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My Faith In The Organic Serps Is Strengthened


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#1 EGOL

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 09:25 AM

For the past month I have been running some Adwords campaigns.   I have been bidding like a wildass on the money terms in one of the niches where I compete.   At the same time my site ranks #1 or #2 or #1 AND #2 in the organic SERPs for most of these same keywords. 

 

After a month of bidding I can abandon this costly activity and still make about the same number of sales.  For the past month, Adwords has accounted for less than 10% of my total sales. 

 

So I will - again - stop thinking that the guys running the ads are taking the lions share of the sales.  They ain't.  The big money is still in the organic SERPs - especially in the long tail and in the weeds and bushes where few competitors - if any -  are running adwords.  The big content library on a small retail site brings in the bacon.

 

Your SERPs might have very different characteristics.  So, test before assuming that my situation matches yours. 



#2 bobbb

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:08 PM

Just a thought. Could it be that people are learning or catching on about what is a paid result and what is a real search result? ...Instead of automatic 1-2-3



#3 earlpearl

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:27 PM

For the past month I have been running some Adwords campaigns.   I have been bidding like a wildass on the money terms in one of the niches where I compete.   At the same time my site ranks #1 or #2 or #1 AND #2 in the organic SERPs for most of these same keywords. 

 

After a month of bidding I can abandon this costly activity and still make about the same number of sales.  For the past month, Adwords has accounted for less than 10% of my total sales. 

 

So I will - again - stop thinking that the guys running the ads are taking the lions share of the sales.  They ain't.  The big money is still in the organic SERPs - especially in the long tail and in the weeds and bushes where few competitors - if any -  are running adwords.  The big content library on a small retail site brings in the bacon.

 

Your SERPs might have very different characteristics.  So, test before assuming that my situation matches yours. 

EGOL:   Most of our local smb sites have been running adwords for years.  The campaigns are local/regional.  The real reach of the smb sites is local regional.

 

In many many of the cases are organic results are at #1 for many phrases.  Not always...but often.  We also run aggressive adwords campaigns.  The ads are often #1.

 

We do all this to Collect visits.  That is really #1 reason.  I'm not going to try and outthink searchers.  Maybe they know there are ads there and do NOT want to click on the ads.  Others have no idea of the difference.   Frankly, after all is said and done the difference between a click on most of our adwords...and the cost of a sale is really significant.    An ad click that might cost around $2 could turn into a sale at a couple of hundred dollars or thousands of dollars.  Our overall revenue base can support the adwords advertising that we do.

 

So ...as long as that percentage stays reasonable we can afford to operate that way.  If ad costs became an ever larger percentage of revenues we would really tighten up.  We're lucky.  We mostly haven't had to.

 

What about percentages of clicks on the site(s).  How much from adwords and how much from organic  (or in our local case(s) G maps and/or the G knowledge box...or calls (which we relish).  

 

We've always gotten a lot more traffic from organic/maps/knowledge box than from adwords.   But the percentage of ad clicks keeps increasing....by a lot.   Where it is soaring for us....is in mobile.  Google is sneaky...and ads on a mobile totally dominate.   Also there are a lot of long tail phrases where we'll show up first organically without maps...and maybe there is one ad and then the organic clicks in...and the organic link looks more appropriate.     Also lets just figure that spammers and competitors click on ads.  So that is money down the drain.

 

Google keeps increasing the web real estate wherein the ads show more prominently.  Cripes it enables them to fund all that Alphabet "stuff" and all those "free things" that the public loves.  

 

But, in our case...the serps and organic still work better.  Our experience is similar to what you are experiencing.



#4 EGOL

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:38 PM

Just a thought. Could it be that people are learning or catching on about what is a paid result and what is a real search result? ...Instead of automatic 1-2-3

 

You might be right.  Possibly.  When I do a search for an image subject and see an ad for istockphoto followed by the istockphoto organic listing below it, I click the organic listing.



#5 EGOL

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 12:59 PM

An ad click that might cost around $2 could turn into a sale at a couple of hundred dollars or thousands of dollars.  Our overall revenue base can support the adwords advertising that we do.

 

So ...as long as that percentage stays reasonable we can afford to operate that way.  If ad costs became an ever larger percentage of revenues we would really tighten up.  We're lucky.  We mostly haven't had to.

 

Yep, I understand that.

 

Here, I am working on $1 clicks that might sell a $100 product with a gross profit margin of 30% and a conversion rate of 5%.   So, I gotta pay for an average of 20 clicks to make one sale.  I will make a profit on the first sale and I might make money on follow-up sales for a fraction of the customers.  So, I will make more money if my shipping staff can handle the volume.  But, if a content person has to help the shipping person then we lose productivity there.   It's a game of rough mathmatics.

 

 

 

What about percentages of clicks on the site(s).  How much from adwords and how much from organic

 

Adwords is supplying a little less than 1 percent of the traffic. 

 

This site has a lot of content that brings in a lot of people who are simply looking for information.... but when we have products that pair with that information a few purchases are made.

 

The Adwords keywords that I am bidding on align with the items that we sell, the content aligns with the products and how they can be used.  The content generates some impulse sales and makes our site top-of-mind when the visitor is ready to become a buyer.

 

 

 

But, in our case...the serps and organic still work better.  Our experience is similar to what you are experiencing.

 

Its interesting how very different businesses can share this experience.



#6 Black_Knight

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:58 PM

The precise market changes things ... immensely.  (Naturally, I'm already assuming that people understand they must also have the right keywords, and heavy modifiers on negative keywords, etc.)

 

Financial services mostly do exceptionally well with Adwords, where they are the type where we feel we understand the product.  So, loans and mortgages both do very well in my experience, and I have done SEO for companies in this area that only came to me because they'd literally run out of inventory in PPC and couldn't spend any more on the working keywords (because they were buying all the clicks there were each month).

 

Financial services are one of a variety of markets where suppliers will often pay anything from £100 per lead upwards.  Others used to include most utility (gas, electric, water) suppliers, but I'm unsure as to how the increasing ease of changing supplier has impacted that in the last few years.  Generally, any commodity service, with a high lifetime value would often fit into this category.  For that reason, I'd expect domain hosting to fit too.

 

All areas people find very boring to 'shop around', are unlikely to be swayed by anything but price and brand-perception/reliability.

 

 

Of course, people have a harder time truly 'costing' SEO, because as those of us with plenty of skin in the game know, good SEO is very far from free, or accidental.  I have certainly seen companies spend huge amounts of man-hours and money both on things that did not give the financial results that putting the same money into PPC might.  But, I can as clearly say that I've seen people blow huge budgets badly in PPC too where they made similarly bad investment choices.  Not everyone that invests in SEO sees success, and where with PPC ads that are not seen are not clicked and not paid for, SEO efforts that are not seen were no cheaper at all.

 

What I'm saying is that there are circumstances and reasons where PPC has an advantage, and ones where it does not.  As my father used to say (of almost everything): circumstances alter cases.





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