There are many ways to approach online advertising, but the two most used methods are PPC (Pay Per Click) and article marketing. In fact, the debate for superiority between these two methods has existed since the beginning of internet advertising. PPC is paid marketing while article marketing is a natural SEO (Search Engine Optimization) method. Which is the better advertising method? Is there a clear winner? Does one offer better ROI (Return On Investment) than the other?
Some light search engine research for some answers to the questions above will yield some conflicting information. Some will cite PPC as the best form of internet advertising, while others side with natural SEO and article marketing as the best solution. To figure out the truth behind each advertising method, it’s important to consider the source of the information as well as some other contributing factors. For example, studies sponsored by PPC companies tend to be favorable to PPC above all other forms of online advertising. Both the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and ComScore analytics companies show results that are not very objective for this very reason.
To get to the bottom of the situation, several factors need to be considered. There’s no question that both PPC and article marketing work, but to determine which is best we need to dig deeper into the question at hand.
In order to make an informed decision about which is the better advertising method, it’s important to understand the criteria on which the decision should be made. Three main factors should be considered: click-through rates, cost-effectiveness, and the conversion ratio offered by the marketing method.
When an online user uses a search engine for information, products, or services, they’re immediately presented with ten search results. There are fewer PPC listings than there are natural search results, which might be enough to keep the online user from clicking on the Pay Per Click ad. If there are plenty of “real” results, then there’s no need to click on an advertisement, but for a website to rank in the top 10 results for a specific keyword, the content of the site has to be relevant to the query. In addition to query relevance, there also needs to be relevant internal HTML code, which takes knowledge and expertise to execute.
Article marketing and natural search results are what they sound like – there is no fee to be listed. With PPC advertising, the company that has the higheset bid will place high in search result rankings, whether their site is relevant to the user’s search or not. Article marketing ensures that the website with the most relevance to the user’s search query is provided.
The essence of this issue is that PPC ads may not necessarily provide what the consumer wants to see. Consumers are steadily learning this as well, and it only takes a few occurrences for an online user to completely ignore PPC ads. Even those who argue in favor of PPC advertising admit that they hold very little substance and relevant content. The ads are usually short, utilizing a few words to get the user’s attention. Often times the words or phrases are misleading and dishonest. When a user clicks on the ad, they’re taken to a sales page, which immediately offends many people who are looking for real information online. Current research shows that online users are leaning towards natural results more frequently for these very reasons.
Unlike PPC ads, article marketing is not a short-form method of online marketing. It is an ideal way to present real and viable information for online users. Article marketing isn’t just about selling – it’s about informing, teaching, and passing along information. Article marketing provides online users with content full of data, information, details, and vital points. PPC ads, on the other hand, don’t say much of anything. Someone in a hurry might click on a PPC ad to because it seems faster, but those who want to take their time and make an informed decision usually go with natural search engine results over advertisements.
So the question remains, which online advertising method is better? The answer depends on the type of consumer your business needs. Is it more beneficial to take advantage of those without much time to do a thorough search? Or would you prefer the consumers who would like to gather information in order to make a solid decision about something?
Some advantages for both PPC advertising and article marketing are detailed below.
Pay Per Click Marketing
-Generate instant results instead of taking time to provide results -ComScore statistics show users had an 18.3% click-through-rate “paid” results vs. natural search results with a 4.3% click-through-rate
Article Marketing and Organic SEO
-Majority of users will read the first three pages of search results when looking for real information and won’t click on a PPC advertisement -Generate traffic with long lasting results -Not instantaneous, but can surpass PPC in terms of longevity and viability -iProspect and Webxico statistics show 77% of users choose organic results instead of PPC ads
The Underlying Problem for Marketers
The real issue here is not initial cost or performance, it is longevity. With PPC ads, you will pay an immense amount of money to have a high volume of traffic for a short time. In addition, managing PPC campaigns can be onerous, as it can consume an immense amount of time.
