To see how powerful SEO can be for your business, we need to first look at the difference between driving traffic from organic search results vs other methods. When we compare it to social media for most businesses it really doesn’t compare for a lot of businesses.
The difference in conversion is huge, the difference is that people who’re searching for you or your services on Google are already interested in what you have to offer. If you advertise to somebody whilst on Facebook or Twitter, unless you get lucky, the chances are they are not in the buying mood. The important thing when deciding what source of website traffic to go for is intent. Most people aren’t on social media with the intent to buy, but then not all websites’ goals are to sell.
So, if SEO traffic converts higher than social traffic, does that mean PPC is on an equal level?
PPC is on the same page, only a few pixels lower in fact. So it would be logical to think that they converted the same and drove similar amounts of traffic? Well in this post we’re going to compare PPC and SEO, to show you the difference in them and how they covert.
For the purposes of this post, we’re going to use the same example in our last post, where we compared different designs for plumbing websites. The principles will still apply but to varying degrees depending on the goal of your website.
What Makes SEO Traffic Different?
There is an element of trust that most of us associate with a website/brand that is higher in google which you just don’t get with an ad. Like most people we tend to ignore ads, it’s only natural and you can see that in the CTR (click-through rate) on our example.
In the example above, you can see of the 861 clicks that keyword gets a month, only 23% is through paid search results.
So when we try to work out how powerful can SEO be for your business we have to keep in mind a few things. Let’s look at the potential of our imaginary plumbing business if we could only do either SEO or PPC what would be best for us?
What has the most potential/value?
So, time for some maths.
So what is 23% of the monthly 861 clicks? 198.
What is 77% of the monthly 861 clicks? 631.
So how much would we expect to pay if we wanted the 198 clicks a month through advertising? (keep in mind you will never get 100% of the ad clicks, but for this article, we will keep it simple) $4.50 x 198 = $891 (£686 at time of writing).
Obviously, if we are ranked organically we don’t have to pay per click, but what would the value of the traffic be for our site? Keep in mind we are only looking at one variation of this keyword, we would be targetting a whole host of related keywords.
$4.50 x 631 = $2839.5 (£2185 at time of writing)
Whilst both of these figures are inflated as they don’t take into account the fluctuating CTR of your website and also the competition in the SERPs. You can clearly see the difference in value to your business just from these keywords.
Taking into account the higher trust level potential customers will have with your business if you’re ranked organically vs paying to be at the top, you can see potentially how powerful SEO can be vs other forms of driving traffic.
The value difference won’t always be this big, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. But using this example it is simple to see the potential difference in the two for your business. Whilst you would only expect to pay a fraction of the ad spend of the PPC example above to potentially get multiple times more traffic than if you were to get 100% of the ad clicks.
Which Is Better?
That depends entirely on your model, but it is clear to see which has more potential. Whilst with any SEO campaign you’re not going to appear rank 1 overnight, it usually takes a couple of months to start seeing the benefits of any SEO campaign. This allows businesses to expand with the increased demand for their services at a healthy rate, otherwise, a lot of smaller businesses (depending on your goods & services) wouldn’t be able to handle overnight being rank 1.