Compelite Limited

Monday, April 30, 2007

Search Engine Optimisation vs. Pay Per Click

Over the years we have seen varying trends between the popularity of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the Pay Per Click (PPC) model. But where are we today?

SEO has been steadily gaining trust once again, compared to when it was highly abused in the past, due mainly to poor Search Engine Algorithms. Search Engine Algorithms have since improved tremendously and we are now seeing results that were the sole purpose of the invention of Search Engines. After all we must remember that Search was never intended to generate traffic for commercial websites. For example, “Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Note that this says nothing to the tune of providing the best free advertising medium.

We have seen a consistent trend recently of an increase in Blogs and generally useful information (take for example, wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit). Commercial websites appear to be dropping lower and lower in the search engine rankings. This tells us what the future may hold. I suspect that we will see a total shift where commercial websites will no longer be a candidate for SEO. Rather PPC will be the advertising medium of choice, providing the most valuable positions in search engine rankings for commercial websites.

This begs the question, where does that leave the small contenders who cannot afford either an SEO campaign (which most likely will not be applicable compared to the competition) or a PPC Advertising Campaign? Well this is a question that will need to be answered by the top search engines, as we move in this direction day by day. Perhaps these less fortunate companies are better off by relying less on search engine results and more on their own marketing campaigns such as eNewsletters that are sent directly to their own registered users. WhosOn could be another option in monitoring the performance of marketing campaigns and the like. WhosOn is a tool which will show you who is using your web sites in real time, as well as give you and your visitors the ability to chat to each other. This tool will also give you all of the statistics that are available to you through Google AdWords' own monitoring program, Google Analytics. Try Whoson now with a Free 1 Month Trial!

Meanwhile Google AdWords is paving the path as the most sophisticated PPC model on the market. Google is one of the only companies that has invested nearly nothing in promoting its ad program, rather spending their time and money on technological innovation. This is one major reason why they are way ahead of the rest in the same arena, and why advertisers put so much more trust into Google AdWords – Because they have a model that promotes itself through word of mouth and results that you can trust. Google also continues to make constant minor changes to its PPC model to provide consistent advances in technology, as well as the best possible services available for its users.

With the consistent decline in the click through rate (CTR) of banner advertisements and the like, it is not difficult to see why PPC ads are so popular. Banner ad CTR’s often fall below 0.1%, and are continuing to do so. Compare this to PPC CTR’s, which can often be up to 100 times better when optimised efficiently by a Google Advertising Professional.

What I find upsetting in this area of Google’s Advanced PPC model is that advertisers believe that they are fully capable in managing their own PPC accounts. While this may be the case in some circumstances, most advertisers simply do not have the time or the expertise to fully manage a Google AdWords account in order to capitalise on performance and results.

Almost everything can be measured in a Google AdWords account, providing the advertiser with a wealth of information, compared with lesser advertising techniques where you must simply be content with lots of traffic that may or may not convert into sales. With Google AdWords you can measure conversion rates and do something about them if they are below your expectations.

With a Google Advertising Professional at the reins, they can check every item that is available to them through the AdWords platform to provide the best CTR’s, and ultimately the best Return On Investment (ROI). Successful deployment of an AdWords account involves making use of all of its features, repetitively, as new advertisers enter the market and old ones leave. The PPC market is ever changing, and so too must your account to keep up both with the changes in the number of advertisers and in the trends by prospects searching for your products and/or services throughout different times of the year. Also you will excel over your competitors who are managing their own campaigns, not knowing/using all of the features available in their Google AdWords account.

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