SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most powerful ways to drive traffic to a site. Actually, for many sites Google and the other search engines are the primary source of traffic. This is why it is quite natural that businesses and individuals devote a lot of time and spend a lot of money on SEO.
However, the fact that a webmaster doesn’t pay directly for organic SEO placement doesn’t mean that SEO is cheap. Link building takes a lot of time and in some niches the organic search results are so crowded that practically it is impossible for a newcomer to rank well with popular keywords. There are many hidden SEO costs and if one takes into account the amount of time he or she invests in SEO, organic SEO turns to be very expensive.
PPC Traffic Might Be Cheaper for Competitive Keywords
The fact that a webmaster doesn’t pay for inclusion in organic SEO results doesn’t mean that organic SEO costs no money. In this aspect PPC advertising is more straightforward – a webmaster chooses some keywords, bids on them, pays and knows how much he or she has spent. PPC might be a paid form of promotion but there are many cases when it is cheaper than organic SEO.
As already mentioned, ranking well in organic search results for highly competitive keywords isn’t cheap. What is more, even if a webmaster spends tons of money, there is no guarantee that his or her site will get to the top of search results (and stay there). In this aspect it not an exception to throw a lot of money on organic SEO and get no traffic (or at least not the expected amount of it).
In such situations PPC advertising is the better option. When PPC advertising is mentioned, usually for many webmasters it is only Google Adwords. Google Adwords might be the best popular PPC network but since it is also the priciest, when a webmaster is on a budget, maybe he or she should shop for alternatives. There are other good PPC networks besides Google Adwords and if one manages to find the right keywords to bid for, a PPC campaign through one of these alternatives could be very rewarding.
PPC Advertising Gives More Control
Another reason why PPC advertising can not only drive more traffic to a website but drive really well targeted traffic is that PPC advertising gives a webmaster more control in comparison to organic SEO. With PPC advertising it is possible to choose the keywords to rank for. Additionally, the PPC ad text can convey a message exactly the way a webmaster wants it, while in organic SEO rankings the text to present a site is beyond the control of the the webmaster.
Because of these two advantages of PPC advertising, the traffic to a website, which comes from a PPC campaign is usually better targeted. As a a result, this traffic converts better. Still, it is necessary to track PPC conversions and organic SEO conversions in order to know which one performs better for a particular keyword.
High conversions compensate for the price paid for PPC advertising. High rates of conversion are important because when a website is monetized high conversions pay the bill. The rate of conversions is not constant and this is why it makes sense to keep an eye on it and if it is noticed that a particular keyword doesn’t convert well, no matter if the traffic for it is from organic SEO results or from a paid PPC campaign, measures are to be taken.
Both organic SEO and PPC advertising are major ways to drive traffic to a website. However, in some cases organic SEO is the better option, while in others PPC advertising brings more traffic to a website. This means that the decision whether to go with PPC ads or organic SEO is made on a case by case basis after a careful analysis of the results has been performed.