Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is considered a higher priority by most seasoned marketing pros when compared to pay-per-click (PPC) and other online ad programs, especially for branding campaigns. Here is one good reason why:

‘Heavy clickers’ distort online advertising

The people clicking on your banner ads may not be the target audience you’re seeking, according to a new Starcom USA study. The study revealed that so-called “heavy clickers” are typically between the ages of 25 and 44, with a household income of under $40,000. They represent only 6% of the online population, but account for 50% of all display ad clicks.

Heavy clickers spend about four times more time online than non-heavy clickers….they aren’t necessarily brand loyal and often don’t even pay attention to the brand they are buying….

Source: BizReport.com, February 13, 2008 (Hat’s off to the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce for including this piece in their email newsletter, “Business Intelligence Report,” March 2008)

Assuming the above is correct, there is a tremendous amount of money being spent on 6% of the online population when you consider these recent reports published by The Internet Ad Bureau and the Kelsey Group (quote below is an excerpt of Erick Schonfeld’s summary on TechCrunch here):

Two reports are out today on the size of the Internet advertising market.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has a preliminary estimate of $21.1 billion for U.S. Internet ads in 2007, a 25 percent increase over 2006….Meanwhile, the Kelsey Group puts U.S. Internet advertising at $22.5 billion for 2007…

Also according to The Kelsey Group’s Annual Forecast (2007-2012), “interactive advertising revenues will increase significantly from $45 billion in 2007 to $147 billion globally in 2012, representing a 23.4 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate).”

Getting back to the benefits of organic SEO

Organic SEO has many benefits:

  • Long shelf-life, if you will. It can literally improve your website traffic and support your rankings for years.
  • Lower long-term marketing costs given content, keywords, and meta-tags don’t expire – a PPC ad campaign requires constant refueling.
  • Requires focus on relevant content of value to your target audience. Although this is always important, it is a must for attaining desired organic SEO results.
  • Helps you create valuable networking relationships with other business owners and online communities – as you get more traffic others will want to be linked to your site and the information you provide.

There are a few drawbacks. Organic SEO requires marketing savvy, some tech talent, and time to properly implement the online strategies.

We’re not saying PPC advertising isn’t worth considering, not at all. It comes down to your highest ROI. First, prepare your site, blog, newsletter, social networks, email, and other online materials to maximize your organic SEO. Make it a priority before you get out your wallet for that marvelous PPC ad campaign.