Online Marketing Showdown SEO Vs PPC Vs Social Media

In internet marketing, or any type of marketing for that matter, return on investment is the most important metric to determine the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. By determining how many customers were acquired per dollar spent you can consider whether or not to continue that form of marketing.

Online there are numerous different options for getting your brand and products names out to the public. Pay per click Advertising, social media marketing and banner ads are some of the most highly use along with search engine optimization. Below is a comparison of each one of the marketing mediums and SEO as well as their effect on ROI:

1. SEO vs. PPC – Pay-per-click advertising is a widely used marketing tool that can be highly effective for website owners. With PPC you can specifically target you ads to your target audience to reach your potential customers.

The problem with PPC is that it can be pricy and the click through rate is usually low. For highly competitive niches like “personal injury attorney” the cost per click can get as high as $20. If your conversion rate is 1% then you are spending $2,000 per customer. Putting time into SEO and getting your website into the top three can give you more traffic and a click through rate of around 10% without the high cost.

Additionally, search engine optimization benefits will continue long past the campaign’s conclusion. Even though there is usually a need for some tweaking and adding on down the road there is no additional monetary outlay needed like in PPC. For pay per click ads, your ads are only running when you are paying for them to run. So you will only get the possible benefits when you are paying for them. This sounds somewhat obvious but it is clear to see that SEO wins in this internet marketing match-up.

2. SEO vs. Social Media Marketing – social media has exploded as of late. Facebook now has 750 million users and twitter recently announced that they have 100 million users. Using these mediums, companies can now have a voice associated with their brand. This helps consumers feel like they are buying from a person rather than a huge corporation.

This may sound like rainbows and sunshine but how many of these connections are turning into sales. The answer according to recent research is — not many. Sure social media develops the brand and allows a direct channel to fans but time may be spent elsewhere; like SEO. New technologies are being developed to better coordinate social media traffic into conversions but as of now the ROI is simple not there.

3. SEO vs. Banner Ads – banner ads are somewhat of a dyeing platform for advertising. Users, especially younger generation, are becoming very adept at tuning out banner and side page ads. Click-through rates for these are usually abysmal because users are so accustomed to seeing them.

The one positive for banner ads is that they do provide a source of income for bloggers and websites that display them on their site. So for that reason we do hope that they stick around for a little while long.

But in comparison to SEO there really isn’t a contest. Showing in the top results for a phrase with 50,000 monthly searches is going to yield a lot more traffic than paying an exorbitant amount of money on an ad for a site that gets 200,000 hits a month.

SEO, in our opinion at least, is the winner in all three match-ups. The reason being is that it is cheaper because a lot of SEO can be done by the website owner at little to no cost and because being a top search result leads to more qualified traffic than the other forms of advertising on the web. So I suppose the choice is yours. But do keep in mind return on investment when making your next advertising decision.

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