SEO, or search engine optimization for natural, organic visibility on search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing and others, can reach enough new customers to eliminate paid search campaigns.
Granted, SEO is not cheap. It can be a significant investment, depending on what type of website you have and how search engine friendly your website and content is. However, if you are dependent upon paid search for website traffic, SEO will more than pay for itself.
When done well, SEO should drive the majority of traffic to your website.
-Rebecca Murtagh, Expert Search Engine Strategist
The actual percentage will depend on your particular industry, type of website, how many websites you have referring visitors,etc. The share of traffic attributed to organic search will fluctuate month-to-month by how many online and offline promotions, email campaigns, special offers you are running to drive traffic to the website.
I spent a day providing SEO training an infomercial company. In conducting pre-session analytics, I noticed they were doling out a significant monthly budget for paid search, predominantly on Google Adwords. When the site SEO achieved top Google results for product names, they were able to almost entirely eliminate their monthly PPC budget and use paid search to compliment organic search results with paid promotions, timely offers, etc.
Somehow as search engine technology and marketing methods developed, PPC advertising became search engine marketing. There is a great deal of money to be made by marketing consultants, advertising firms and website design firms in managing PPC campaigns like Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Bing Paid Search, etc. which often include “reseller” benefits of commission and incentive to increase the client’s spend over time.
But is that what’s REALLY in the best interest of the client?
I remember sitting down with the President of a funded start-up who was spending roughly $10,000 per month in Google Adwords PPC campaigns. He had achieved some success early in the campaign and, as many people do, thought that if he simply increased his budget, he’d be able to simply scale-up those results for more clicks, leads and sales. After optimizing the Adwords campaigns, effectively reducing the monthly spend by 50% and increasing conversion by 100%, we went on to SEO the entire website, bypassing website traffic records for paid search with FREE organic search engine traffic. Although there was a fee for the SEO, it was a fraction of what he woud have had to pay, if they’d continued to depend on PPC and SEM for website traffic.
Over the years I have become quite successful in helping organizations from multi-national consumer manufacturing brands to small businesses achieve freedom from Google Adwords budgets with SEO of their website. Success in replacing paid search with organic search engine traffic depends on how well the search engine optimization is done.
The secret sauce to the success we have achieved in eliminating dependency of paid search and replacing traffic with organic search engine traffic. Taking it a step further, effective SEO will include a strategy to differentiate from the competition, pre-qualify the click and promote conversion.
Replacing SEM with SEO can be done, effectively and cost-efficiently, saving monthly paid search budgets and increasing ROI significantly.
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