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SEO Versus Advertising Gives Useful Insights

Stored in Online Marketing and tagged ,
SEO

Sites that focus on both search engine optimization and advertising campaigns will find that making comparisons is a valuable exercise.

Each effort requires time, which means each effort costs money from the labor that goes into that time. So both need a return on investment.

But some sites spend money on advertising campaigns but not on external help with SEO. In that case, the cost of the advertising campaign is higher than the SEO effort because it consumes both labor with a soft cost and money with a hard cost.

That means the ad campaign demands a higher return on investment. So comparisons between search engine optimization and the ad campaign make it more clear if the ROI from advertising is worth it or not.

SEO Versus Advertising

Search engine optimization is a constant activity. It requires regular fine tuning of the elements on a page that matter with search engine rankings.

If a site publisher spent two hours a month on SEO and two hours a month on advertising, the labor costs are the same.

Knowing the metrics of organic visitors each month will create a baseline for comparisons with ad campaigns.

A site publisher can make useful comparisons between SEO and advertising by first identifying which metrics are most important.

Some possible metrics include:

  • Pages per visit when the total content consumption matters.
  • Clicks on ads if the site has advertising.
  • Ecommerce activity if the site sells anything.
  • Email or social signups for the sake of attracting return visits.

Making the Comparisons

A site that runs an advertising campaign obviously should want better metrics from the campaign that costs money than organic search visitors that don’t cost money.

How much better depends in part on how much money a site publisher spends per visitor on the ad campaign. For example, if 100 campaign visitors cost a total of $100 in advertising and click on $100 worth of ads, the return on investment is zero.

An ROI of zero on the cost is better than a loss, but the ROI is really a loss in total because of the labor that went into the campaign.

So making the comparisons also requires identifying the cost of the labor in addition to the cost of the ads themselves.

If the campaign took two hours of labor at $50 an hour (wages and benefits), the actual cost of the campaign is $200. If the campaign produced $200 in revenue rather than $100, the ROI is back to zero again.

Clearly, making comparisons for the sake of ROI between SEO and advertising needs a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of each marketing tactic.

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