Organic or PPC?

There are two primary ways in which people get traffic to their sites from the Search Engines.

The first way is getting listed on page one of the “Organic” or “Natural” or “Non-Sponsored” search results section.

The second way is to use Pay-Per-Click or “PPC” to get your site listed.

Which Is Better?

A lot of people ask: “Which is better? Trying to get ranked in the organic section or using PPC?”

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages:

Organic Advantages

1. You Get More Clicks

As a whole, people tend to trust the organic search results and will click on those results more often. Some studies suggest that 70% – 85% of search engine users click on the organic search results while only about 25% will click on a sponsored or PPC ad.

2. Costs Less…Per Click

Unlike PPC, you are not charged each time someone clicks on your link.

Organic Disadvantages

1. Organic Ranking Can Be Slow

Organic ranking is a slower process than PPC. It is not unusual to take months to get just one keyphrase to rank on page one of the search engines.

2. Organic Ranking Can Be Uncertain

The search engines can — and do — change their ranking algorithms and when they do it affects your organic search results. One day your site may be ranked #1 and the next day your site could be deindexed and not appear at all when someone searches for your keywords.

PPC Advantages

1. Ranking Is Fast

For Google you can get onto the top of the sponsored section in as little as one day, depending upon your keywords and the amount of money you are willing to spend.

2. Scalable

Generally PPC is more scalable. That is, the more you spend on ads the more traffic you get.

3. Easier To Localize Your Ad

PPC now allows you to localize your ad. This means that your ad will only show up when someone within a certain geographic location is doing the search.

PPC Disdavantages

1. Click Fraud

Fake clicks on your ads is the number one disadvantage of PPC. Click fraud is when your competitors click on your ad with the sole purpose of draining your PPC budget. Each time they click on the ad, it costs you money.

While Google has worked to reduce click fraud, it still exists. Some experts suggest that about 20% of clicks on PPC ads are fraudulent.

2. Campaign Maintenance Can Be A Lot of Work

Running a successful PPC campaign requires a fair amount of maintenance work. You need to constantly examine which keywords are performing the best, you need to do split testing where you run multiple ads to see which is bringing in more clicks and calls, and you are constantly tweaking other campaign parameters to get the best results.