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-   -   SEO Vs PPC - The Great Debate (http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35796)

johnnylew 22nd September 2010 07:50 AM

SEO Vs PPC - The Great Debate
 
I have seen a few posts on people advising on getting away from CPC and focus on SEO. Comments like, your wasting money/effort on PPC when you can get free traffic with SEO.

Dont get me wrong. Website owners have to invest in SEO efforts whenever they create a page on their site & this can never stop. HOWEVER, how many of you have not devoted any time to CPC chasing / hoping / maybe even praying that your time spent on optimizing a page will pay off with the number one result in the SERP? More so, how many of you got it! There you are number one today, uh oh wait a minute, where is my number ranking a month later? Google, Yahoo, Bing .... reindexed and your number 5 or worse.

You have to combine SEO with PPC to be successful, to keep a constant flow of traffic you have to have PPC, otherwise all your eggs are in the SERP basket and you could be one new algorythum change away from no traffic.

Now here is the great thing that ties your efforts together. Do all those great things for SEO (proper page title, headline, content ...) and if your doing it correclty when you link your Adwords Ad to that page for the keywords you've chosen, you should immediatley have a good Quality Score. SEO Optimization and PPC do go hand in hand.

Keep striving for top organic results - we do! but we put much more effort into a sure thing PPC where we know we will get Page one showings over hoping that over time we get organic page one rankings.

Social-Media 25th September 2010 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnylew (Post 127010)
I have seen a few posts on people advising on getting away from CPC and focus on SEO. Comments like, your wasting money/effort on PPC when you can get free traffic with SEO.

Dont get me wrong. Website owners have to invest in SEO efforts whenever they create a page on their site & this can never stop. HOWEVER, how many of you have not devoted any time to CPC chasing / hoping / maybe even praying that your time spent on optimizing a page will pay off with the number one result in the SERP? More so, how many of you got it! There you are number one today, uh oh wait a minute, where is my number ranking a month later? Google, Yahoo, Bing .... reindexed and your number 5 or worse.

You have to combine SEO with PPC to be successful, to keep a constant flow of traffic you have to have PPC, otherwise all your eggs are in the SERP basket and you could be one new algorythum change away from no traffic.

Now here is the great thing that ties your efforts together. Do all those great things for SEO (proper page title, headline, content ...) and if your doing it correclty when you link your Adwords Ad to that page for the keywords you've chosen, you should immediatley have a good Quality Score. SEO Optimization and PPC do go hand in hand.

Keep striving for top organic results - we do! but we put much more effort into a sure thing PPC where we know we will get Page one showings over hoping that over time we get organic page one rankings.

I agree. They are both different advertising tools with different objectives. PPC is tactical... instant traffic. SEO is more strategic... takes time to rank and get traffic. Businesses should be doing both, as well as using countless other techniques to advertise like CPM/Display or direct email marketing. Both are only parts of a comprehensive marketing approach.

But even when you start ranking for your targeted keyword phrases I would not stop using PPC advertising.

johnnylew 29th September 2010 09:51 AM

Social
 
Great point and I failed to emphasize it "once you start to rank high for your terms" DONT stop the PPC. The front page of a SERP should be considered real estate, the more real estate you own the more chance you have of getting the visit, the more visitors the greater the chance of the conversion, the more conversions, the more $$$$, which is why we have commercial websites in the first place.

Good luck to you all! (except if you sell sport team mercandise : )

jamestcs 7th October 2010 12:33 PM

SEO
Pros : 1) No worry on click frauds
2) Large number of visitors ->economy of scale

Cons : 1) Search Engines Algo keep changing affecting SEO.
2) Takes time to get top ranking


PPC
Pros : 1) Immediate result, fast ranking
2) Long tail keywords are more economical compare to SEO


Cons : 1) Cost will be relative high if people keep bidding for certain keywords
2) Click fraud always a problem



Conclusion : SEO and PPC have different market segment. I personally think PPC is more suitable for long tail keywords while SEO is more suitable for core business /more generic keywords.

