Natural (Organic) VS Sponsored Ads (PPC) Traffic

Digital Marketer in Michigan

One of the most common questions in today’s competitive world of internet marketing is whether to invest in the Pay-Per-Click model or the content based authoritative approach to earn top rankings in the organic list of the search results. Simply put, to maximize search capability of your site through the entire search results page, it’s a great idea to implement both solutions. However, this is not always the case and businesses often choose between one or the other hoping for the best return on their investment. Here are a few pros and cons.

PCC Traffic

Can be effective because your text ads are specifically targeting the search query. This model offers much control and immediate gratification as the ads generally populate to the 1st couple pages of the search results. Google’s model, specifically, offers a level playing field for their program. As long as the campaign is managed correctly and the content of the text ads are relevant, the little guy can often out rank the big guy (that is if their budgets can compete equally). However, in spite of their high placement, PPC campaigns have certain drawbacks.


Sponsored Ads are limited in their Description

Besides the lower visibility factor of the total geography on the search results page compared to that of organic listings, sponsored ads are limited in the number of keywords in their description. If you view any search results page, PPC ads offer a less complete resume than that of organic listing in terms of their description of their products and services.

PPC is expensive. The “Auction” model ensures that you pay top $ per click if you want to stay at the top!
Placement can be guaranteed with PPC ads…if and only if they consistently out bid their competing ads also applying for placement for a particular or group of keywords. In fact, the only way to stay at the top is by paying top dollar per click!

Sponsored Ads only account for 10% of the total clicks on the search results page.

Just ask yourself about your own search and click habits? The fact is that 85-90% of traffic on any search result page is generated from the middle/left hand side…the organic (natural) listings. Moreover, 60% of that traffic is generated from the top 3 listings ranked at the top.

Organic (Natural) Traffic – The top of the organic search results list is certainly the “Sweet Spot” for competing businesses on the search results page. Sites that usually hold these precious spots are very keyword rich in code and content with a very authoritative linking structure. Specifically, there is more potential targeted traffic with organic listings than PPC ads that focus on more relevant and competitive keyword phrases, which in turn results in converting a higher percentage of visits into customers. Moreover, click through rates are 3 times higher than paid listings and the conversion rate is approximately 30% more leading to a much larger ROI from organic search traffic. In fact, studies have shown that more sales are generated from organic traffic then paid search traffic. But what are the drawbacks of natural search traffic?

Sometimes there is a wait to get your rankings.

Unlike the Paid Search model, there is little immediate gratification with organic search engine optimization efforts (SEO) which is necessary to achieve top ranks in the natural search results list. With steady, natural link building activity, one may earn undisputed top search results rankings…but make no mistake…it does take time.

Beware of the “Google Honeymoon”

Just as most marriages start out with a honeymoon new websites that have just gone live often experience temporary 1st page rankings and think…wow that was quick! After a month or so the site drops to page 3 or worse? This is called the Google Honeymoon! This doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s Google’s way of saying, “The honeymoon is over and now the work begins”!

In Conclusion

To achieve the highest degree of optimization of your web presence within your valuable targeted search space, it is recommended to implement both, organic search engine optimization efforts as well as PPC or paid search marketing campaigns. However, it is difficult to not tip the scale in favor of organic search marketing. In a nut shell, besides the higher “trust factor” of organic listings within the search results page, it takes many more page impressions to earn a click to your website with the Paid search model than it does with the natural link building approach of organic search engine optimization methods.

For more information on increasing qualified traffic to your website and gaining that competitive edge for your small to medium size business, contact the search specialists at Tier1 Digital today! 269-217-1057