Monday, August 15, 2011

PPC vs. Article Marketing- The Bottom Line

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When you are looking to advertise your business, company, or website, there is no doubt that you want to get the most benefit for your advertising dollar.  After all, the entire principle of business advertising is to use your money to draw in the biggest base of clients and customers, right?  If you have looked into online advertising, you likely know that there are two general options available to you.  The first is pay per click, or PPC advertising, and the other is search engine optimization, which is also known as organic, or natural, advertising.  With more than ten billion searches happening in any given month, you need to ask yourself which one is right for your business.

Trying to get accurate statistics about each form of advertising is difficult.  You can find all manner of statistics online, but you will quickly learn that these aren't exactly controlled or third party research studies.  Instead, these studies are typically conducted by or sponsored by a company with a vested interest in one of the two forms of advertising, and as luck would have it, the results always seem to favor the advertising type that the company uses and prefers.  When you need real answers, that isn't very helpful, is it?

Unfortunately, that means that if you are looking to determine which advertising strategy is right for you, you are actually going to need to do your homework.  This means looking not just at initial results, but at the long term result of each type of advertising.  To help you do this, we will offer you a deeper look at each type and allow you to really consider what is best for your needs.

Whenever you type something into your favorite search engine, you will find both PPC and SEO results.  SEO results, or those that search engines recognize as providing viable content related to the search terms, appears in the normal window.  PPC advertisements will appear in a colored bar above the result or in a bar on the right or left margin of the results page, depending on the search engine.  In order to show up on the first page, a PPC ad typically must have some quality, but primarily it is about paying the most money to the search engine to get the proper placement, which is why this section of the results page usually carries the header "paid advertisements".

With search engine optimization, it works differently.  To get into the top 10 rankings, which are also the most commonly clicked links for that phrase or search term, you have to be able to provide content that is related to the string, that is valuable to those who click it, and that is popular among people who are looking for those terms.  Search engines use an algorithm to determine which sites to place up front, and good programming and great content are essential here.  While PPC uses a few words to grab attention and drag a user to a site that they may not even want to visit, SEO and article marketing in particular provide consumers with the information they really need and help them understand why a certain company or site is best suited to meet their needs.

Knowing now how each type of advertising works, it is easy to see that the two bring in very different customers with very different goals.  The question now is which one is your customer base.  Are you looking for someone who is hurriedly clicking links in search of an answer or the thoughtful consumer who is willing to read for an answer and to find the business or company that will provide the information they need?

What PPC Has that SEO Doesn't:

There are certainly some advantages to PPC advertising.  The biggest benefit is that it can offer nearly instant results.  When you are paying for your ad to appear, it gets seen quickly.  PPC can bring hundreds or thousands of users in a short period of time, boosting your page hits quickly.  This sounds fantastic, right?  But there is another side of this to consider.  According to, only 23% of users click a PPC link when searching, and only 33% when buying.  Furthermore, PPC links have a 25% lower conversion rate than SEO advertisements.

With PPC advertising, you will find that your site is primarily visited by people clicking a quick link without knowing if you have what they want.  You are paying for every single click on your link, and a vast majority of clicks are not going to be productive.  In fact, the conversion rate for PPC is incredibly low.  Consider not only this but that in order to keep page hits up, you will need to keep the ad up continuously for as long as you have the site.  Most PPC users aren't going to remember your site or use it again, and you will have to always have that ad up to try to bring in a steady stream of visitors.

What SEO Has that PPC Doesn't

Now we need to look at SEO article marketing.  In looking at pros and cons, it is important to look at the fact that SEO marketing can take a while to provide great results.  It is a downside to be certain, but the benefits offered by article marketing are simply too large to ignore.  While it may take a while for an article to generate enough traffic to make the top ten search results page, the simple fact is that SEO offers an estimated 25% higher conversion rate for readers than for people who simply click PPC articles.  Talk about cost effective!

Another thing to consider is this.  You write an article and it answers a question or fills a need that your consumers have.  You put it out there into article directories and you pay the writer a small fee for their services.  That's it.  That is your big investment for the traffic it generates.  You aren't paying money each month to keep the article out there.  Once you have paid for it and published it, it will work for you for years to come.  Putting more content out and answering more questions will certainly help you build business, but that single perfect article can work for you for years to generate traffic of its own to your site.

With SEO article marketing, you are offering consumers what they need- answers to their questions.  Articles are written from the point of view of an expert and will serve to fill a real need for consumers.  Customers are far more likely to use your business if they know that you understand it, are working to fill their needs, and that you are willing to help answer their questions.  When you work through SEO article marketing, you are helping to build trust with your customers.

In today's economy, it is also very important to consider the issue of cost when looking at marketing and advertising.  PPC companies sound like a fantastic bargain at first, but to appear on the top result of a major search engine, you are paying more than a dollar per click.  Consider then that even with the highest estimated conversion rate, you are paying about one hundred fifty dollars for every customer.

Consider now that even if you were to use the most expensive SEO article marketing company out there and use the lowest estimated conversion rate (according to research paid for by a PPC company, nonetheless), your total cost would still be less than twenty dollars per converted customer. When considering return on investment and profitability, which of these sounds like a better option to you?

Marketing your company or business can be difficult, especially in a time when none of us have an unlimited budget.  There are pros and cons to both PPC and SEO article marketing.  The simple fact of the matter, however, is that while PPC can offer the appearance of instant results, SEO article marketing offers high conversions, low overall costs, and the ability to work for you for years without paying for every single click.  Building a web of back links and old articles that are always available to market for you means that your investment is a continued asset.  With PPC, the moment you stop paying, you stop getting traffic.


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