ernest1918 7th October 2010 02:44 PM

Hey Johnny,

'Now here is the great thing that ties your efforts together. Do all those great things for SEO (proper page title, headline, content ...) and if your doing it correclty when you link your Adwords Ad to that page for the keywords you've chosen, you should immediatley have a good Quality Score. SEO Optimization and PPC do go hand in hand."

you are absolutely correct but for PPC especially for ecommerce you need to make sure you have a big budget ot you'll blow through your stash like nothing...if you don't know what you are doing

do you guys have any PPC readings ? or advice? haven't had much luck and would like to research more into PPC

roof cleaning 9th October 2010 01:00 PM

We only used PPC here in Tampa when we had zero Internet Sites. Make a Merchant Circle Page, they are free, and rank highly here in Tampa, probably in your town too.

SpencerPowell 11th October 2010 05:58 PM

Disagree
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jamestcs (Post 128155)
SEO
Pros : 1) No worry on click frauds
2) Large number of visitors ->economy of scale

Cons : 1) Search Engines Algo keep changing affecting SEO.
2) Takes time to get top ranking


PPC
Pros : 1) Immediate result, fast ranking
2) Long tail keywords are more economical compare to SEO


Cons : 1) Cost will be relative high if people keep bidding for certain keywords
2) Click fraud always a problem



Conclusion : SEO and PPC have different market segment. I personally think PPC is more suitable for long tail keywords while SEO is more suitable for core business /more generic keywords.

I disagree. I think SEO is IDEAL for the longtail keywords. I also think that PPC is ideal for longtail keywords. If I have a direct marketing agency, that would awesome to rank for "direct marketing"...but would it really? I don't want to drive loads and loads of irrelevant traffic to my site. I want to drive relevant traffic. I want people to find my site looking for things like "direct marketing agency" or "direct marketing for nonprofits". I think people get hung up on getting tons of traffic to their site, but the real goal is getting relevant traffic to your site so that you can convert that traffic into leads. Figure out who you are trying to target and start targeting longtail keywords that your target would be searching for.

Also, I think PPC is great for targeted campaigns, but not for words you want to rank for. PPC is like a direct mail piece. Drive them to a landing page and convert. If you are ranking #1 organically...don't waste money on PPC.

mikeallen50 13th October 2010 04:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpencerPowell (Post 128429)
I disagree. I think SEO is IDEAL for the longtail keywords. I also think that PPC is ideal for longtail keywords. If I have a direct marketing agency, that would awesome to rank for "direct marketing"...but would it really? I don't want to drive loads and loads of irrelevant traffic to my site. I want to drive relevant traffic. I want people to find my site looking for things like "direct marketing agency" or "direct marketing for nonprofits". I think people get hung up on getting tons of traffic to their site, but the real goal is getting relevant traffic to your site so that you can convert that traffic into leads. Figure out who you are trying to target and start targeting longtail keywords that your target would be searching for.

Also, I think PPC is great for targeted campaigns, but not for words you want to rank for. PPC is like a direct mail piece. Drive them to a landing page and convert. If you are ranking #1 organically...don't waste money on PPC.

I think SpencerPowell is right. PPC has its own benefits. But i doubt whether PPC traffic may result into conversions and lead generations.

SpencerPowell 13th October 2010 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeallen50 (Post 128527)
I think SpencerPowell is right. PPC has its own benefits. But i doubt whether PPC traffic may result into conversions and lead generations.

mikeallen50, I didn't mean to say that PPC will not convert into leads, because I do think PPC is good for generating leads. However, many people use PPC to drive traffic to their home page, which will almost certainly not get them any leads. You have to use landing pages to convert.

Nutty 13th October 2010 10:47 AM

I would always run PPC on a new website for the first 3 months just to get myself going and to allow me to view more keywords and what will work and what won't

I do not always stop my PPC after 3 months but this is my initial period, I tend to run the two side by side

Simone

Social-Media 14th October 2010 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpencerPowell (Post 128554)
mikeallen50, I didn't mean to say that PPC will not convert into leads, because I do think PPC is good for generating leads. However, many people use PPC to drive traffic to their home page, which will almost certainly not get them any leads. You have to use landing pages to convert.

