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We all know that a balanced approach of paid and organic search traffic is imperative for continued success on the web. It would be irresponsible to totally disregard one or the other, but a couple recent pieces of news point out why organic rankings and traffic are more important than ever.
1. Rising CPC’s - Adobe Systems analyzed over $100 million in ad spend from April through June 2013. Between the mobile space getting more competitive and the switch to enhanced campaigns, Adobe predicts that the average CPC will rise up to 10% over just the next 2 quarters. Cleary CPA’s (cost per acquisition) will follow suit as ROI is diminished.
2. Dropping SERP Click Market Share - On Wednesday U.S. regulators warned several search ad networks, including Google, Yahoo and Bing, that they were not doing a good enough job distinguishing paid ads from organic listings, including on mobile devices and even voice search. With this we can definitely expect CTR’s and overall SERP click share to shift even further in favor of organic.
In light of these developments and a general rise in competition, we will see the ROI of PPC advertising decrease, especially relative to organic efforts which are seeing diminishing costs. There will be more advertisers vying for less clicks that will be more expensive.
How can you protect yourself from this? If you are doing PPC, make sure whoever is managing your account is actively doing so. With all of the automated solutions out there it is easy to quickly overspend in the wrong areas. The ‘set it and forget’ method becomes that much more dangerous. Also make sure to diversify your digital efforts. While an organic campaign may require more resources up front, it is a diminishing cost - whereas PPC is ‘pay to play’. As always continually monitor, measure and adjust!