Online Business Marketing

Your Online Marketing Efforts - How Do You Know What's Best?

If you have the budget for both methods, it would make sense to use both Organic SEO advertising and Pay-Per-Click advertising because both have advantages. That's the problem though - paying for both can be extremely costly, especially if you want to maximize the visibility of your web site. And trying to do either one of them with a limited budget Is not a good idea at all. If you limit your spend on either, then neither will get the results you want.

So, if you have a budget for online marketing, which method is best for your site?

"Organic" Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Studies done a few years ago (but still accurate today) show that Organic SEO can give you some significant advantages that PPC advertising can't provide. Research shows that an overwhelming 70% of all searchers click on the Organic listings rather than the Sponsored - or paid - listings. That's a significant percentage of the searchers out there spending their time on organic listings.


The indications are that people trust the Organic listings much more than they do the paid listings because of the "unbiased" way that the organic result is listed. Because the Sponsored link was paid for, searchers think that they bought their way onto the higher rankings (which they did), rather than earning their ranking by being "relevant" to what people want to find.

In fact, some studies show that less than 15% of searchers trust paid results and almost 30% have been "bothered" or "annoyed" that the paid ads are even shown. Another in-depth study found that 67% of searching customers distrust paid listings. How would you like to have a searchers looking at your listing and thinking that your ad can't be trusted?

Clearly, organic listings are trusted much more than paid listings for being relevant to their search. That's one reason why one study found that, before they'll click on a paid listing, people are six (6) times more likely to click on a few of the organic listings first

Sales Value

Because organic search results are considered unbiased, the percentage of searchers who actually engage a web site is close to 18% higher on organic listings than they are on paid results. Those kinds of numbers mean sales dollars being generated as a result of organic positioning. The value of the visitors searching on organic listings, therefore, tends to be higher because the PPC searchers are sometimes considered "tire kickers," more interested in the price of a product than they are the overall value that the product will bring them.


Not everyone knows the difference between Sponsored listings and Organic listings, but the numbers are growing. In fact, about 58% of Google's users already know the difference. As the number of knowledgeable searchers grows, so will the effects on the marketplace relative to Trust, Sales Value, Bias, Costs, etc.


The costs keep going up for PPC. Over half (57%) of companies polled complained that the price for certain keywords are too expensive and that the cost doesn't justify the results. Especially during the holiday season when keyword costs can double. Compared to the relatively stable costs of organic listings expense, PPC rising costs are a definite disadvantage.

Results that last

Even though PPC campaigns tend to produce results quicker than an organic listing campaign, the work done to optimize your site for organic listing can continue to work for you until the next changes in the algorithms of the various search engines, and sometimes even longer than that. If you have a PPC marketing effort and you decide to end it, or if your budget runs out, any results you hope to gain will end as soon as your campaign ends.

Are you relevant?

Yahoo searchers said that almost 61% of the time organic results are more relevant than the paid listings. Google studies come back even higher - 72% of their users said that organic listings were more relevant to what they looked for in products or services. And relevancy is critical to search results.

Advertising Using Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

In some situations it might make good financial sense to use PPC, especially if your budget is limited and you'd like results much quicker.

Immediate Return

An organic SEO campaign can take a couple of months to see and direct results and, depending on your business, you may not want to wait that long. If your company has business that tends to be seasonal, then PPC advertising may be more of an advantage to you, especially if you usually only promote your business during certain times of the year.

Results from PPC ads are immediate and that often means more to a company than the effort of a longer-term campaign.

Easier to Understand

Being able to control a PPC campaign with your own staff is sometimes highly desirable than to hire an outside company. Because you're dealing directly with the search engines themselves - Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Engine Marketing, etc. - then you don't need another company helping with the effort. PPC is much easier to understand and it's far less complicated than Organic SEO, which makes it much easier for your own staff to control.

Also, using an SEO company that may not be as knowledgeable about search engines as you want them to be can actually cause some problems for you due to the "questionable" tactics they might use to get you noticed. Being penalized by a search engine can have far reaching affects on your marketing efforts and, ultimately, your success.

Reallocating money

Since you don't have to sign a contract for a PPC campaign that you control yourself, you're able to move your marketing budget dollars to a different program if the PPC effort isn't getting the results you'd like to have. Because it does take some to see meaningful results, most of the companies that do Organic SEO require a contract for at least six months. When your advertising money is committed for six months or longer, you don't have the option of using that money on different programs.

Usually Costs Less

PPC campaigns usually don't cost as much as an Organic SEO plans. If your advertising budget is tight, paying for specific keywords that are relevant specifically to what you sell might generate the kind of search activity that you want - people looking for more "profitable" segments of your business, as an example. If your average ticket sale tends to run higher, then you might consider a PPC effort with specific keywords rather than an Organic SEO plan that might cost a few thousand dollars a month.

The Final Tally

Again, if you can afford both marketing efforts, it would make sense to have them engaged at the same time in order to attract volumes of searchers and those looking for very specific products or services of your business. Organic SEO has obvious and distinct advantages over PPC advertising but there are definitely some situations where a PPC campaign would make more sense for your business.

Before you decide on which campaign to enlist, you should look closely at your business model to see which one would probably get the best results for you long-term. Minimizing your costs but maximizing your visibility is critical. After all, the reason you're spending money on advertising is, hopefully, to get the best results you can.

Article by:

Dan Flasco
Top Page Marketing Solutions LLC.

About The Author
TopPageClickz is a full-service, interactive ad agency with over ten years in the advertising arena. Our pricing is very competitive and our experience is hard to match. If you need help getting started on a website, if your current site needs to be more effective, or if you need help getting your site indexed on the search engines, we can do that.
The author invites you to visit:

Web Design Packages

Specially designed to meet the needs of small businesses, our Joomla-based Web Design Packages will get your business web presence off on the right foot.

Browse Website Packages

SEO Services

Increase your site's visibility and traffic with help from our SEO experts. From website analysis to keyword research, we can cover all of your SEO Needs.

Browse SEO Packages

Custom Web Design Options

Need some custom functionality or an e-commerce site? View our wide variety of custom options, and get a free quote. Just fill out our convenient form.

Browse Custom Options

Website Maintenance Packages

Take the hassle out of maintaining your websites, and let us do it for you! We have a wide variety of options to choose from, to fit your specific needs.

Browse Maintenance Packages