Archives for February 2009

SEO vs. PPC – Lets Take a Spin Around the Block

Here at Netrafic we offer both PPC (Pay per Click) Advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services to our clients. We feel that puts us on a neutral footing, and qualifies us to answer the following questions that we receive all the time.

The Basics – With PPC click advertising you pay a few coins (or dollars) each and every time a visitor clicks on your advertisement. PPC ads appear on the top and/or right hand side of a search results page under the heading “Sponsored Links.” You set the amount you want to spend per day or month, and select what search terms your ad will appear for. When your money is spent, your ad no longer appears. I like to compare PPC to leasing a car. You can drive a nice shiny sports car for very little down, and a monthly payment.

SEO is the process of working with your web pages so that they will appear in a good position for popular search terms in the free portion of the search results pages. There are dozens of elements that need to be considered (and worked with) to achieve good positioning. If PPC is like leasing a car, then SEO should be compared to buying one. You put your money down, make the payments, and the car is yours forever.

“Which One Should I Choose?” – We hate this question because it makes us sound like a car sales guys … the answer is both! If your site is new, has no natural positioning, or you are moving into new markets then you have no choice, you must spend on PPC. But what about the future? If you fail to build your presence over time, you will be stuck in the “spend for visitors” cycle forever. Your site will never reach its full visitor potential. SEO creates and attracts visitors from a large variety of search term angles, getting visitors that would never have seen your targeted PPC ad.

“Which One Has a Better ROI?” – We realize that Return On Investment should be the leading metric in determining the value of your marketing dollars. PPC math is fast and easy – You spend, visitors visit, conversions are counted, and Voilà – you have your cost versus revenue. At least that’s the way it works if you sell a widget online. If your business provides a service, you need to look at traffic vs. conversion and come up with a formula that determines what a visitor is worth.

On the other hand, SEO tends to be associated with “fuzzy math.” SEO is not an instant traffic fix. The benefits build over time. In the beginning, you will see very little traffic as a result of your Optimization campaign. Then a few months down the road, a trickle of traffic. At the end of a year you should be seeing steady traffic. But the real rewards come in your two, three, and beyond. One day you wake up and realize that your site is nicely positioned for a multitude of prime, traffic producing search terms.

“Can I Stop PPC After the SEO Kicks-in?” – The simple answer is “sure,” you can stop PPC any time you want. The thought process most people have is, “when I get a good organic position, can I stop bidding on that term to save money?” Our answer — why would you? A typical search results page has a maximum number of listing positions (paid and natural combined) of about 22. Having both a paid and natural position on the same results page increases the possibility that you will get noticed.

“Which Gets More Clicks or Attention?” The advantage of PPC is that you can completely control the message that people see, and adjust the ad copy at any time. You can position the ad by increasing or decreasing the amount you pay per click. You can tinker with the destination page to encourage conversion. With organic listings, you need to choose a course for your selected page and let it go. Altering the message or page text substantially can have a negative effect on the pages ability to perform in organic search. However, studies show that the organic listings occupy the more heavily viewed real estate on a web page, that being the top and left hand margin.

In a recent article that evaluated several factors, including where people focus (eye tracking heat chart) on a web page, with relationship to organic vs. sponsored visibility, and click data, the conclusion was that SEO (organic results) receive 75% of all search traffic, and PPC receives 25%.

What You Looking At? Eye Tracking Chart

Have a question not answered here? Contact Us!

E-commerce – Don’t You Just Hate Some Countries?

Link-A-Billy Dave @ NetraficLooking for less traffic? Want your site de-optimized, un-SEO’ed, and basically unreachable? Sounds crazy, but that was the topic of a recent request here at Netrafic.

E-commerce shopping sites have a huge problem with fraudulent credit card orders. This activity can account for as much as 30% of orders that request shipment outside the USA. If you own a shopping cart site that processes credit cards; you already deal with this on a daily basis.

Here is an easy solution to prevent the fraudsters from ever reaching your site – block an entire country with a few key strokes! Russia – Gone! Africa – No More Traffica! China – No Soup for You! The website Country IP Blocks allows you (or your webmaster) to select entire countries by IP Range. This can be added to your .htaccess file, and will prevent visitors from the selected country from ever visiting your site.

Of course if you ship internationally, you have to pick and choose carefully. Let ROI versus incidence of fraud be your guide. Some countries can be a gold-mine for your products… just make sure its not a fools-gold-mine!

YouTube Insight – Analytics for Video

YouTube added a nice little feature to its user interface recently called YouTube Insight. YT account owners can now get some basic metrics on how many visitors each video is getting, plus demographics and popularity by region.

The new information can be accessed by logging into your Tube account, and clicking on the “Account” tab, then click on the “Insight” link, located on the right-hand side.

The most important tab from an SEO perspective is the “Discovery” tab that was added today. This shows how people are finding your video. Netrafic clients will see a high number of visits from the search engines, as video we work with is designed to be found for specific key terms related to your business segment.

Don’t have any video up on YouTube yet? — Here is the best place to start on your first YouTube Video