PPC vs. Organic Traffic
So there’s always been this ongoing “battle” between those that do Google PPC and therefore pay for their Google rankings vs. those that depend on their quality content to get good ‘organic’ traffic from Google’s search results.
Which traffic generating method would you rather do? Which one do you favor currently?
Would you rather…
1.Pay top dollar, spend lots of time analysing keywords and competition to be listed at the top of Google’s keyword bidders..
2. ..or spend zero dollars, spend lots of time creating good quality (and relevant) content to get quality traffic just for being listed at the top of Google’s regular search rankings?
Both of these methods actually require quite a bit of work. They both require research, careful keyword selection, and well written copy. Both can generate results as far as making money goes.
But.. what are people actually clicking on when they search something in Google? Do they click on the PPC ads? Do they spend time clicking through page after page of organic search results to try and find what they’re looking for? Or do they do something different…
Well, the answer may be quite different from what you’d expect.
The image below is called a “heat map”. It is the result of a study done with eye-tracking software and mouse movement (and click) tracking software with people that were using Google to search. The “hotter” colors (red, yellow, orange) show where most of the “action” was after the search results were displayed. Where did their eyes go? Where did they click?
Check it out:
It’s really quite interesting. Approximately 75% of the clicks went to the top 3 or 4 search results (on the left side), and only 25% went to the ads (on the right side), and on the ads side only the top 2 ads saw any clicks. Most of the traffic went to the top ‘organic’ sites listed in the search results. Cool, huh?
Notice how the “hot” area is sort of in the shape of a triangle? They call this the “golden triangle”, and for good reason! That’s where you want to be. That’s where the gold is!
And the pattern doesn’t stop on page 1 either.. On reading a little more on these studies, they found that it’s actually better to be listed at the top of page 2 or 3 than it is to be near the bottom of page 1. So… just being on the first page ISN’T everything folks! It seems that as long as you’re “above the fold” you’re in the right territory (meaning the user doesn’t have to scroll down to find your listing).
Of course this doesn’t mean that all searches end up this way. It’s still pretty darn good to be on the first page of Google for the keyphrases you’re targeting. Nothing wrong with that. But this does tell you a lot about the difference in clicks to the organic search results vs. clicks to the PPC ads.
My opinion? I would focus your efforts on getting your own high rankings in Google without having to bid on keywords. It’s more fun (IMHO), it’s a lot cheaper, and the longevity of the traffic is much higher – ie. you’re on top as long as your content is relevant, in PPC you’re on top as long as you’re paying for it!
I hope this helps you out if you’re contemplating using PPC to generate traffic and revenue to your website. Let me know in the comments below what you think, or if you even agree with me..
- Geoff Stephen