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Would you want to be in #1 in Google PPC position or #1 Organic position? (lets assume the PPC is free for this arguement)
Another words, does the typical search engine user "overlook" the ads (aware they're just ads) and go directly to the organic results for their search answers?
#1 in PPC lasts only as long as you keep on paying.True, but you can often get to #1 in PPC within a couple of days, while getting to #1-#4 in organic can take weeks, months, years or never, time that could be used to generate business from an effective PPC campaign.
#1 in organic can last a long time after a site is tweaked.Or, as we have seen many times, #1 organic can go away overnight and never come back.
#1 in organic will (usually) mean good listings on other sites with organic listings without extra payment.Perhaps, but web page tuning for multiple search engines can also be a compromise, with good positions in one, and not so good in others.
As an Adwords user, I avoid to click on PPC even I want to. I copy the site URL site and then click on the organic listing.
With a very small amount of effort, the natural listing went to postion #1 and #2.
Sales went up 200%, while dropping the Adwords listing.
The Adwords ad was "unpaused" and sales went up a few percent, which was just enough to cover costs plus a few percent profit on each sale.
In this situation most people would just drop the Adwords Ad, but the client believes in leaving a "big foot print" on page one. I tend to agree with them on this strategy.
Do you have a reference to this study?
It isn't just one study, it's what I've gathered over the past 3 years. Some input is from clients I work with who run PPC, some input is from conference presentations I've attended, some input is from paid, proprietary studies, some is from trade magazines, and so on.
You can find some information like this through a Google search, but it usually comes out in this same general "ballpark", and it's never been different by any sigificant degree.
I've even read some reports that say organic generates 90% when both are in place, but I think that must either be an unusual market niche or perhaps a misstatement. Still, who knows when there are so many variables involved -- the creative used in the PPC ad, the title and snippet in the organic listing, the market demographics, whether a OneBox is on the SERP, etc.
So the exact ratio will vary for each particular situation, but it will almost always be heavily weighted toward organic clicks.
Firstly, without doubt, organic is stronger.
When you cross populate marketing channels the focus for measuring success get's progressively more difficult.
So you can start with organic and you are able to measure X
Then you head to PPC and you see an increase, such as Tedster suggests, of Y
Then you add PR, repeat business, referal traffic, other advertising channels and before long you have no accountability on the detailed effectiveness of your spend because one acts on the other and it is complicated to decipher what the effect will be of removing or adding a channel.
Ultimately, if you do not convert this business to nice solid repeat and referral traffic, the whole business will become very costly, with PPC probably close to amongst the top of the list. Organic traffic is an inter dependant which ultimately will have a limited lifecycle according to Google's commercial objectives, fierce competition and your ability to adapt.
I guess most big and solid small business' get to a point where marketing becomes simply part of an overall budget, rather than a meticulous monitoring of component activity. They would likely consider organic marketing as a brand support technique, rather than the other way round.
[edited by: Whitey at 6:29 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2006]
Remember PPC and SEO are different beasts.
PPC allows you flexibility with your landing page. Organic listings tend to be home pages and not the best page you want if you are trying to sell something.
PPC is a lot more stable and less stressful. You can test till your heart's content and make conclusions based on those results. With SEO, you have little idea what works and what gets higher rankings.
SEO requires more work (link and content building). PPC requires none of it, it is strictly made for selling a product/service, not blogging, or essays or link buying.
That being said, if the "bottom line" is profitable AND if your ROI is worth your time, then #1 in PPC is great.
The bottom line is always the bottom line. Your account balance VS your expenditure is always the "moral of the story".
*<Note: "entertainment related">
**<Comparing #1-2 Organic to #2-3 in PPC>
But if one is really "in serious business" - would have both. For some of most competative keywords we have multiple sites in "free" top 10 and 3 or 4 in PPC... competing against ourselves... So pretty much whatever visitor would click, they'll end up at the "right place". This kind of enterprise is costing a very high price, naturally...
If organic alone attracts X clicks per day, and PPC alone attracts Y clicks per day, then having both in place can attract significantly more than just X+Y. In some cases, it can be as much as 20% more.
I see this on one of my sites. I am organic #8 and PPC #1. While running the PPC campaign, I seem to get more click-throughs from the organic results than when I'm not running the PPC campaign.
I'm guessing that it's either because the the PPC gives more validity to the organic results or that by the time the searcher gets down to the #8 position, he/she remembers seeing my site already and it seems like a familiar domain to them. Maybe a combo of both.
[edited by: Jordo_needs_a_drink at 9:19 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2007]
Personally I am never number 1 in ppc, I think its a bad place to be and in general a useless ROI compared to say position 5 - 8.
I think generally its a big problem for Google. They want people to pay big for number 1 but when you actually take the time to test ROI it's not a very good place to be.