The value of Pay Per Click (PPC) versus SEO

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I had a burning question finally answered last week during a conference session.  Kevin Lee, author of “The Truth about Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising” and other search marketing books led the DMA session on how to utilize smart Google online search strategies.  The burning question is one I’ve heard often:

“If my SEO efforts have given me great organic search rankings, why should I pay for online search?”

After all, some companies invest hundreds of thousands in optimizing their sites for the ever changing search engines and their search algorithms.  After attaining a top 3 position why go further and actually pay for placement?

The answer?  Mr. Lee always recommends testing the conversion of organic and paid placements head-to-head.

“I’ve done dozens of these tests, and when tested its always been shown to be beneficial to implement a Pay Per Click campaign.”

Wow.  Mr. Lee has helped dozens of companies in this area for years so I was curious to hear how this was possible.

First of all, You can control almost every aspect of a paid search campaign:  keywords, positioning, ad text, and landing page.  This is a huge advantage over organic placements which rely on the ever changing search engines to crawl and place the right content with the right keywords.

Testing PPC campaigns is easy and if done properly the learning and improvement can take place quickly.

All of us in advertising know the power of repetition.  Seeing multiple references to your brand on screen are bound to help with conversion.  This is easy to accomplish with a dealer local search campaign to augment a national PPC or SEO effort.  Local dealers simply use brand approved ads and landing pages with co-op funds to be where the customers are.

As an authorized Google AdWords Reseller, we know consumer brands only reach a small fraction of interested consumers with a national PPC campaign.  Thanks to Kevin Lee, we now know SEO isn’t the answer by itself.  Encouraging your dealers to convert local online consumers in coordination with your organic listings and national PPC  campaigns is the right answer.

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