The Dallas Business Journal recently ran a story on one of our clients, Wasp Barcode Technologies, describing how they went from spending enormous amounts of money on PPC to focusing more on traditional SEO and link building. The strategy paid off -- Wasp spent less and got better results. These are the kind of results every small to medium sized business would like to enjoy.
 
Wasp cut its external spending by 13% and reinvested the funds into in-house personnel, who "re-architected" the site so users would find it easier to use and more relevant. Those steps meant optimizing the site for specific key words such as "asset tracking" and "inventory control" and continuing to add richer online content, including slide show presentations, Webinars and YouTube demos. This strategy also including increasing the link popularity of the site by both natural and aggressive means.
 
The efforts are paying off in a multitude of ways. In 2007, the company's Web hits grew by 60%, topping 600,000 visits. "The added visibility makes the company appear large and established, and bodes well with resellers such as Fry's and Staples who rely on brand awareness to sell Wasp's products," Wasp President Steve Coffman said. "It also helps Wasp reach small businesses, which often turn to the Web for technology guidance."
 
While a PPC campaign can deliver traffic with relative ease, it can be very costly and has no real longevity -- once you stop shelling out the cash, the traffic goes away. SEO and link building require a lot more creative effort but can have more sustainable results. It also allows a business to target a larger base of users as most studies reveal that 75 - 80% of searchers click on organic listings as opposed to paid listings.
 
Wasp learned this after spending considerable funds on Google AdWords and other PPC programs. That is not to say that they did not learn from the PPC experience. They most likely were able to gather intelligence on specific terms searchers were looking for related to their products. They also very likely learned how to improve conversions for each keyword search they attracted.
 
So the lesson to learn here is to lay your foundation with SEO, link building and maybe even some social media marketing. If you have additional budget, incorporate the PPC as well. However, don't overlook the potential that a strategic SEO and link building campaign has to offer in your web marketing efforts.
March 24, 2008





David Wallace is CEO and founder of SearchRank, an original search engine optimization and marketing firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is experienced in search engine optimization and marketing, pay per click and pay for inclusion management, directory submissions and web site design usability. David is a frequent contributor to various search engine related forums, an active editor of popular directories such as GoGuides.org, Joe Ant and Zeal and has had several articles published on industry related sites. Since 1997, David along with his company have helped hundreds of businesses both large and small increase their search engine visibility and customer acquisitions.






Comments(13)

In regards to this statement:"While a PPC campaign can deliver traffic with relative ease, it can be very costly and has no real longevity -- once you stop shelling out the cash, the traffic goes away"

While I agree to an extent, it's also entirely possible that once exposed to your website via AdWords, people will return, and thus, saying that there is "no real longevity" isn't entirely true. This will depend on how "sticky" your website is, and what % of your customers are likely to come back over and over.

Jill

Jill, what you say is true but regardless of your "stickyness" the percentage of returning ppc visits will be rather low and cannot be compared to the longevity of a good seo and linkbuilding campaign.

While PPC can be really beneficial for some markets, it's going down hill compared to SEO. Obviously the prices for clicks are just increasing every day, thus making it difficult for some people to afford it within their market. SEO is the way to go for most.

@PPC Advertising - Certainly PPC can help organic search marketing or even compliment it. That is why I summarized article with "So the lesson to learn here is to lay your foundation with SEO, link building and maybe even some social media marketing. If you have additional budget, incorporate the PPC as well."

I have seen PPC useful to capture the 15 - 20% or searchers who click on these ads as well as to gather keyword intelligence data to assist the SEO campaign.

In the case of this client, they decided to drastically cut their PPC budget and focus more on SEO and link building efforts.

Very nice, David.

I actually met someone from Wasp at a conference in New York earlier this year that they were sponsoring.

Even the offline visibility can add to the mix, I expect.

Anita

One must also consider user behavior. There are percentages of users who will most likely click on paid listings and there are percentages who most likely click on organic listings. It used to be a wide margin between the two, but is fairly even now. If you run no PPC then you simply miss that slice of the pie.

This could be a good way to start testing rate of conversion of both Natural SEO and PPC. Natural SEO is find as profitable in comparison of search terms

PPC campaign can deliver traffic with relative ease, people with little time and budgets can try with PPC . It can be really beneficial for some markets. Start testing rate of conversion of both Natural SEO and PPC.

SEO Over PPC on any day. PPC is effective when you need quick traffic. By the way, its even difficult to get on top of serps for those keywords which are high paying due to competition in serps too.

One must balance SEO and PPC in search marketing campaign, because SEO deliver results relatively late than PPC but more reliable one, if you have new website then PPC must be used for instant traffic while SEO should be focused for long term.

You say that "most studies reveal that 75 - 80% of searchers click on organic listings as opposed to paid listings" - where can I find such a study? Something scientific.

PPC is not good from any small to med business. It works for the million dollar players. There to much click fraud unwanted clicks etc. Organic is much more reliable and you have mush more control and it cost much less and thats the main part. Of course Google depends on the billions of dollars spent in PPC and they will always bank from it, but I recommend to anyone to go organic.

Lets say PPC (Position 1 always) and SEO (Top 3 position).

This will be much more realistic.

The answer is already there. We dont need to say the answer.

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Search Engine Guide > David Wallace > Which Is Better - PPC or SEO? How One Company Increased Traffic 60% After Ditching PPC for SEO