Sustainability of SEO Over PPC
In a previous post, we discussed the main differences between search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC), the two main web traffic drivers.
For short-term marketing goals, PPC is a great source of immediate traffic, but for a traffic source that consistently drives high quality long-term traffic then SEO is the best option.
One factor that makes PPC a difficult sustainable marketing channel is the steady increase in CPC as can be seen below. Some highly competitive keywords have seen their CPC more than doubled in the last four years.
We call this trend CPC inflation which is the gradual increase of average cost-per-click over time when other variables appear to be the same. It means having to spend more per-click just to maintain your average position or impression share.
That is why the sustainability of SEO makes it the most cost-effective driver of website traffic in the long run because it delivers (1) high-quality traffic with intent to buy and (2) an increase in ROI over time. No digital marketing channel generates long-term traffic, leads, and sales with a better ROI than SEO.
On average, SEO is 12% of a typical marketing budget but generates 14% of leads.
Despite having 8% of the marketing budget, PPC generates only 6% of leads. If you are spending more of your marketing budget on PPC than SEO, then your lead generation program is costing you traffic and revenue.
It’s not just the number of leads generated from SEO that makes it such an important inbound tactic it is the quality of those leads.
When asked for the average percentage of leads converted to sales by marketing channels, marketers sighted SEO as the most effective marketing channel.
That’s why Search Engine Optimization is a more sustainable and cost-effective driver of website traffic than PPC is in the long run. The longer you engage in good SEO practices, the lower the cost of driving each visitor to your website. No other traffic source does that.
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