Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

I’m often asked which is the best method of getting quality visitors to a website; is it Pay-Per-Click or Search Engine Optimization? Without taking into consideration many fiverr seo test answers other techniques that generate high quality visitors for a website, let me address the PPC vs. SEO question.

Before getting into this, let me start by saying, that for most business owners with a website, their first question should not be PPC or SEO, but what do they want to happen when someone visits their website. Does the website owner sell products? If so, are they simple products that can be purchased online with a credit card, with minimal product information, and just the need to answer basic questions using a FAQ page? Or are the products more expensive and complicated, potentially requiring a phone call or possibly a visit from a sales person? The same types of questions need to be answered for service businesses as well.

For low cost products that are very competitive, meaning there are lots of websites that sell similar products, PPC may be too expensive on a per click basis. As an example, the keyword/phrase “replacement ink cartridges” have lots of bid competition on Google (over 100 PPC advertisers). One click on a popular PPC keyword/phrase like “replacement ink cartridges” on Google can cost $3-$5 or more.

If you are selling a $15 ink cartridge your cost of sale would range from 20-30% if you are paying $3-$5 per click. (That is if 100% of everyone that clicked, purchased.) If 5 visitors land on your site from PPCs and only one purchased (a conversion rate of 1:5) you will loose money by spending $15 to $25 for that traffic. That is not to say that repeat orders and multiple cartridge purchases wouldn’t help, but it might take you months to find out that PPC won’t give you the sales you want at a reasonable cost of sale.

Don’t give up on PPC just yet. I suggest that if you can purchase PPC traffic from Google and other engines, for less popular (less expensive) keyword/phrases related to your products, you should do so. Then test to see if your conversion rate per sale is acceptable. If it takes 8 clicks at $0.25 per click or $2.00 total to obtain a purchase of one ink cartridge at $15, (a conversion rate of 1:8), your cost of sale would be just 13.3%. That’s far better than losing money with more expensive clicks. If your PPC bids are lower, you will most likely get fewer clicks, but with your conversion rate staying the same, you will lower your cost of sale.

I’m not anti-PPC; they do have a place in almost anyone’s marketing mix to maximize market reach while holding down cost. The key to PPC is to test, test, and test!

However, most users of search engines know that when they see the words “Sponsored Links” or “Sponsored Results” they are looking at a list of paid advertisements and not real search results. Most searchers click on the real search results the “Organic Search” results, instead of the PPC “Sponsored Links” or “Sponsored Results” listings.

On the other hand, one professionally written and crafted optimized SEO web page on your site that gets listed high in the search results on Google and other major search engines, can generate 100’s to 1000’s of visitors to your website. That result would have cost $300 to $5,000 if you went with PPC. If you have deep pockets like large companies then go ahead and spend your money on PPC.

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