The big debate…
There are many Online Marketing “Guru’s” out there that proffer Page One ranks, top ranked adverts and more…in my 10 years of this business, I have not really seen results from any Adwords campaigns I have done.
Now, while many may argue with that, I am only relating my experience and success with Organic SEO rather than Paid Per Click (PPC) strategy.
In 2011, I built Saving Energy, a website dedicated to giving proper information on Energy saving products. I did this because I saw that people would be open to inaccurate information re energy products and service.
Due to the SEO done on the geyser timers then, I started getting enquiries for these products and then started the supply and installation business from the website in 2012.
During that time , I have done ZERO PPC advertising and despite this, the business has grown exponentially from a R50000-00 a year business to a R1,5million per year business in 4 years.
Plus, the additional revenue generated from advertising has made this site a R2 million media asset.
Remember – NO ADWORDS!
Fragmented niche markets & Competition.
I believe that there are several factors that favour SEO over PPC and this is what I recommend to all clients I deal with.
With proper SEO research into trends both current and rising, it is possible to create and deliver powerful content based sites that focus PURELY on the specific target search target market.
When Google changed it’s content policies some years ago to reward sites that deliver meaningful and relevant content , rather than ‘slap-bang’ sites, this move shifted the scales in favour of organic SEO.
On top of that , the markets and products are becoming more and more fragmented as people search for more and more specific products and services.
This is great news for SEO and BAD news for PPC.
It means that properly constructed SEO content based websites will rank and dominate in specific niche markets and organic traffic is FREE and of higher quality (in my opinion) as this is where SERIOUS buyers will go.
The massive competition for Adwords is one of the GREATEST barriers to success that this strategy offers- not to mention the costs!
My search strategy.
When I want to find a product or service online, I will ALWAYS go to the top 3 organic search results and will NEVER go to Adwords!
Adwords relies on clever copy writing and marketing terms designed to attract potential buyers but, with so many adverts on the same page for the same product, how would I choose a company based on a 3 line text advert?
Simple answer – I WOULDN’T and I DON’T!
I would rather take the time to go to a company site that offers what I want and has taken the time to provide proper and accurate information, allowing me to compare and make informed decisions about which company to contact and enquire with, rather than ‘clicking away’ on adverts to see what comes up!
As a business owner that appreciates the time and effort made to construct a decent websites that focuses on ME, the customer and NOT YOU the business, I will choose the organic SEO route EVERY TIME.
The top 3 listings get 62% of the search traffic.
The study done by Chitika clearly shows that if your site is in the top 3, you will get your fair share of traffic and if you are No 1, then you get 33%!
New findings from online ad network Chitika confirm it’s anything but lonely at the top. According to the study, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there.
This particular study was done in 2013, but since this was after many of the Google Updates, I would say that not much has changed since then.
Think about your own search habits…do you even look at the Adverts or simply go to the top 3 results and click on those?
The Bounce Rate – Business Lead Killer and financial black hole!
While there are many Online Marketing companies that swear by PPC for traffic, many of them NEVER explain the Bounce Rate to clients.
If you are involved with such a company , have a look at your Analytics report and look for the Bounce rate.
Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).
As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm depending on the website. Anything over 70 percent is disappointing for everything outside of blogs, news, event.
Now let’s consider this in the PPC Context..
Let’s say you are spending R5 000 per month on an Adwords campaign and (like the example above) you get 1011 clicks on your advert to your website.
That’s a cost per click of R4-95.
“So, I’m getting 1000 visitors per month..” you say…
Actually , you’re not.
The Bounce Rate says that 78,73% of all your visitors fail to engage with your site beyond page 1 .
So, out of your 1011 visitors, 795 don’t engage beyond page 1.
Out of your R5000 , R3936-50 PER Month is WASTED!!
Thats’s R47238 PER YEAR- WASTED!!
I also know that there are businesses out there that spend TENS of THOUSANDS on PPC adverts..I wonder if they’ve ever looked at their Bounce Rate…
SEO & Bounce rate.
Below is the latest image (taken TODAY at 11.34 am) of the Google Analytics from Saving Energy , a high quality content based SEO site that offers proper relevant content on a variety of energy saving products and services.
The stats you see are for the past YEAR and you can see the difference immediately!
- Average page/ session = 4.65 VS 1,39 for the site above.
- The average session duration is 95 seconds, now while that may seem low, this means that people are able to find what they want quickly! Poor navigation is one of the big issues around a high bounce rate.
- Finally, the bounce rate of 1,14%! That is exceptional considering that a bounce rate of 26%-40% is considered EXCELLENT by Google!
- So, out of the 55430 visitors, only 631 engaged with the entry page only.
Which would you rather have for your business?
That answer is an absolute no brainer.
This is why this site is now a R2 million per year Media Asset.
Time to revisit your whole online strategy.
Many companies make the mistake of having a website that costs money every month and then may do little more than tell potential clients ‘about them’.
My philosophy is a bit different. I create Digital Media Assets that can be counted as an asset on the company assets /liabilities list and this makes the accountants happy!
Why build a site unless it is going to generate revenue for you? You don’t build a business to just tell people about you? So why do the same with your website?
How would having a website that generate actual MONEY for you and wasn’t costing you a fortune every month make a difference to your bottom line?
While SEO does take longer to have an impact , the value of providing a high quality content relevant site to your market is immeasurable – the SEO / Bounce Rate graph shows this conclusively.
The purpose of this feature was not to negate PPC in any way, only to provide information to you based on 10 years experience and having websites that are ranked no 1 that deliver revenue at no cost.
That is the beauty of SEO – the cost. While the strategy and build will required investment, the long term benefits FAR outweigh the investment!
An ongoing relevant and targeted content strategy will win over PPC / Adwords any day and more importantly will position your business as a trusted authority in the eyes of both Google and your clients and this is ultimately what every business wants.
It’s time top revisit your current online strategy.
Give me a call or drop me a mail.
Craig Berman is the MD at Tau Triton Media.
076 811 1993