which keywords give you most conversions and then put your efforts in optimizing website for those keywords…. If you can’t rank well, then use PPC again :)

  • http://www.mark5inc.com/ Mark

    Organic is more reliable that PPC and far less expensive. So in future perspective SEO beats PPC in my opinion.

  • Sangam Deval

    At SES Chicago, there was an interesting session in which a group of search marketing professionals debated the issue of which is better between PPC and SEO.

    Acai optimum

  • http://www.DallasGoogleGuru.Wordpress.com Mike Stewart

    Great discussion. Now I must first state that my perspective is always geared towards SMBs, so it is very bias. Nonetheless, I am going to go out on a limb and say that they are either equally important or SEO is a tad bit more important for SMBs. The reason being, most local small and medium-sized businesses clients are over 70% repeat and referral (word of mouth.) New customers represent less than 30% of a successful SMB’s clientele. When you combine the fact that SEO also typically includes an enhanced social media presence, it only makes more sense to focus on building the word of mouth presence (social media and SEO) as heavily as the paid performance based Directional Media presence (can someone say “Online Yellow Pages”.)

    I believe they are equal if anything. It takes directional media to bring in the new clients. It has always been said that the larger SMBs will do both if they are the hyper aggressive local marketer. Now comes the challenge of finding a single source that can help them accomplish all the above.

    Mike Stewart

  • http://www.webpro.in Bharati Ahuja

    The importance of SEO can never be underestimated. If The SEO on your site is ethical and done according to the rules then you have a listing in the SERPs for a long time.

    Though PPC is more agile and gives a quick presence but the presence lasts only till you are willing to pay.

    The patient and persevering efforts of SEO keep paying you dividends in terms of targeted and relevant visits.

    With Real Time Search coming in I think website owners would prefer spending on the online PR team rather than PPC.

    Ideal way of ensuring your online presence on the search engines would be – have a good online PR team in house, Get the SEO done ethically according to the algorithms.

  • http://pitercentre.blogspot.com piter

    I like this topic. in my opinion SEO is more important than ppc:)

  • http://www.marketsitepro.blogspot.com Nick

    Who in their right mind would not want to be number one in organic search?

    The beauty of this business for google is, there can only be one number “one”. There rest have to pay. So for all those who can not be number one there is all this hype (justification) for why it is ok to pay to be number one. It kind of reminds me of all those people who will tell you why it is not all that great to be rich, but I never see rich people wanting to be poor. So the best people to ask are the ones who are already number one on organic search. The easy and simplicity of PPC, makes it perfect for the all those who are not number one. What a great business for the search engines. Organic Searchs is the engine that drives the PPC business. Without it, there would be no PPC business. Could anyone imagine a search engine that would only present PPC? Would anyone want to use such a product? Has anyone ever built a business plan around this concept, never mind even attempt to market such a product? We if you ask me SEO should always be the first thing you try to do, but search long an hard for a great SEO company to hire, unless you have the time and money to invest for in house expertise.

  • http://ldii-sidoarjo-jawatimur.blogspot.com/ ldii

    For established site there is no reason to use PPC but for new comer there is no way except PPC in order to penetrate the market. However the success of marketing highly depend on the products or services we offer to the public.

  • Cursor_

    IF you are a company that offers services and goods that intend on being around for a LONG while. Then SEO is the way to go.

    We have to stop thinking like 20th century conglomerates ideals of marketing. We have to return to the old 19th century model of making a relationship with your customers. This is what online offers. It is not just a fast, hard sell buy it now situation. People want to be known as people.

    Now if you are making a site that will not last due to a limited offer or exclusive supplies of goods, then by al means do PPC. As you will not spend very much overall as you might only be there for a month. A year of PPC in competitive word or phrase searches would kill the profits. I know, just in one week a company that I told over and over do not use PPC, wasted 6k and had NO sales from it. They were NOT a company that was modeled off of the quick sale on a short term item. So it was not what they needed.