EXACTLY! And most people who do PPC with little experience do not get this. I used to work for a company that spent $5MM/month (yes 5 million) on PPC most of which was Google AdWords. The ONLY traffic we ever sent to our site was branded traffic... people searching for the company name. But all other keywords went to landing pages with no navigation. The goal is to eliminate any distractions that might prevent them from converting and give them two options: convert or not.

If you send people to your site with PPC ads, there are two many distractions. They can start clicking around your site and before you know it, they have forgotten why they even went to your site. Even if you send the user to a relevant page on your site, it typically will never convert as well as a similar landing page with no navigation.

I do have to disagree with SpenserPowell on one point he made previously:

Quote:

If you are ranking #1 organically...don't waste money on PPC.
I think that is a very bad approach. I was SEO manager for the company I mentioned previously that spent $5MM/month on PPC and we never stopped bidding on PPC keywords that we ranked for organically... even if I had the #1 and #2 (indented listing) organic positions for that keyword phrase. The reasons:

1) Different users look at different parts of the SERPs first. Some might scan the PPC ads first. Others might scan the organic listings first. You want to be seen in both if possible.

2) Having an organic listing (or two) PLUS a PPC ad on the SERPs page means you are taking up even more real estate on the page which helps build brand and consumer confidence (not to mention eliminates "shelf space" that could be occupied by your competitors. The more a users sees your company, the more likely they are to click on your organic listing or ad than some other company who may only have an organic listing or a PPC listing (but not both).

3) Even though you might be paying for some PPC clicks, you will not be paying for nearly as many as if you only had a PPC listing (and no organic) because some percentage of the time people are now going to be clicking on your organic listings as well.

Saying you should stop PPC for a kewyord because you already rank for it with SEO is synonymous to saying stop paying for TV ads because you're running radio spots.

IMO you want to use as many marketing techniques for your sites as you can as long as they are driving traffic and provide a positive ROI.

luxuria 18th October 2010 03:42 PM

Thank goodness I had some $ from Google, because my PPC was worthless.

I'm paying $1.80 per click. This seems nuts because most of my products are $10-20.

I don't think PPC is viable for many of us. Not when even long tail is costing that kind of money.

I thought it would run about $0.05

johnnylew 25th October 2010 11:13 AM

Lorac - PPC & Website Suggestions
 
Lorac, your cost per click could be in the $2.00 range for a couple of reasons. one you might be bidding on the same keywords that other cosmetic companies use to - to sell $50-$100 items. If so stop, you wont be able to compete when selling your $10 items.

Look at using Keywords that contain "discount" & "affordable", you should be able to convert these consumers from your site.

Are you using "broad" match type? If you are then look at what "search terms" these broad matches are generating and see if any can be good "negative" candidates.

ALSO, remove immediatley the pop-up that comes up when you go to your site. First most people are put off by that & GOOGLE MAY BE PENALIZING you for this. Google frowns upon pop-ups, but wont ban you, they like your money and if your willing to pay $1.80 a click when you should be paying much less, they will take it. Remove it and see what happens over time with your PPC and conversion rate. You may be surprised.

luxuria 25th October 2010 05:20 PM

It's not a popup. It's a lightbox. It is seen once, when someone first comes to the site and is never seen again. Since implementing it, registration for my mailing list has soared.

It's not coded like a popup, so I don't think google would penalize it.

My bounce rate is very low.

I had concerns before I added the lightbox, but it's been a huge win for me. I've talked to some customers about it and they all seem to think it's fine since it's easy to get rid of it.

On the keywords, I've used "discount makeup", "cheap makeup", etc. Cost of PPC is still in the ridiculous range. Maybe I can play with some longer tails.

DavidHawke 26th October 2010 08:49 AM

The Bottom Line
 
The bottom line is, the more places your business is seen the more visitors you're going to have to your website.

Not to throw any monkey wrenches into the spokes here, but there is also Google places and Yahoo local to consider along with a good SEO campaign and a PPC campaign.

It all works, if it didn't, you wouldn't see so many businesses doing it. The key is to do it right, especially PPC, if you do it wrong, it could land you in the poor house.

