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January 11, 2013

Organic Search Engine Optimization vs. Pay-Per Click Advertising

There has been an ongoing argument over which internet marketing strategy is superior; organic search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per click advertising (PPC), and we would like to weigh in. In the real world, there is no winner in this battle; both organic SEO and PPC have their benefits and their drawbacks, but in the end they should be be used together as part of a cohesive marketing strategy.

Organic SEO and PPC advertising are both assets for search engines such as Google. PPC is a major revenue source, while providing organic SEO results for their users gives those search engines legitimacy and increases public trust in their results. It suffices to say that neither PPC nor organic SEO will be disappearing in the near future.

There is some truth to the argument that PPC is overtaking organic SEO, as PPC ads are becoming increasingly common in regular Internet browsing. This is due to the fact that Google is becoming increasingly clever in the ways and the places in which they place ads.

One striking example of this is a Google Adwords feature that tracks the cookies of people who visit their advertiser’s sites and follows them, displaying that advertiser’s graphic ads on other, seemingly unrelated sites. Adding this type of tool to your marketing strategy can be both powerful and cost-effective, as it targets users who have already shown interest in your website and shows them an purposefully designed ad. This tool is also more visually powerful than a standard PPC ad because it gives you the opportunity to use creative branding to keep your business in the forefront of your targeted audience’s mind.

As a marketing strategy, organic search engine optimization is in no danger of dying out, as users would become frustrated and lose trust in any search engine that provided only paid results. It continues to make sense for organizations to put the necessary time and resources towards boosting their SEO ranking, as organic, or “free,” traffic is considered better than paid traffic. Even though raising and maintaining an organic SEO ranking takes time and resources, organic results are often trusted more than paid results.

With that being said, it is also a good strategy to use pay-per click advertising for the following reasons:

  1. You get immediate, targeted traffic to your website.
  2. You can use the data collected from PPC for SEO intelligence, enabling you to develop a clear-cut keyword strategy for keywords you have already tested.

In the end, to maximize your return on your investment dollars, one of the best things you can do is learn about SEO and internet marketing. While this can take time and money, it is helpful in understanding what you are paying for and what you are receiving in return. And learning something new is always a positive thing.

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