Search Engine Optimization:

SEO and Pay-Per-Click: How Local Retailers Can Gain A Competetive Edge

SEO vs. PPC? -- It Doesn't Have To Be 'Either-Or'

As pay-per-click (PPC) ad prices continue to rise and margins continue to shrink; larger corporations have already begun to increase their SEO spending. For SMBs exploring the possible advantages of organic SEO, there is a uniquely frustrating challenge to those who need to evaluate and recommend:

The inability to estimate the results of SEO-- and the time it will take to realize them-- makes a sound cost/benefit analysis elusive. The popular misconception that PPC and SEO are the “fast” and “slower” versions of the same thing complicates the evaluation process even more.

The paid advertising model is exactly what it says-- advertising. Search engine optimization is not. While search engine prominence is the most widely recognized goal of SEO, that’s far from being the only business value it delivers.

Without a clear understanding of how SEO is implemented, it’s impossible to identify, much less, quantify, the broad range of benefits that are intrinsic to the SEO process. Within small to mid size organizations (SMBs), the business impact can be profound.

Initially, the low cost per visitor might make a paid option attractive, but it’s value per visitor that produces net profits and ROI.

Paid advertising will, unquestionably, deliver traffic faster than SEO. Whether it delivers faster or cheaper actual benefits depends on something else entirely.

How Quality Web Content Boosts Local Retail Sales

Consumers have spoken. They want information-- and visit 3-5 websites looking for it before they buy. There’s also ample evidence to show that shoppers who search online before making offline purchases spend more than those who don’t.

A recent study by TMP Directional Marketing, the leading local search and yellow pages marketing agency, was the first of its kind involving consumers seeking local businesses. A majority - 60% - of the consumers surveyed said they first go online for conducting a local search.

The study revealed 82% of local online searchers follow up offline with an in-store visit, or phone call. Of these, 61% made purchases.

The TMP survey breakdown was as follows:.

  • 30% use general search engines, (Yahoo, Google, MSN)
  • 17% use Internet yellow pages (IYPs)
  • 13% use local search sites, such as Citysearch

PPC can be very effective in delivering this traffic, but optimized website content is ultimately what drives sales. Since content development is at the heart of SEO, it makes good business sense to build a strategy that leverages both.

Continued: SEO Competitive Analysis

Related services

Are You Local Yet?

  • Last year, 82% of consumers researched online before making in-store purchases.
  • In fact, 47% of local searchers either contacted or visited a local merchant as a result of an online search; so it's clear that their buying decision has already been made.

    A growing number of shoppers are searching with their cell phones, yet few companies have mobile friendly sites.

    Businesses need to be listed whether they have a website or not.

    Our local search services help you get more local customers and establish a mobile presence for less than $1 a day.

    Click here to find out how

Related Resources