The Search Engine Battle: Organic (SEO) vs PPC

Organic SEO vs PPC
Dave Wright - Web ManagerWritten by: Dave WrightWeb Manager

We’re all familiar with Google’s search results page. When you perform a search, Google displays a list of “organic” links it believes best suit the phrase you typed. Google also displays two paid advertising (sponsored links) areas.   You too can have an ad appear in these areas. It’s a fast way to the top - but it will cost you.   The price varies widely depending on the popularity of the keywords you choose to trigger your ads. It’s basically a bidding war with the other advertisers. So a small shoe store in Mesa, Arizona might pay more for their ad to appear for a highly competitive search phrase such as “Shoe Stores” but considerably less for a phrase such as "Vintage Shoes in Mesa Arizona". The fees are only assessed when somebody clicks on the ad, which is why this type of advertising is called "pay-per-click", or PPC. Google’s PPC program is called Google Adwords. This is where Google makes its money.

Would PPC advertising benefit you? If website traffic means more business to you, then the answer is probably yes. But if your business is mostly people driving by your establishment, such as a gas station for instance, then probably not.

There are many advantages to using PPC.   First and foremost, you can start now.   Right now. This differs from SEO (discussed below) in that it takes time to achieve milestones and recognition to move your site up in rank. Also, there are no surprise bills with PPC. You set your daily budget and when the budget is reached, your ads simply don’t appear anymore on that day.   You can also set the start and stop time and what areas of the world, country, state or city your ad will appear. And you can change your mind at any time, too, so you are in complete control. PPC is a great tool which allows for testing and provides detailed results. So you can begin with a small budget and time-frame to start, measure the results, make necessary changes and move on from there.

The other, more favorable way to appear at the top of Google or any other search engine for that matter, is in their “organic” listings. This is the preferred place as these are the more natural “organic” results that Google and other search engines deem worthy (all without the monetary bribe).   These are the results you see outside of the advertising areas. Your organic listing will cost you nothing directly from the search engines, but getting to the top of their list isn’t a walk in the park. Most sites on page one have hired an expert to get them there. Search engines have a complex algorithm that identifies which websites should be on page one for a given keyword or phrase. It analyzes and ranks all websites based on hundreds of variables, and they change this algorithm regularly and they keep much of it a secret. The tedious and time-consuming task of analyzing and modifying a site to reach page one of Google and keep it there is called “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO). Anyone at the top of page one of Google will tell you it is worth the investment to hire a professional. It won’t do you any good if your site is buried deep in the results, on page 2 or 202. We all know that no one is going to dive that deep into the results to find a website.

Avenue 25 has extensive experience with SEO, and we’re very proud of the results we have obtained for our clients — including ourselves!   As one of the best full-service advertising agency and marketing firms in Arizona, we would love to meet with you and strategize a customized approach to driving traffic (and ultimately sales) to your site.