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SEO scores over pay per click advertising

The power of natural SEO

As search engines become more essential to our everyday life, and Internet surfers become more sophisticated, reaching the right target audience is more critical to your Internet Marketing success. Latest studies by Marketing Sherpa and Forrester point to the supremacy of natural search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques over paid search marketing tactics.

Natural SEO pulls in a whopping 97% of buyers and purchase decision makers as compared to a meager 6.4% by the paid search engine marketing. Ignoring ‘free’ (natural) SEO in favour of paid search marketing is a bad decision. While the paid search engine marketing campaign may provide quicker results, natural SEO tactics are proven to achieve higher conversion rates consistently. Many web marketers use paid search marketing to build traffic to their websites quickly as they may need to promote their new product or service as it launches.

On face value pay-per-click advertising does look easy as you bid on a keyword and higher bids provide higher positions. This enables web visitors to view your listings amongst the top results for your targeted keywords. You may not invest in search engine optimisation and link building; as you only have to pay for your visitors and hope to quickly build targeted traffic.

However, this process often turns out to be a false mirage, in the long run, as web visitors may not be well qualified prospects with a low conversion rate. Often marketers have to raise keyword bids above the threshold of profitability in order to sustain top listings in the paid search results. When the money you spend on PPC exceeds your revenues it may not be worth to continue with the paid online promotion. In many cases it pays to seriously consider natural (organic) search techniques. People often tend to ‘trust’ natural SEO content more than the paid advertisement content.

Some internet users also find paid search ads plain irritating as they may not be able to map to their search requests sufficiently. Natural SEO is viewed as legitimate; honest marketing as SEO marketers take great pains to evolve the content as per changing market needs consistently. Diligent SEO measures like blogging and building backlinks from reputed web businesses and affiliates always results in more relevant offerings and related content. Search engines love relevance of your content and these natural SEO efforts and reward you with higher search engine page results which in turn bring in more revenues through higher conversion rates.

The Advantage Natural SEO

The latest Search Attitudes Report (2008) shows that sponsored links do suffer greatly from consumer skepticism. More than 1 in 3 consumers say that they choose natural over paid results as they trust their chosen search engine to show them the most relevant results & almost 1 in 5 prefer natural SEO results as they have better ‘identifying extra information’ that accompanies organic search results (the text explaining the result).

The importance of these factors was found to be uniform across all genders and generations, demonstrating a convergence of opinion brought by an enhanced understanding of the difference between natural and paid search techniques. In fact it is this increased awareness that is pulling down the effectiveness (conversion rates) of the paid search ads. Paid search efforts are increasing suffering from their perceived lack of content-transparency/authenticity. As there has been alignment of opinion across all genders and generations due to increased understanding of different web marketing techniques.

This means it is more important than ever that marketers move away from an over-reliance on paid search marketing and implement a more balanced organic search strategy.