As a small business owner, you are trying to maximize your marketing dollars. A common question I hear from Internet Marketing customers in Dallas is: What is better? Adwords PPC or Organic SEO. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this. Let’s define some terms and then look at data from one of our website properties.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search engine optimization is the process of developing a technical plan to ensure high rankings for your website across multiple search engines. Search engine optimization is a part of Internet Marketing strategy. It has to do with ranking one or more pages on your website for a given set of keywords. Keywords are typically a combination of words for example “Plano dentist” that an Internet user can enter on a Search engine. Important point is that the ranking occurs in an organic manner without any paid advertising.
Search engines include Google, Yahoo and Bing among others. Search engine optimization comprises of On-page and Off-page optimization. Some Dallas SEO gurus mention that SEO or Search engine optimization has higher ROI as you have to do it once, not sure if I agree with that 100%. Let’s take a look at our website in question. This site provides SQL Server training in Dallas Fort worth area.
I am looking at data from dates 7/8/12 through 9/5/12. We are primarily interested in Keywords, Visits and Pages/visit. Here is partial data from Google Analytics with our organic Seo keywords.
Organic SEO results in Google Analytics
What is Google Adwords?
Google Adwords is a “contextual” based, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform from Google. Contextual means that this dynamic form of advertising is directly related to the search term entered on a Search engine. So if you are looking at a website on “Gardening in Texas” on Google, the Google Ads shown on the site will be related to the topic of gardening in Texas. This is by far the most successful advertising innovation in Internet Marketing. It is a big shift from the regular advertising where you show the advertising regardless of the audience intention, like newspaper, print, radio and regular online banner ads. Using this new medium, small business can effective compete with the big boys for a fraction of the advertising cost.
Having said that, setting up Google Adwords is pretty easy. However getting it to generate viable leads and business for you is not trivial. Nevertheless, we have used it successfully on several customer sites in Dallas, TX. Let’s take a look at data from one of our Google Adwords campaign that we ran on the above mentioned site.
Google Adwords results in Google Analytics
As you can see that we have a number of new keywords that are generating viable traffic to the site. I was surprised especially with “sql for dummies” visitors looking at more than 2 pages per visit! That is quite impressive. Another angle I could pursue would be to have a dedicate page on Seo keyword “SQL Server 2008 books” as it generated twice as many visits as my regular SEO term.
So to conclude this, who came out ahead? Adwords PPC vs. Organic SEO. I would say “No One”; you should use both avenues to drive traffic to your site or blog. Next use Google Analytics for business intelligence to make some sense of the data. Finally go back to the drawing board and tweak your site to get even more visitors.
This post was written by Kash Mughal who manages Dallas SEO Company. You can reach him via: