Paid Search vs SEO–the Debate Continues

I read a blog post focusing on which provides more value, Pay per Click or Search Engine Optimization. Those arguing for SEO claim that 80 percent of clicks come from organic rankings.  Those on the paid search (PPC) side, contend that more revenue comes from the Sponsored Links.  Microsoft conducted a study which found that 60 percent of revenues were driven by paid search, while 40 percent of revenue was driven by organic.  As you might imagine, opponents claim the numbers are misleading.

Here’s how I see it–I believe PPC and SEO have different roles, and they add value at different stages of the buying cycle. Paid Search is sales oriented, comes into play at the end of the buying cycle, when consumers are read to make a purchase or commitment.  The most successful ads are those written around specific offers.

Organic listings represent the value proposition of the company and describe what they do rather than a specific offer.  Organic listings  come into play at the beginning of the buying cycle. And if you have consistently high rankings and visibility for related keyword phrases this will ensure that as the buyer progresses through the buying cycle, they will continue to see and engage the company through its organic listing, eventually making the purchase or taking the conversion action.

Bottom line–they both have a role, they both add value, and if the economic model is right for the company, doing both simultaneously will provide maximum opportunity and benefit. Learn more about how to use these powerful tools by visiting SEO vs PPC.

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