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Re: SEO vs PPC The Classic Debate...

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  • Stephen Cheng
    From a cost standpoint, there are resources required for any project. Assigning a cost to them is just a question of how deep you want to go and how accurate
    Message 1 of 42 , Jan 31, 2007
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      From a cost standpoint, there are resources required for any project.
      Assigning a cost to them is just a question of how deep you want to
      go and how accurate you have to be. Developer time, designer time,
      tracking tools, etc. are common to both SEO and SEM. This gets lost
      in SEM sometimes because people concentrate more on the variable CPC
      cost.

      Your billing rate to your clients takes these things into account.
      Doing this in-house also has an implied billing rate that will go
      into the ROI calculation. Measuring return for either is similar
      although SEO probably requires better baselining and a longer
      timeframe to measure the effects. But still, most marketing progrmas
      should have both short and long-term ROI calculations anyway.

      Since your business is providing SEO services, you are probably much
      better at computing your costs than internal personnel, but this is
      more of an issue of organizational familiarity rather than intrinsic
      differences between cost measurement of SEO and PPC.

      The specific methodologies and tools are different between the two.
      There are some accuracy differences as well. But the overall process
      of measuring return on marketing projects still seem similar to me.
      Just a question of how hard the organization wants to pursue the
      measurement.

      Steve
    • gangel.semphonic
      Despite the prevailing industry spin about a multiplier Paul s experience looks to us to be fairly typical. We (Semphonic) have measured this effect
      Message 42 of 42 , Feb 2, 2007
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        Despite the prevailing industry spin about a "multiplier" Paul's
        experience looks to us to be fairly typical. We (Semphonic) have
        measured this effect repeatedely for clients and have found - not
        surprisingly - a wide range of results. In every case, there has
        been "incremental" lift (buying PPC ads didn't actually lose total
        clicks). However, in most cases, far from being a multiplier the
        client experienced at least some cannibalization of organic
        listings. In other words, just as in Paul's experience, there was a
        measurable (and in some cases quite large) decrease in organic
        clicks. I've written about this several times including this DM News
        article http://www.dmnews.com/cms/dm-news/search-
        marketing/35918.html and here http://www.adotas.com/2006/06/sem-
        marketers-are-missing-out-seven-ways-to-mis-measure-your-sem-program
        in ADOTAS.

        The bottom line is that while we have occasionally seen cases where
        there is some multiplier effect (though nothing like the 6x
        mentioned - the biggest jump we've ever actually measured was about
        15%) it is much less common than cannibalization (which we've seen
        top 50%). Because experience has been so varied I, like Paul, urge
        you measure if for yourself. But whatever you do - don't simply
        accept the fact that PPC will boost your organic click-through. This
        myth has been repeated so often (not always without bad motive) that
        even well-meaning practictioners have come to accept it as true. But
        saying something over and over don't make it so!
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