Although fear can be a great motivator (in addition to ego based bidding when considering the power of a #1 ranking); to end users in search of a product, service or solution, there is a slight variance of screen real estate that discriminate the differences between paid and organic listings.
Even though organic search gets 4 clicks to every paid click through, there are still millions willing to pay for results on a click by click basis.
With the escalation of click fraud, ego based bidding from corporate conglomerates who could endlessly occupy the top sponsored paid positions for thousands of niche-specific keywords nearly indefinitely, what choice do small business owners have than to use SEO as an equalizer or liberating long-term solution?
On one hand you have the instant gratification of paid advertising and the ability to simply pick keywords out of a hat to see what sticks. On the other hand you have a meticulously calculated end result which is the aggregate of multiple pages, internal and external links and a deliberate focal point of relevance in order to acquire an organic stance for specific keywords. Either way, it is search engine traffic.
Even though SEO is an effective equalizer, it takes persistence, time and effort to mature. However, though cultivating the proper signals of relevance to search engines, SEO has an alternate inherent benefit that PPC does not; SEO increases the relevance of the site in question for specific keyword, so even if you wanted to use PPC, the bid price per keyword is lower due to a higher quality score as a result of optimization.
Just as PPC has broad match, organic SEO has mid-tail and long-tail keyword variations (less competitive related keywords and modifiers) which stem and overflow into various “related searches” and deliver ambient traffic daily.
Although the ramifications of relevance are unique to each, the fact of the matter is, it is still the same potential audience that is searching for your product, service or offer above the fold in the golden triangle of relevance. The main distinguishing factors are exposure and conversion and which method yields a more favorable financial outcome.
In the end, it’s about ROI and flexibility. Anyone can place their bid for a keyword, but there is only room for 10 results at the top of any given search term, and those who appear there organically have an element of editorial peer review that you just can’t buy.
It’s like the difference between asking a friend or family member to suggest a great restaurant for a night out and they provide their honest “unbiased” opinion vs. someone with their own agenda recommending a place to eat, because they are getting paid to say so, or they are getting a cut.
Although the notion is grossly oversimplified by such an analogy, the fact remains the same. Why pay per click, if people will click search results anyway? It is just a matter of positioning and click appeal tempered by the semantic range of keywords and phrases that best correspond to your offer.
At the end of the day, you still have to count the beans and determine if the preferred method of delivery is paying off. Yet on one side you are only renting results and on the other, you own the message, the ink, paint and the digital media (your website).
If you are spending more than $5,000 per month on pay per click advertising to generate sales and exposure, then you could dramatically reduce that cost systematically through converting those PPC keywords you bid on, into organic search engine rankings to liberate your budget from exorbitant sponsored positioning.