Pay per Click Adds vs Organic Searches

Larry Schlagheck
That's a great question! I don't have an answer so I'm sorry to waste your time, but I'm sure many will within our community. I wish I would have thought to ask this. Great topic.
Eric Miltsch
Stephan, This is a very common debate. It's actually not uncommon for brands to bid on their brand. Even if someone does click your PPC ad, the cost of that lead is still cheaper than any other lead you're currently buying. Besides, when someone searches for your brand, they're expecting to find your site, not a competitor's site. Basic intent principles apply. Let your competitors try to bid on your name, they'll pay more than you simply because the campaign won't be optimized properly, plus they'll just frustrate the user - it won't be what they were expecting anyway. One extra ad by them won't create a foothold. The stronger point, in my opinion, is the opportunity to prevent an organic foothold by improving your long tail organic results. If your competitors rank higher than you do for these terms (EX: Raleigh used cars) then you're missing out on qualified organic traffic. I'd consider looking at a solution to improve these results and reduce the PPC budget. Organic results earn 70% of the clicks on the page, being the #1st result earns at least 33% of the total clicks on that page. Check your Top 10 organic terms currently driving traffic to your site. If they're all branded terms, then you have some opportunities to improve your exposure. Hope that helps!
Tami Paulus
If you are paying for the same keyword for that you are ranking on top, then it will increase the chance of the click by double. Many customers like to click at first ad and what if they will click the ad of your competitor and will not look at the results presented below? The valid point is you pay for click and do not pay for impression and if he will click, then only you have to pay.
Robby Wilson
This is naturally only my personal opinion, as you will likely hear a multitude of conjecture on PPC depending on who you ask and what geographical region they encompass, That said, I feel search is a far better use of resources for gaining long term results in the form of first party leads. PPC very much feeds into the contemporary sociological construct of instant gratification. Pay the money, and get to the top of search. Whereas, a strong SEO presence requires a consistent and sustained effort. The reason why I see far more ROI in search is based upon my own experience in viewing heat maps for all types of automotive searches, as well as viewing Gig after Gig of analytics on the matter. PPC should certainly be utilized as part of an overall digital marketing strategy, I just rate its overall value below the gains that can be obtained with SEO. I think the main reason so many people undervalue organic is because they either don't have a proper understanding of what is involved or they go about it with the wrong methodology. With the advent of 2.0, Google has made it abundantly clear what is required to own the top spots of search, you just have to be willing to put in the legwork. The rewards are significantly greater than PPC when looked upon holistically.
Joey Abna
Make sure you are able to track phone calls on your PPC campaigns. I experienced an extremely high percentage of service calls on brand name especially on mobile. We were looking for sales leads with our PPC campaign so we turned down the focus on brand name searches so more of our budget wasn't used for service calls asking if their car was ready. Its a tough call but I think it is one of those things that is different from dealer to dealer and market to market. Part of the reason why this is such a good topic to discuss.
Aaron Schinke
As far as bidding on branded keywords, you have to look at the data and competition to make a proper decision. There are too many people out there saying either yes or no based on theory when it's very different in nearly every situation. I've analyzed a few custom cases and in most it was not necessary to be buying branded keywords. Often times the branded PPC just proved to cannibalize the organic efforts. However in a couple situations the dealer has lost some clicks to competitors... All this aside there are some additional benefits to buying your own name: Your entire account has a quality score made from all of your keyword level quality scores. Since you should have perfect KW scores on your branded terms, in theory it could lower your CPC across you entire account. The question then becomes does it lower it enough to offset what may be an unnecessary cost to begin with. Now, your original question didn't necessarily say it was branded terms that you were considering buying... It is said that showing up for the first spot in both PPC and organic actually compounds your clicks for a given term. Of course this data is courtesy of Google which might have a little skin in the game...

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