Pay per click (PPC) get 5 times more spend vs SEO

Referencing Forrester’s “US Interactive Marketing Forecast,2009 To 2014″ report:

seo vs ppc ad spend

The image above shows the forecast that marketers will continue to spend 5 times more on PPC than SEO.  Likely reasons being that:

  • PPC’s results are more predictable than SEO
  • PPC is easier to do and much faster

Of course, best results can be obtained by mixing them at different stages of your business and different times.

How to use PPC:

  • At the start of a digital marketing campaign.  When organic traffic is near zero, PPC is naturally justified but only when a website is user-friendly and has enough content to be able to convert users who come in from the paid ads.
  • Outsource it when you do not have the skills or time to manage it.  Solutions like Google Adwords can provide great ROI if and only if well managed, else they will be fast and huge waste of money.

How to use SEO:

  • All the time.
    • Website coding needs to be friendly to search engines.
    • If using programs like WordPress then essentially it is built for SEO already, else if site is built from scratch then SEO techniques need to be incorporated right from the start.
    • If SEO is outsourced, enough budget should be allocated for it right from the start.
    • Old sites without enough links to it get a poor record with search engines, so start early with regular content and link building.
  • If done right, SEO should minimally generate 5 times return on investment.  10 times should be a normal.
  • Cheat tip:  Find a SEO consultancy that ranks high for the necessary keywords for more than six months.  SEO consultants shouldn’t need to rely on PPC do they?
  • White hat SEO preferred, as unorthodox black hat methods can get penalized by search engines and remedies can get really costly.

For both:

  • Estimate the target ONLINE market first and the possible returns, then spend accordingly
    • E.g. for a $100k ONLINE market and a desired ROI of 30%, the total marketing spend should not be over $75k.
  • Make sure your consultants set up ROI measurements for you
    • It is crucial to measure results using e.g. Google Analytics to know whether the traffic bring about the purchases or sign ups needed to obtain the desired ROI.
    • Purchase are simple to measure using Google Analytics “Ecommerce” tracking.
    • A value will need to be estimated for sign ups i.e. a new sign up is worth $20 so ROI can be measured.