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Why Are Companies Giving Up On SEO and Forcing PPC?

I don’t know why so many Execs appear to be giving up on SEO and remain satisfied by continuing to keep throwing more and more money into Paid Search? Why am I bringing this up? Honestly, I had to tell a well-respected industry leader that SEO should not be off the table. I said "No, I totally disagree, giving up on SEO is not recommended and needs the same focus and attention as PPC does." Of course, I provided further scenarios and strategies for SEO’s existence and when the conversation ended, I felt satisfaction when he said "ok, I will keep SEO as part of my plan"

However, this is a serious perception problem.
Why are people willing to forget about SEO and just continue to spend, spend, spend on PPC, especially without any intelligent Quality Score methods and strategies being implemented? Who do you blame? Ummmn GOOGLE. They are brilliant at not only making the interface very easy for anyone, but also motivating them to keep spending money with them. They can get you running in 5 minutes, automatically set your account to the content network and the traffic begins.

So why is SEO getting a bad rap?
My gut feeling is that even today, many execs and VPs out there just don’t understand the value in it, especially the long term investment it provides. Google has created this feeling of "instant gratification" where companies expect to see results instantly. I also think that the I.T. Departments in the larger corporations are hindering the SEO-abilities of the websites. They often have various programming freezes throughout the year and often do not want to understand the importance of "on-page" optimization. All they tend to worry about is making sure the website is functioning properly. These and other issues have become reasons for this thinking or their lack of and remains a serious issue, especially for those companies who are in very competitive industries that probably cannot afford to play the SEM game.

So how do we persuade them towards SEO?
We need to position the discussion around $$ money, long term forecasting, indirect opportunities and strategies. Unless they are expecting to go out of business within the year, the Agency or Search Marketer is responsible for providing "high level common sense" strategies behind the reason why SEO should not be forgotten. Let me explain:

Discuss the Money $aved when compared to PPC:

What I am referring to is getting some "ballpark" traffic and CPC data from sources such as Google’s highly unreliable traffic estimator. I do not recommend this as the best solution, but I am sure there is some software out there to make it a little more reliable. But the main goal of this is put some perspective into the costs of running PPC campaigns against specific groups of keywords, so that they can see the long term cost savings for ranking organically vs. paid.

Long Term Organic Search Forecasting:
This idea is encapsulated around giving the prospect of a continued stream of relevant traffic over the years especially during low and high seasonality trends. Provide them with a yearly expected traffic estimation which includes approximate uniques, returning visitors and possibly sales revenue if you have their average conversion rate.

Indirect Opportunities & Strategies:
I know this one seems a little far fetched, but this strategy often becomes on of those "little goldmines" with regard to visitor intent. For example, suppose you sell Cable TV Service and you want to expand your customer base and exposure to a larger audience. An idea would be to go after the Satellite TV Market, or VoIP where many companies either offer similar services as bundles or are simply competing. The idea to not only provide the consumer with highly relevant and persuasive content, but also very SEO-friendly.

In Conclusion:
Constantly educating and persuading clients/companies to always have a 2-sided search marketing strategy is extremely important for both parties. Just because SEO may take longer and can be a little more difficult to win, just letting it go and putting more money into Google’s piggy bank is not the answer. Search marketers need to constantly analyze the competition, identify saturation and come up with some "out of the box" ideas that will give your client the edge they need to succeed. In the coming years, search marketing will not only continue to get more expensive, but it will take some really innovative strategies and "outside of the box" thinking to win the game.

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8 Responses to "Why Are Companies Giving Up On SEO and Forcing PPC?"

  1. SearchCap: The Day In Search, December 17, 2007

    Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web….

  2. Megan says:

    Great article and even better points. PPC is now becoming a more political thing for me. So I will keep waging the seo factor until I beat them out. Love the way you worded it

  3. Shia Leigh says:

    Nice article.
    A lot of managers just do not understand SEO. They think they paid to get the site up and miss the point that improving SEO goes hand in hand with PPC.

  4. Veiko says:

    The issue in eCommerce is always ROI (return of investment). Using PPC it can be easily calculated and cost of visitor will be direct marketing cost SEO is investment. As far SEO specialists are asking fixed project price or hourly rate, any business owner will consider PPC as better option with less risk.
    Sometimes I have seen questions “Why SEO does not work commission basis?”. I have answered “I will do, if I think I can sell your product”. But then I’m an affiliate not a SEO specialist anymore. SEO is actually much more than optimising a website. It’s keyword and industry metrics research to find key phrases with high KEI (keywords effeciency index), techical optimisation, link building and analytics.
    Veiko Herne
    Independent Internet Consultant

  5. says:

    Why Are Companies Giving Up On SEO and Forcing PPC?

    An article about how some companies are turning a blind eye to SEO and putting more money into PPC because they cannot understand the long term value that SEO offers.

  6. EH says:

    I think some businesses are giving up on SEO because it takes a lot of time. It’s true, SEO does take a lot of time, but when it’s done effectively it can really improve your search rankings and as a result improve your sales. Additionally, companies need to be careful about using paid searches because Google is becoming more and more selective about how it ranks websites. Plus it is becoming increasingly easier to get ‘blacklisted’ by Google.

  7. seo services says:

    Great article and even better points. PPC is now becoming a more political thing for me.

  8. Nice topic. SEO takes a lot of time and effort thats why there are some business giving up on it. It needs a lot of effort to do so, and if not properly done it will affect in your business. while in PPC you need to spend more money than SEO.

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