SEO vs Paid Listings - Which should you choose

Added 17.05.12

The aim of many when it comes to creating a website is to come up as high as possible on the first page of a relevant search, and this can be achieved in two ways – search engine optimisation (otherwise known as SEO) or paid listings. Is one of these ways considered preferable to the other? Well, in actual fact, there are a number of reasons why you should be using SEO over paid listings:

• Cost
It costs you money each time a visitor clicks on one of your paid listings. If, for example, it costs you $5 each time a visitor clicks your paid link and you have 50 people doing this a day, it will cost you $250. Over a year, you will be out of pocket $91,250 for a single keyword! SEO, on the other hand, costs only a fraction of this amount – and your SEO strategy covers 10 plus keywords.

• Click Through Rate
Visitors are more likely to click on the links provided through organic listings (SEO) than they are to click on paid ones. Statistics have shown that only 2-3% of visitors will click on the number one paid link, compared with 41-45% clicking on the first SEO result.

• Long Term Strategy
Paid listings result in immediate, short term results, whereas SEO forms a long term strategy that will keep your website ranking higher for as long as you keep optimizing those keywords. Stop paying for paid links and lose your ranking instantly.

• Cost For Other Search Engines
If you want to get on top of other search engines like Yahoo & Bing, you will have to setup seperate paid listing campaigns. Which means you will spend lot more money. When it comes to SEO, if your website is on top of Google, the odds are it is working well on Yahoo & Bing as well. Another reason why SEO is a much better long term strategy than paid listings.

At the end of the day, it is clear that you are going to receive better results with SEO than you are with paid listings. Whilst such listings may seem cheaper to start off with, they will end up costing you thousands of dollars a year – more than what they’re worth – and the number of clicks is substantially lower than those associated with SEO listings.

For a long term solution that builds your brand’s image and reputation, SEO is definitely the way to go.