Any PPC campaigns for local businesses should be geo-targeted, and watched closely, also be sure to set a daily cap on what you are willing to spend.

johnnylew 26th October 2010 01:38 PM

luxeria
 
If your email list has soared, then your PPC may be working better than you think. If the box is working (which turned me off immediatley, but your customer base may not be like me which is great) then you are getting the leads you need to sell to later. Its all gold (email leads or direct conversions) so sounds like you may be doing as bad as you think.

Compare your sales from your email blasts with the PPC costs and maybe all is well!

Good luck to you!

luxuria 26th October 2010 03:38 PM

johnnylew, I don't have any PPC running and haven't for at least 30 days.

I'm doing everything organically and it seems like very slow going to me. :-(

johnnylew 27th October 2010 01:40 PM

luxuria - now should not be slow for you
 
if your like 90% of retailers (like me!) now is when things pick up (holiday season) not slow down. if you were doing ppc and stopped 30 days and now are seeing a slow down, this should be telling you that your ppc was contributing.

look for my other posts on how to optimize your ppc campaigns. you can get it profitable, i am positive of that.

howtofranchiseg 28th October 2010 06:44 AM

I am partially agree. I think none of these 2 can replace each other so we can not choice 1 of them. SEO and PPC both have their own advantages and disadvantages. It depends on situation, expected results and budget what to choose between SEO and PPC.

bradmarcus 28th October 2010 07:11 AM

Just remember, every page on your site is a potential landing page. Get the SEO part right to start and definitely do some PPC the first 3-6 months of a new site, but then change things up. Most people do the same stuff over and over. Change your ad copy monthly. Change the landing page every once in a while. Research shows most web buyers hit a site 3 times before they buy.

Bukie 14th November 2010 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bradmarcus (Post 129627)
Just remember, every page on your site is a potential landing page. Get the SEO part right to start and definitely do some PPC the first 3-6 months of a new site, but then change things up. Most people do the same stuff over and over. Change your ad copy monthly. Change the landing page every once in a while. Research shows most web buyers hit a site 3 times before they buy.

I agree you do have to change things up often, but like someone said earlier, using every page on your site as a landing page may not be the best idea. I usually create landing pages with no navigation, even if I am essentially duplicating the content on the original page.

I also noindex specific landing pages because I edit them all the time, and I'm not necessarily trying to rank them. Does anyone else do this?

johnnylew 5th December 2010 10:52 AM

Absolutley Not!
 
That would never work for me (not having links from landing page) but my business model may be completley different than yours, why you wouldnt want to try to rank is puzzling to me as well. As a website owner that is what strive for every day.

Very interesting. I would change my pages that often, just for change sake. I would update if the content needs to be updated or I am trying to optimize the page for SEO.

Instead of completing chaning the one page, why dont you create additional pages?

Lou 5th December 2010 01:48 PM

Bravo.....
 
Good stuff folks, very informative and direct. I will tag this thread and refer back often as I stumble along.

I thank all of you in advance for putting up with me.

yellow01 14th January 2011 02:22 AM

SEO and ppc is both is used for increase the traffic on website so both is good.

nikole95 16th January 2011 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamestcs (Post 128155)
SEO
Pros : 1) No worry on click frauds
2) Large number of visitors ->economy of scale

Cons : 1) Search Engines Algo keep changing affecting SEO.
2) Takes time to get top ranking


PPC
Pros : 1) Immediate result, fast ranking
2) Long tail keywords are more economical compare to SEO


Cons : 1) Cost will be relative high if people keep bidding for certain keywords
2) Click fraud always a problem



Conclusion : SEO and PPC have different market segment. I personally think PPC is more suitable for long tail keywords while SEO is more suitable for core business /more generic keywords.

you are absolutely correct but for PPC especially for ecommerce you need to make sure you have a big budget or you'll blow through your stash like nothing...if you don't know what you are doing

TilenKrivec 18th January 2011 04:28 AM

Both. Always.

