94% of Users Select an Organic Search Result
This is the conclusion of a research study that analyzed 1.4 billion searches conducted by 28 million people.
Why The Discrepancy Between Perception and Fact?
1) I don’t know.
2) Does it really matter?
Now that we have data to work with, is it not easy to see what conclusion to draw?
Having said that, I’m willing to guess.
Paid Ads Work Faster
Whether or not this is really true (it seems common sense that it does, but I’ve had the occasional PPC consultant tell me it takes about 6 months to “fully tune” a campaign) it is the common perception.
We live in a society dominated by the Wall St focus on quarterly Earnings per Share (EPS), especially EPS for the next quarter. Something with a hard dollar ROI in one fiscal quarter is easier to financially justify than something that takes a few fiscal quarters to ROI.
The belief (and maybe fact) that paid ads work faster, tied to the short shortsightedness of Wall St makes paid ads a safer bet over the short term.
SEO (or More Correctly Inbound Marketing) Takes Longer
This is true. Increasing the Google ranking of your website takes time. While I have seen it work in as little as three months, I’ve also seen it take a year. It depends on how competitive your topic is.
I heard a radio show about a year ago in which Fortune 500 CEOs were asked how they would decided in the following scenario.
They could take an action that would slightly reduce the EPS for next quarter, but with very high odds of increasing EPS over the next five years. Would they take that action or not?
85+ said no. And the reason is because the punishment for missing Wall St. EPS targets are too severe (stock price falls, investors get angry, etc).
Should You Take the Long Term View?
Are you in business for today or for the long haul?
If you’re going to shut your business down in a year, paid ads make sense. On the other hand if you’re in it for the long haul and you intend to be in business in 5 years, 10 years, etc, then starting an SEO (or more correctly Inbound Marketing) effort IS the right thing to do.
To Learn More…SEO Needs Link Building