Natural Search Engine Rankings Versus Pay Per Click: Which Search Engine Technique Is Better For Advisors?
- Created: Tuesday, 26 July 2011 07:55
Advisors are incredibly cheap, but that’s not the only reason that advisors are better off focusing on their organic search engine rankings rather than pay-per-click advertising.
I’ve been running an informal poll, asking people whether they pay attention to the pay-per-click (PPC) results that are returned at the top of a page of a search. It appears most people do not focus on the PPC results.
To be clear, search results are divided into two areas: PPC and natural results. For example, the screen shot below shows results returned on a search of the term “financial advisors.” The results highlighted by Google with a yellow background are pay-per-click ads. The results on the right below the map are also PPC ads. The results in the main body of the page with a white background are natural, also called organic, search results.
My unscientific poll tells me that more people these days have grown skeptical of PPC results and usually ignore them. Because PPC results are paid for, they are discounted as less reliable or of less use.
Natural search engine results are largely based on algorithms designed by search engines to rank your site based on your URL, how many sites link in to you, who the sites are linking into you, and other content on web pages that can be indexed by the search engines.
PPC results are determined by how much you are willing to pay for a search term. For example, according to data from Google’s PPC program, AdWords, it costs about $10.66 to get one click on your ad if you “buy” the term “financial advisors.” Take a look at the screen shot below from Google’s PPC dashboard, whichs tells the approximate cost per click for the term “financial advisors.”
To be sure, PPC results do have value, if you’re trying to get found on the Web. And with content marketing becoming more common, PPC may become more valuable still. But for now it seems like many people discount the value of PPC results.
Advisors who want to pursue an Internet marketing strategy based on natural search results will want to focus on their effort on content marketing. To be fair, content marketing can cost as much or more than PPC marketing. If you hire others to produce you’re content, you obviously must pay for that. But if you produce your own copy, it can be an inexpensive way to get noticed more often by search engines.
What’s your experience? Are you having success with PPC? Or are you finding that your natural search rankings are bringing you leads?