Picked First Digital Success Guide

Take a closer look behind the digital curtain for industry-leading insights. Search engine optimisation, demystified.

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What Is The Best Value Paid or Organic Traffic?

When it comes to acquiring traffic for your website, in a business sense there is a very real difference between paid traffic and organic traffic.

Not simply a matter of calculating the costs of each channel but fully taking into consideration the responsiveness and the convertibility of each channel.

Organic Traffic Is 50% Less Expensive

In simple cost terms, it is not uncommon to expect highly trained SEO specialists to be able to return a 50% reduction in traffics costs when going head to head with paid traffic sources, in particular Google Adwords PPC.

There is another dimension that needs to be taken into account when analysing the value of each traffic source. When it comes to “Ads” or “Advertisements”, the psychology behind someone who clicks on an ad, typically renders their potential to make a buying decision, a whole lot less likely.

Let me explain: Google savvy web surfers, know the difference between an ad, and an organic listing in the Google search results. Despite Google’s best efforts to provide people with a “poor user experience” ie, trick them into clicking on an ad, so they can make money, smart users can identify the Ad symbol and move down to the organic listings, as these have a higher reputation of being the best results. Ads on the other hand can be bought by any Tom, Dick, or Harry, and therefore render themselves with a whole lot less trust.

So if people come in on the back of not trusting what they are seeing, then they are less likely to move towards a buying decision.

Some may argue at this point, that if they don’t know they are clicking on an Ad, then their bias would be neutral. This is the very reason why Google tries to hide the fact that they are ads, and trick people into thinking, these must be the best search results because they are at the top.

Above The Fold Layout Penalty: Google Really?!

A few years back now, Google had the hide to come out arrogantly claiming that anyone with an “Ad” above the fold on their website would be penalised, as this represents a poor user experience. This penalty was referred to as the “Layout Penalty“. Google has been doing this very thing for years, but they don’t seem to penalise themselves.

But I digress, back on topic here. Paid traffic typically costs more because the cost of clicks via PPC or Google Adwords has risen so high due to the constant messing with organic listing algorithms. With Penguin, Panda, and now Fred wrecking the rankings of websites, many folks have decided to give up on SEO and go with what Google wants them to do, namely pay for the traffic that they feel is the only way to make money from their website. With the way Google increase bid prices based on the “auction model”, is it any wonder in some highly competitive markets, come cost per click prices can be as high as $200 or more. Now that is a high price to pay to get someone to visit your website, and when you consider the number of visitors you need to have visited before one converts to a paying customer, this can be a very costly exercise.

Naturally not all markets are this saturated and expensive but I think you get the idea. Google started selling each and every click for just 10c back when they started selling ads on their site. This soon evaporated and became the auction system we have today.

So with higher convertibility and lower overall visitor costs, SEO, or search engine optimisation when done the right way that produces #1 rankings, there really is no better choice. If your experience has not matched what I have been talking about here, and you are feeling like there is no hope in SEO anymore, then it is probably time we spoke. I have helped many companies in both Australia and overseas to achieve higher profits through smart and effective SEO. If this is you, then get in touch today.

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