Being a writer, I have always thought that article marketing is the more valuable search engine optimization (SEO) tool over pay-per-click because article marketing offers a more permanent and lasting effect. Both are operating in completely different ways, with PPC promoting the products and services by way of getting the search engines to exhibit specific keywords and paying when the ads are clicked and article marketing utilizing the power of writing short articles to promote the website, there’s no escaping the fact that these online marketing methods can be very effective in bringing excellent outcomes in terms of getting the website out there within the potential customer’s clicking distance.
I’m delighted that I came across Valerie Mellena’s article called “The Last Word in PPC vs. Article Marketing”. The article methodically compares the two marketing techniques with statistics strengthening her findings. “In figuring out which of the two is better, you have to consider cost-effectiveness as well as click-through rates and direct conversion from visiting user to paying customer,” she wrote.
“Search engine result pages display more listings than PPC results, which does have a psychological effect on the user,” wrote Mellena. “For some users seeing ten search results is enough to convince them that there is enough web information on the subject and that “fishing” PPC ads might not be necessary”. I totally approve of what she said here. I, for one, would almost without thinking scan the search results list first and foremost before I even check out at the PPC ads.
With article marketing, she went on saying that, “In order to actually rank in the Top 10 SEO results for your keyword, you have to have relevant website content, not to mention technical prowess in HTML coding”. Search engines then determine which website is more relevant, unlike in PPC where, to use her words, “whoever bids the highest for each word usually gets the top listing. In the end money talks.”
She then puts the question if you are ”appealing to the fast clicker or the thoughtful user”.
Mellena cited information with sources from ComScore, Webxico, iProspect, SEOResearcher and Hotchkiss, Garrison, and Jensen, which observed, that “77% of search users choose organic (article) listings over PPC ads”. A few other studies pointed out that organic click-through generated 25% higher conversion rates than the equivalent Pay-Per-Click (PPC) click-through. Reading this got me convinced that article marketing is the way to go when it comes to advertising products, but Mellena wrote some strong points about PPC advertising that made me think again. “The best feature PPC has is that it gets instantaneous results. SEO advertising takes time,” she wrote. “PPC brings you immediate traffic and sometimes brings in thousands of users.”
She also noted that Comscore published figures favoring PPC, revealing that their studied users had an 18.3% click-through rate on paid search results as compared to 4.3% click-through rate for organic search results.
However, the author continued and stated that a considerable disadvantage for PPC advertising is that it capitalizes on the audiences’ curiosity. “When that curiosity fades, they forget your website, especially if it’s just a glorified advertisement.” She also added that, “Most users know that PPC ads usually aren’t relevant to their search; they’re just there because someone is constantly paying big bucks to get noticed.”
She then went on to support article marketing as “an investment that continually pays all through the life of your company (or until you shut the website down) since it generates traffic forever.” An advertising technique like that is nearly unbeatable. Can you think of an unending traffic flowing in perpetually? Now that’s an outstanding marketing plan.
With regards to ROI, a survey conducted by popular blogger Gord Hotchkiss disclosed that article marketing is more consistent (albeit slower) than PPC when it comes to Return-On-Investment. Mellena explained on this issue by giving a series of calculations of sorts, for example: “Let’s say you have 50 high traffic search terms. Now for these 50 terms, there are 2.8 million searches being launched in a month,” she wrote. “If statistics like ComScore’s are correct and unbiased, that translates to 456,000 visitors thanks to PPC and 153,000 visitors thanks to article marketing.”
“The total cost of those 456,000 PPC visitors would amount to over $500,000 with an average CPC of $1.18. Even if you work with an SEO company that charges top dollar ($10,000 a month, let’s say) you’re still paying $10,000 compared to half a million. That means article marketing’s virtual CPC amounts to $0.07. Even if you apply PPC’s higher conversion rate, 3,647 converted visitors, you are paying $147.08 for each individual person. Compare that to 611 visitors you earned through article marketing—you are paying $16.37 for each visitor. And in doing so, you are also earning a higher quality of customer and generating traffic until the end of days.”
It is somewhat clear that in the end, the author chose article marketing as the better technique. “When it comes to earning quality traffic, article marketing gets the last word.” I’m inclined to have the same opinion as hers. How about you?