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Organic or Pay-Per- Click?

There is always a discussion on which is better: organic rankings in the search engines or pay-per-click advertisements. My answer: what are you trying to accomplish? Like most things, it depends.
Although they are harder to get and will cost you more time and more money, organic search rankings do offer distinct advantages over pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement and will always be better for you in the long run.
I recently read an article that compared organic rankings to PPC advertisement rankings and which were better. Here are some of the results:

  • Searchers are up to six times more likely to click on the first few organic results than any of the PPC ads
  • 14% of searchers trust PPC ads (meaning 86% of searchers do not)
  • 29% of searchers are annoyed by PPC ads
  • Conversion rates are 17% higher for organic results

Well with stats like that, why would you ever use PPC? Here are a couple reasons:

Time. PPC can be instantaneous and can jumpstart your website traffic. Organic campaigns can take 3 months (and sometimes longer depending on your competition). So, if you have a short amount of time or a seasonal business PPC might be better suited for your goals.

Cost. If you are working on a tight budget PPC will always cost less. PPC allows you to limit your campaign to as much or as little as you want to spend. And by limiting your keyword and keyword phrases to those that bring the most qualified traffic you can operate your campaign on a smaller budget.

Testing. PPC is a great way to test headlines and keywords to see what pulls better for your niche and your market. You cannot do this with organic SEO. By setting up different ads with different headlines you can easily see in a day which resonates more with visitors and which drives more traffic to your site.

So, it really does depend what you’re looking for. For long term appeal- organic is the way to go. For short, quick tests- PPC is a better option.

If you’re looking for some resources for finding your keywords and helping develop PPC campaigns here are a couple: