Will Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Overtake Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising?

By Avelyn Austin | Mar 12, 2009
More Articles by Avelyn


In recent months there has been a greater focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In its Digital Outlook Report 2009, Razorfish says:

“… after three years of intense focus on paid search, advertisers are more confident they are covering the relevant ground in that area …They can now shift their attention to how they appear in unpaid listings, using SEO – a tactic many have neglected … [also] pressure on marketing investments is causing advertisers to get more from less.”

Top reasons why SEO will overtake PPC:

  • Cost - SEO simply costs less. With a PPC campaign you pay for each click to your site, in addition to the salary or fee you pay to the manager of the campaign. With an SEO campaign the clicks are FREE, you simply pay an individual or an agency to manage the campaign (Find out the cost of doing SEO In-House vs. using an SEO Agency).
  • Landing Pages - Wait! I thought we were talking about SEO. We are, with better website optimization a company can help control what type of page is shown to a searcher depending on their search query (i.e. better Post-Click Marketing). By manipulating a page to better address the needs of the searcher you are more likely to “convert the user”. Again, yes, we’re still talking about finding the page via the organic search results.
  • Search ROI - In the past, SEO campaigns were seen as a sunk cost. However, through most tracking systems (for example, Google Analytics) you can follow the actions of a site visitor to determine where they came from (which SEO campaign effort) and if they converted, or completed a desired action. Want to determine how an increase in organic conversions would effect your Search ROI? Click Here for Search Mojo’s New SEO ROI Calculator.

*To clarify, I’m not downplaying a quality PPC campaign. A well executed PPC campaign is by far the fastest way to gain visibility and increase conversions, but an SEO campaign will most definitely increase your Search ROI.

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  • http://www.search-mojo.com Des Taggart

    SEO can conceivably overtake PPC. Whether SEO can make PPC and obsolete entity is another … SEO is without a doubt a very crucial tool for companies/clients today, but to think PPC will become obsolete at the hands of SEO all depends on those companies/clients. Meaning, PPC too is a key “indicator” tool for assisting companies/clients understand and alter their online presence as it relates to visitors’ click-behavior. But the weight of how to properly work with PPC falls directly on the shoulders of said companies/clients. IF they can properly understand and work with PPC as a tool to enhance their online presence, that is great, but if they think they can but fail–yet fail to admit they fail … well, I guess PPC will be around for a while for companies who can step in and assist those companies/clients in achieving their initial goal from the outset.