SEO and PPC Costs and Results Compared

Results and costs of SEO vs PPC Comparison

SEO and PPC are both important components of any marketing program.  SEO has the potential to drive traffic and sales leads at significantly less cost than PPC, but marketers often lack control over the results at a given time.  Pay-per-Click (PPC) provides marketers the ability to throttle leads by increasing or decreasing campaign budgets, but the cost of that traffic tends to be higher.  Both methods call for comprehensive, almost scientific approaches to achieve optimal performance (e.g., campaign landing page testing, keyword testing, and the like).

A true SEO vs PPC comparison should depend on real data, which can take time to obtain.  Fortunately, Polar Design has over a decade of experience and client data: the two charts below illustrate some key differences that we’ve observed over time across multiple campaigns.  As the first chart shows, SEO tends to deliver less targeted traffic than PPC, leading to lower conversion rates assuming a PPC campaign is targeted and well-optimized.

SEO vs. PPC Conversion Rates

However, every dollar spent on SEO tends to yield 3X – 4X the traffic or more depending on your time horizon.  PPC traffic comes and goes with campaign spending, but SEO traffic persists since search engine rankings tend to persist after a bout of SEO effort.

SEO vs. PPC Visitor Traffic Over Time

So, what do you do?

Read our SEO vs PPC Case Study to learn more about campaign management principle and how Polar Design obtains high conversion and ROI for its clients by combining both approaches.  The secret lies in a process grounded in testing, which we can either train clients to do or execute on their behalf.

Polar Design continues to develop new insights and best practices in SEO and PPC.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about your own initiatives.

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