PPC v Natural Search – A Cost Comparison Case Study

Written by Glenn Murray

The attraction of Pay Per Click (PPC) online advertising is undeniable. Each click costs virtually nothing, you only pay forrepparttar clicks you get, and you set your own daily budget so you know exactly how much you’re going to spend. Most importantly, your listing appears instantly.

Onrepparttar 135109 other hand, a high ranking inrepparttar 135110 natural search results seems unobtainable. There’s a perception that hundreds of thousands of other businesses are competing for your keywords, and that makes it seem like a real rat-race. And it also seems like such a big mountain to climb; it’s true that it can take months to reachrepparttar 135111 first page for your target keywords. To make matters worse, thousands of opportunistic (and some very dodgy) ‘SEO companies’ have emerged, looking to make a quick and big buck out of market naivety. So to CEOs, BDMs, marketing managers, webmasters, and business owners,repparttar 135112 road to natural search ranking seems expensive, risky, and beset with traffic.

But does this mean you should forget natural search?

Definitely not!

Firstly, most user studies to date have found that people pay more attention to natural search results because they’re more relevant. That’srepparttar 135113 foundation ofrepparttar 135114 success of companies like Google and Yahoo (andrepparttar 135115 reason they keep their indexing rules a secret).

What’s more, it’s important to put things in perspective. Hundreds of thousands of other businesses may be competing for your keywords, but in most cases, they’re at least as confused and disheartened as you. Sorepparttar 135116 sooner you figure outrepparttar 135117 real story,repparttar 135118 sooner you’ll haverepparttar 135119 jump on them.

And yes, it can take a while to reachrepparttar 135120 top, but because your competition is – forrepparttar 135121 most part – traveling blind, your early progress will normally be quite quick. In fact, for most businesses, it’s not until you reachrepparttar 135122 top few pages that your progress will slow.

And again yes, there ARE some dodgy SEO companies out there. But there are also some very good ones. (Go to WebProNews.com and sign up to a forum if you want to find out who they are.) So long as you knowrepparttar 135123 basics of SEO you won’t be taken for a ride. (See SEO for CEOs for a rundown of SEO basics in layperson’s terms.)

But let’s talk bottom line…

Is it more expensive to obtain a high ranking?

Certainly not! In comparison with other forms of advertising – even PPC inrepparttar 135124 long run – reachingrepparttar 135125 top ofrepparttar 135126 rankings is NOT expensive. The following case study explains why.

How to Develop a Successful ROI for Your Website

Written by By Michael Murray, VP of Fathom SEO

Are You Really Measuring for Return on Investment (ROI) with Search Engine Optimization?

Puzzling studies and reports suggest that businesses are missing out when it comes to ROI, including a whole host of metrics that should confirm or shape search engine marketing strategies.

You can’t accomplish much if you’re not even implementing SEOrepparttar right way. We’ve seen web site after web site that includes scores of individual keywords inrepparttar 134996 META keyword set (that many search engines ignore anyway). The SEO team not only usedrepparttar 134997 wrong individual keywords (search phrases are better), but they didn’t bother to include keywords inrepparttar 134998 page title or description. And, of course, they didn’t think it was worth their time to focus on multiple pages– not justrepparttar 134999 homepage.

Hint: If you’re selling dinnerware, “laundry” probably shouldn’t be one of your keywords.

A WebTrends report cited in an eMarketer in 2004 showedrepparttar 135000 following ROI:

Using Complete ROI analysis35.4% Click-through rates only24.2% Conversion metrics18.7% Don't measure21.7%

Barely one third figured a thorough ROI analysis was worthrepparttar 135001 effort.

More than 80% of companies surveyed are dissatisfied with their “ability to benchmark their marketing programs,” according to “Measures + Metrics: Assessing Marketing Value + Impact,” a stunning report based on a 2004 survey byrepparttar 135002 CMO Council, a Palo Alto, California-based organization. The CMO Council represents senior marketing and brand decision-makers inrepparttar 135003 global technology industry.

“Less than 20% have developed any meaningful and comprehensive measures and metrics for their marketing organizations,”repparttar 135004 report said.

It’s possible, Fathom SEO believes, that companies just settle for what’s easiest. If getting high rankings offers enough satisfaction, that’s whererepparttar 135005 measurement ends. Or, maybe a business will look at total traffic (maybe even unique visitor trends). With PPC, they’re apt to take up Google’s offer and post an ad within 15 minutes, cranking outrepparttar 135006 common reports Google offers. Businesses have a whole host of metrics that can serve them as long asrepparttar 135007 data doesn’t fly over their heads.

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