If you’re not familiar with Detroit’s re-emergence from the chaos that was the Great Recession, it’s been pretty darn inspiring. No one would say that ‘the D’ is anything like it was in 2007, but it’s certainly on the rise, and the influence of forces that is sculpting it’s ascent is surprising. Politics these days is polarized so much that it’s hard to remember that there are times when the private and public sectors work together to accomplish great things — but Detroit is a prime example. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the City of Detroit are working together to make Motown a force to be reckoned with once again.
…but what does this have to do with SEO? Simple: it shows, in a big way, how sometimes the prevailing wisdom is not only wrong, but kind of dumb. For example, most SEO companies out there will tell you pretty unequivocally that pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is, unless you’re in a specific set of circumstances, a bad idea. (Exception: SEO companies that offer PPC management services will be happy to extol it’s virtues, natch.)
Keeping in mind that Google makes pretty decent money off of it’s Adwords service, and thus has decent incentive to promote it, Google has basically shattered that notion. In a study released by the big G, they discovered that simultaneously implementing both SEO and PPC strategies has a pretty big impact over implementing one or the other individually.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty, the end result of their study was that the average customer would get 89% more clicks by combining SEO and PPC than they would from SEO or PPC alone. In other words, if you would be getting 111 clicks/day from SEO, adding PPC will reduce your SEO clicks slightly (say, to about 100), but it will also add 100 more clicks from PPC to your pool.
That doesn’t mean PPC+SEO is right for everyone.
There are those companies out there who simply can’t afford to add a PPC campaign to their SEO efforts. There’s also a very steep learning curve to PPC, so if you don’t have a PPC mentor on-hand, you can end up losing a lot of money before you learn the ropes. Finally, there are those companies can could add PPC, but wouldn’t actually make money by doing so. (For example, if the cost-per-click of your PPC plus the loss of organic traffic exceeds the value of your PPC traffic, it’s not worth the money.
But every company that’s currently only doing SEO or only doing PPC should stop and do the math: could you improve your bottom line if you ignored the prevailing wisdom and spread your efforts between both methods? Maybe you can pull a Detroit: SEO and PPC together can push your website into the limelight and make it matter.