SEO vs. PPC – Data, Heat Maps, n Search OH MY!

Nov 8, 2010

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Posted In : SEO, SEO

So you have a website. You want more traffic. You can’t decide what type of traffic is right for you. Seems pretty common. You have heard about SEO. You have heard about PPC. But you ask yourself, which one is better? Good question. There isn’t a concrete answer that applies to all companies or situations. However, I will give you some empirical evidence to help you out.

First, let me say that I know SEO. I also know PPC. I got into this industry through PPC. I lost a lot of money in PPC, just like you can in ANY form of marketing if you don’t know what you are doing. Now, one to the research and data….

In terms of raw dollars spent on search engine marketing activities, according to SEMPO, 11% of search engine spending is for SEO and 87% is for PPC.

According to Enquiro, the visibility of listings in search engines follow this outline below:

Organic Ranking Visibility

(shown in a percentage of participants looking at a listing in this location)

  • Rank 1 – 100%
  • Rank 2 – 100%
  • Rank 3 – 100%
  • Rank 4 – 85%
  • Rank 5 – 60%
  • Rank 6 – 50%
  • Rank 7 – 50%
  • Rank 8 – 30%
  • Rank 9 – 30%
  • Rank 10 – 20%

Side sponsored ad visibility

(shown in percentage of participants looking at an ad in this location)

  • 1 – 50%
  • 2 – 40%
  • 3 – 30%
  • 4 – 20%
  • 5 – 10%
  • 6 – 10%
  • 7 – 10%
  • 8 – 10%

According to Comscore, clicks on paid search results has gone down over time, and are now around ~22%.

Wouldn’t it be great to see a heat map of where clicks are happening and where the eyeballs of users tend to spend most of their time. Well, here it is… check out the heat map:

Eyeballs on a Website

If you are confused, don’t be. Just start doing more SEO while all of your competitors keep pumping their money into PPC.

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