    As far as I am concerned, if you are in it for an offer that is short-term, go for PPC and then can it immediately when done selling. But if you want to have a long-term relationship get that SEO, make that social connectivity and ACTUALLY listen and answer the people. MAKE it social, don’t ACT like it.


  • neo

    Who’s this Churchill person..and what’s this bogus study they are referencing?

    These PPC guys are REALLY tiresome. They remind me of the people doing AIDS research and how they kept trying to convince the public that AIDS was a hetero disease in order to get funding. So where’s the frigging epidemic?? Now we got the Green movement and the H1N1 vaccinations..Did you know that recycling plants throw all the garbage into the machine and it does the separating? So what are those 3 colored garbage cans we keep putting our stuff out in? I guess someone made a lot of money on that sweet deal. How about some real data for a change.

    On any given month there are “only a couple of 100K advertisers using PPC on Google.” (OMMA) If the product is so successful why are the number of advertisers so small? H’mmm. Could it be that unless you have a huge markup on your product you will never recover the income lost on PPC?

    If PPC is so incredibly successful corporate america must be hiring PPC people like crazy. http://www.emarketingsilo.com/
    I guess not… Flatline.. as in get out the paddles that industry is headed for the morgue.

    And back to Mz Churchill. I guess she doesn’t know that “Offsite SEO” will get a first page placement the next day, in the organics where 90% of the public is looking. I guess she doesn’t realize that a tower page of content will provide hundreds of thousands of long-tail high conversion traffic..on and on.. and on to the end of the universe. I’d like to see that occur with a 25 word Pay Per Parasite ad where Google is doing everything in its power to use up your monthly spend next to totally unrelated searches.

    Ask anyone in corporate America. With PPC… “that dog don’t hunt. He just comes home with an empty stomach every month.”

  • http://www.optimus01.co.za SEO

    SEO every time!

  • http://www.GOiMarketing.com Richard Uzelac

    All the valid metrics out there support the dominance of SEO over PPC for business in the long run.

    Let’s face it, most companies like ours can provide PPC or SEO services to Clients and be profitable. It comes down to servicing the Clients best.

    SEO allows a company to build a ‘Brick and Mortar’ online overtime that becomes immensely powerful and profitable. SEO placement goes across ALL search engines and other online presences, while PPC will only populate that Search Engine and its affiliates that you are paying.

    SEO is 100% of the time up and live on 100% of the search engines.

    PPC is up only as long as your daily budget holds up AND is only on part of the internet.

    SEO: Full Time, ALL of the internet.
    PPC: Part Time, PART of the internet.

    90% of the time SEO is the way to go and that is what we recommend to our Clients. As mentioned earlier, if time is of the essence, SEO can still deliver, but it may pay to provide PPC to that Client as well.

    Recently we worked on a project for the Manny Pacquiao on German and Asian internet streaming site, pay per view. On this project we relied heavily on PPC because we needed placement at the last minute and it was a one-time event.

  • http://seo-insights.blogspot.com Radhakrishnan

    Both PPC & SEO have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    I would like to run PPC campaign new websites for my client which gets immediate exposure and sales. Will be helpful to find the exact keyword combinations which can provide conversion.

    Ultimately I would like to do SEO, which will be permanent solution to the site and less investment. If you think about longrun results then it is better to choose SEO.

  • Ken

    All other things being equal, SEO is more valuable than PPC, according to the bulk of these comments.

    But the article emphasized that PPC trumps SEO when it comes to converting web visitors into paying customers.

    I can’t comment on the veracity of the data used to support that conclusion, but if it’s a valid conclusion, how do you SEO enthusiasts respond?

    If SEO brings legions of visitors to my site, but they’re not serious shoppers, why should I get excited?

    If PPC brings a handful of visitors, but I actually make money selling my product or service to them, I think I’d find that more valuable than attracting many gawkers who bounce.

  • http://www.reactorr.com reactorr

    This is apples to oranges and kind of surprising that SEOs would debate.

    PPC is instant, but at a price.
    SEO is a process, and provides better roi over a much longer term.
    You need both, but can scale back ppc when seo results are working adequately.

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