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Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a highly competitive form of internet marketing where advertisers bid on specific keyword phrases that will typically appear above or to the side of search engine results or next to related content on blogs or other websites online. The advertisers only pay for these ads when a customer clicks them.
Pay Per Click does have some advantages over search engine optimization: it is easier, results are frequently seen much faster, there is often a higher conversion rate and a PPC campaign can be changed and updated much more quickly than keywords and anchor text can be updated in an SEO campaign.
More than 85% of traffic comes from organic searches, however, so a higher conversion rate on a smaller number of customers is not always best and the long-term benefits of search engine optimization drastically outweigh the initial short-term benefits of Pay Per Click.
Why is SEO more important than buying ads?
Here’s an excerpt from an online article about Pay Per Click versus SEO:
“However, when it comes to the long term lifeline of your internet marketing, the result is clear – SEO offers the better value in search marketing. You won’t rank #1 overnight, but SEO is more affordable and the long-term benefits have been proven. All of these facts demonstrate that your company should spend more of its time and resources focusing on SEO vs. PPC.” (from SEO vs. PPC – Which Provides You the Better Value? on New Media Campaign’s Internet Marketing blog.)
This is what Rand Fishkin, the CEO of SEOmoz* has to say:
“Search engines get hundreds of billions of queries each month. According to Google, around 14% of the clicks from those queries go to ads (the PPC portion) while 86% go to organic results (the SEO portion). Putting 90% of your budget and effort in a place that draws 10% of the traffic is a terrible missed opportunity.” ~Rand Fishkin (from An Interview with Rand Fishkin on ZDNet’s SEO Whistleblower blog. )
*SEOmoz is an SEO company with the top-rated SEO blog on the Internet, according to (the mighty) Google. (Depending on the source, Google gets somewhere between 65% and 85% of the search engine market share for the entire world.)
Also, for further reading, here is a year-long Search Engine Optimization versus Pay Per Click Case Study on SEOToolBox: SEO vs. PPC Case Study