SEO and PPC are not mutually exclusive

I cringe every time i see this ppc vs seo debate, where people argue which is better. Its like trying to figure out if peanut butter is better than jelly. I don't care, i'll have both!

Do SEO, you can't really go wrong with free traffic.
Do PPC, and monitor closely for profitability. It will need more monitoring than SEO, but is easily scalable and you get results in a couple of hours.

Spradle 16th February 2011 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TilenKrivec (Post 134887)
where people argue which is better. Its like trying to figure out if peanut butter is better than jelly. I don't care, i'll have both!

:thumbsup2 That made me smile.
I cant agree with you more.

johnnylew 7th March 2011 02:26 PM

Seo & ppc
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TilenKrivec (Post 134887)
Both. Always.

SEO and PPC are not mutually exclusive

I cringe every time i see this ppc vs seo debate, where people argue which is better. Its like trying to figure out if peanut butter is better than jelly. I don't care, i'll have both!

SEO and PPC has to be separated, thats why the combined peanut butter and jelly concept didnt fly.

The real argument is both are very different in their workings, but on the surface they show up in the same place - in SERP results. One is at the top and down the side PPC and one is in the middle - Organic.

The workings on getting to the front page for SEO & PPC is very, very different. You can put a ton of work into SEO, calculated effort, time writing, and setting up your page - and BAM you see your results, your getting FREE Traffic - alright that was awesome.

You put up an ad, you get your keywords, you bid and write a compelling ad, BAM your at the top, your paying, but your getting results.

I know its more complicated, time consuming than this, but the reality is NOTHING is free. Those organic clicks, cost you alot of time & effort. You could be ranked #1 today after months of work and tommorow WHAM your out - ask those affected by Google's latest algorythym change.

PPC is different and as long as your paying your staying.

So where peanut butter and jelly is a nice try at an analogy, it's just not that simple!

obama5493 22nd March 2011 05:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roof cleaning (Post 128299)
We only used PPC here in Tampa when we had zero Internet Sites. Make a Merchant Circle Page, they are free, and rank highly here in Tampa, probably in your town too.

I think SpencerPowell is right. PPC has its own benefits. But i doubt whether PPC traffic may result into conversions and lead generations.

FireUps 6th July 2011 04:19 PM

SEO with PPC to be successful
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnylew (Post 127010)
You have to combine SEO with PPC to be successful, to keep a constant flow of traffic you have to have PPC, otherwise all your eggs are in the SERP basket and you could be one new algorythum change away from no traffic.

I use PPC to define the action keywords and redesign the site around the data collected from the paid traffic. This takes out the guess work.

Plus if you are tracking your sales then you know exactly how to scale your business based on knowing what triggers the sale.

You also have to optimize your Google Places/Local Listings pages as well now just like you optimize your webpages.

Candice Robins 12th July 2011 08:21 AM

SEO v. PPC
 
Both SEO and PPC are equally important online marketing strategies with different objectives. Successful PPC techniques achieve immediate and direct traffic while SEO involves greater strategy in navigating constant changes in search engine algorithms. Both these practices are essential components of internet marketing and work together to drive relevant traffic.

donovanjames786 29th August 2012 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnylew (Post 127010)
I have seen a few posts on people advising on getting away from CPC and focus on SEO. Comments like, your wasting money/effort on PPC when you can get free traffic with SEO.

Dont get me wrong. Website owners have to invest in SEO efforts whenever they create a page on their site & this can never stop. HOWEVER, how many of you have not devoted any time to CPC chasing / hoping / maybe even praying that your time spent on optimizing a page will pay off with the number one result in the SERP? More so, how many of you got it! There you are number one today, uh oh wait a minute, where is my number ranking a month later? Google, Yahoo, Bing .... reindexed and your number 5 or worse.

You have to combine SEO with PPC to be successful, to keep a constant flow of traffic you have to have PPC, otherwise all your eggs are in the SERP basket and you could be one new algorythum change away from no traffic.

Now here is the great thing that ties your efforts together. Do all those great things for SEO (proper page title, headline, content ...) and if your doing it correclty when you link your Adwords Ad to that page for the keywords you've chosen, you should immediatley have a good Quality Score. SEO Optimization and PPC do go hand in hand.

