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We provide high-quality search engine optimization services at reasonable rates. We've been using the most up-to-date search optimization methodologies, and upgrading them, for over ten years.

There are two main options people use to drive traffic to their sites: Search engine optimization and Pay Per Click (PPC). But what’s the difference?


Search Engine Optimization

This is the method of affecting how frequently and easily a website is visible through unpaid results. Basically, the earlier and higher up a website appears on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the more the website is clicked on and seen by visitors- who are then more likely to be customers.

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What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?


In this model, an advertiser pays a publisher/website owner a fee whenever an ad on their site is clicked. It’s a “get hits quick” kind of model, but like most of these methods, there are drawbacks: ultimately, the hare may be faster than the tortoise, but that doesn’t mean he’ll win the race.

How People Use Search Engines

About 60% of people click on the first result on the first page of search results. 15% click on the second result. 8% click on the third result. 6% click on the fourth result. Only about 3% click on the last result on the first page of search results.

Which is Better? Pay Per Click (PPC) or SEO

Someone at our firm once said that "Pay per Click is like cocaine. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like health food". One is fast and expensive, the other takes more time and is less thrilling but is better for you. Now we've modified our stance, PPC is like "fast food". More politically correct - right? :-)

Should you use PPC? Yes, but in the long-run SEO can be cheaper because eventually those searches can become free. 

How Many People Click on PPC vs. Organic Results?

85% of people click on natural (non-advertising) search results. Only 15% of clicks are for PPC (Pay Per Click). Natural search optimization (search engine optimization) is worth roughly 3X paid search results (PPC via Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com and others). The top position in natural search (via SEO) is visible about 100% of the time and gets close to half of all possible clicks.

PPC is Like Junk Food

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), on the other hand, is like eating organic food. PPC is like a soda and fries or other fast food -- it gets you high in search results fast, but when you stop, you crash.

Still, about 87% of online marketing budgets go to Pay Per Click (PPC) even though the return on investment for PPC may be far lower than SEO (search engine optimization). SEO accounts for only about 11% of search marketing budgets, yet the click through rate for successful SEO can be three times higher than PPC.

SEO Takes Time, but It's Healthier

Like leafy greens and exercise is for people, search engine optimization (SEO) is healthy for a company. The return on investment on a successful SEO project is far higher than that of PPC. The most expensive Pay Per Click ad will perform far worse than the top position in a natural search. People trust natural search more than paid online advertising.

Some PPC is Good

Because search engine optimization firms all take time to raise a website in search results, a little PPC is a good thing. Normally, PPC and SEO split the budget, and as search results begin to rise naturally, the PPC budget is reduced and often eliminated altogether. Recently, Google eliminated ads in the right column of search results, bringing the desktop and mobile search experiences more in line. This reduced the number of positions available to AdWords customers, consequently driving up the cost of online advertising.

While the costs of SEO have been rising, Google's move to increase advertising costs still make SEO the best marketing investment.

The Cost of SEO

Costs for SEO range from $1200 per month and up. Unlike PPC, SEO costs are short-term. Depending on a number of factors such as site age, existing links, page rank, competitiveness of search term, etc. the budget adjusts. Here is an article on the costs of reputation management.

Working Within a Search Marketing Budget

We often start with an existing budget and communications plan, then create strategic marketing plans specific to search. Budget expenditures fit within the client budget with allocations between PPC and SEO changing over time. In this way our clients stay within their budget, while benefiting from an evolutionary SEO program.

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See how Reputation X can help you: 1-800-889-4812