You’ll also find that PPC campaigns can pose problems in another area – the cash outlay required to keep them running. While the economy is showing signs of new life, that hasn’t trickled down to the average business just yet. So, unless you have some deep pockets to keep your campaigns funded, you’ll find that they can quickly drain your limited cash reserves. Therefore, they have little longevity – none compared to the amount of time that article marketing can drive traffic where you want it.
Article marketing offers you another important advantage – the trust of your customers. Increasingly, Pay Per Click ads are looked at askance. They can be misleading, and many consumers find them untrustworthy. As Internet users become increasingly savvy, the limited benefits offered by PPC campaigns dwindles further. Article marketing, on the other hand, increases in effectiveness, as it provides your customers with what they want – real information on which to base their decision.
To sum up, PPC ads go defunct as soon as you stop funding them. That can be quite soon in many instances. Article marketing continues to deliver traffic for as long as the website is operating – in perpetuity, very possibly. While PPC has its place, it should be obvious by now that article marketing is a superior marketing method for businesses, and offers some significant advantages.
Article marketing offers natural search engine results (which are highly preferred over Pay Per Click ads), and also gives you a higher level of trust in your customers. Finally, article marketing simply costs less – you have no cost outlay for landing pages, ongoing keyword bids or domain names that you really don’t need. It also helps build links back to your website, which is an invaluable benefit with the weight that Google places on high-ranking backlinks.
ROI: PPC vs. Article Marketing
How do both of these methods stack up in terms of return on your initial investment? Well, that depends on what you are looking at as a return. If you want instant traffic and immediate sales, then PPC does offer a good ROI, at least initially. However, over time, that ROI will erode and you’ll end up paying more for each customer than you might think possible.
Article marketing, at least on a first inspection, has a slower ROI. That is, you will see very little instant return on your investment. However, there are two significant considerations here. First, your investment will be much lower as it is less costly to market via articles than it is through PPC campaigns. Second, your return will be far, far longer lasting. Long after you can no longer remain competitive on specific keywords, articles will still be driving traffic.
In addition, several studies have suggested that organic ROI is more consistent than PPC. Gord Hotchkiss explained the situation. Suppose you have 50 high traffic search terms. For these 50 terms, there are 2.8 million searches each month. Using ComScore’s stats, that equals 456,000 visitors for PPC and 153,000 visitors from article marketing.
The actual cost of the 456,000 PPC visitors would be higher than $500,000, with a CPC of $1.18. Even with the highest priced SEO company (with charges of about $10,000 per month), you are only paying $10,000, rather than $500,000. Therefore, article marketing’s virtual CPC is $0.07. Even accounting for PPC’s higher conversion rate, 3,647, you’re still forking over $147.08 per person. Now, contrast that with the 611 visitors from article marketing and you are paying $16.37 per person. That also gives you higher quality of customers and generates traffic for eternity.
You also need to consider the quality of the traffic that both methods drive to you. PPC campaigns are far more likely to generate traffic that bounces out. Even if you enjoy a relatively high conversion ratio, you’ll still be paying many times more for each customer than you would through article marketing.
Article marketing generates higher quality customers with a greater potential to return and make another purchase. This offers significant benefits, as you do not have to attract them again – repeat customers come at no cost.
Finally, article marketing is just a onetime investment – you pay for the article to be created, and that is it. With PPC, you have ongoing costs for the keywords that you target, and, as mentioned, those costs can become exorbitant. Article marketing will actually repay you for the cost of article creation over time, while PPC will do little more than drain your funds.
Both PPC and article marketing have their place. Increasingly, companies are choosing to combine the two – with PPC campaigns targeting low-cost keywords that may or may not result in immediate traffic and their articles targeting high-worth keywords. However, article marketing still stands as the best option for those who want high-quality traffic and long-lasting results from their marketing efforts.
Our knowledge of quality SEO writing and article marketing will assist you in driving more traffic to your website and increase your search engine ranking, with out leaving your pockets empty like PPC.