Keep striving for top organic results - we do! but we put much more effort into a sure thing PPC where we know we will get Page one showings over hoping that over time we get organic page one rankings.

Agree with you mate! According to me PPC following and SEO following SMO is the key to success. Its the way to have targeted visitors along with high search engine rankings.

accurate.cygnet 14th December 2012 01:43 AM

SEO is a long term process, PPC gives instant results. Organic search is believed to be considered more trustworthy by viewers.

hannahsmith 18th December 2012 10:46 PM

SEO Leads Over PPC
 
I am in favor of SEO, because apart from the reasons you all have mentioned there is one other reason which makes SEO better then PPC, and that is paying less for promoting your business.
SEO helps people in finding some useful information about your business through articles and blogs, which can not be done by only advertising.
But we can also not ignore the fact, that if a business is new, it will take long time to rank of Google by using SEO, in this case you can use advertising which will benefit your business instantly.

accurate.cygnet 19th December 2012 03:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hannahsmith (Post 182423)
I am in favor of SEO, because apart from the reasons you all have mentioned there is one other reason which makes SEO better then PPC, and that is paying less for promoting your business.
SEO helps in letting people find some useful information about your business through articles and blogs, which can not be done by only advertising.
But we can also not ignore the fact, that if a business is new, it will take long time to rank of Google by using SEO, in this case you can use advertising which will benefit your business instantly.

PPC is better if your business is seasonal. It is for a few months. If you want to market it online. Do you think organic SEO would help you make it famous and reach among the potential customers in a few months time efficiently???

hannahsmith 19th December 2012 06:02 AM

With my previous comment i was just not focusing the seasonal business, but i was targeting all kind of businesses.
In last lines of my article i said that yes if you want to popular your business for small time period or your business is not available for all the seasons then PPC is better.
I just mean that advertising your business on Google is not enough, you also have to make public relationships over the web, and this can only be achieved through SEO.

ZeroCo 19th December 2012 08:25 PM

Do both if you can. Nice thing about PPC is you don't have to worry about an algorithm change affecting your business. Build a business based just on SEO and you could be asking for trouble later if something changes. Much better to be diversified with different sales channels.

Nice thing about PPC for sites just starting out is you'll also learn a lot from PPC that you can use for SEO. If you are turning a profit on some long-tail keywords through PPC, the data will dictate you go after some SEO rankings on that keyword. You know you will get results and even how much.

You'll also be able to test and optimize your site quickly to convert better with PPC...and as your SEO traffic starts to build, all that testing you did via paid search will make your organic search convert better.

The key to all of that is tracking...tracking...tracking. You need to now your ROI for every keyword you are spending money on so that you can adjust and optimize accordingly.

accurate.cygnet 20th December 2012 11:59 PM

Yeah Doing both is a great idea. After penguin updates...It seems like Google has become SEO unfriendly. However organic searches have still the maximum number of clicks!!

jasminelane 21st December 2012 04:31 AM

SEO’s return on investment will continue to rise long after PPC has peaked. PPC has instant results and can generate visitors as soon as you turn on the taps

troybroussard 21st December 2012 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nutty (Post 128558)
I would always run PPC on a new website for the first 3 months just to get myself going and to allow me to view more keywords and what will work and what won't

Simone

Yeah, that's a great approach Simone.

People tend to polarize this topic as an "us versus them" approach. But as you've pointed out, the two can help each other.

SEO takes time and the worst thing to find out after achieving your SEO objectives and getting a keyword ranked is that it "doesn't convert". Using PPC or other paid traffic means to first identify the keywords you want to attack is an excellent strategy.

You can spend some money on PPC with no real objective of "making money" with the campaign, but really just to "learn" from it - to find the keywords that convert. Once you have your list of converting keywords you can then split off onto two parallel efforts.

#1 - Refine and optimize your PPC campaign to see if you can get it profitable (not always possible depending upon your budget and resources)

#2 - Launch your SEO campaign targeting those keywords you now know to be effective.

Good stuff... :-)

-Troy


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