Compelite Limited

Friday, September 29, 2006

Search Engine Marketing - Return on Investment

Search Engine Marketing:
The Ultimate Return on Investment:

There was a considerable turnout at today’s event hosted by The American Chamber of Commerce at the JW Marriot in Hong Kong. Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing was the main topic with Search Engine Optimisation only touched upon briefly.

The primary speakers today were:

Celia Chan, MSN Asia Regional Director, Microsoft Corporation.
Anna Chan, Corporate Sales Manager, Search Marketing, Yahoo! Hong Kong Limited
Crid Yu, Head of Sales, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Google Inc.

I was quite disappointed to find that the event was primarily concerned about Google, Yahoo and MSN pushing their PPC programs, and of course how their systems can bring you valuable traffic and Return on Investment.

Although I agree to some extent that their PPC services are valuable, I also believe that a PPC campaign can only be successfully executed when run alongside a strong Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign.

Let me briefly explain the two systems. In Search Engine Optimisation, our primary goal is to get common keywords that potential customers will use to find your product or services on a search engine, ranked as high as possible – organically. By organic, I mean without paying a search engine to boost your ranking. To do this, we will optimise your website (as well as many other factors), so that it is more appealing to a search engine, and therefore it will rank higher because of its worth to the community as a whole.

Pay Per Click, however, involves paying a search engine to list your website at a certain level, depending on the amount of money you spend on any particular keyword.

What also surprised me was that PPC was primarily focused toward the ‘average user’. Most people/companies are expected to run their own campaigns, bidding on their own selected keywords without much or any guidelines on what price to bid or what keywords to bid on. Specializing in Search Engine Optimisation, primarily in Hong Kong, Compelite know for a fact that it is very important to select the correct keywords in any search engine campaign, be it either organic, or PPC. Considering this, I think it is very likely that many businesses are wasting their money, by running their own PPC campaigns, without having the proper knowledge of which keywords to focus on.

So, in conclusion, I would recommend that the focus be placed on Search Engine Optimisation, with PPC used as an additional support (if necessary). We have found that the majority of users select an organic result first. They will only look to a sponsored result (PPC), only when they cannot find what they are looking for in the organic results. Therefore PPC is really only a backup. As search engines are becoming more and more advanced by filtering out the SPAM, and placing the most relevant search results at the top, there is less need for PPC marketing campaigns.

Michael Pieper
SEO Manager.
Compelite Limited.

Labels: ,