SEO or SEM Which Provides More Value

Paul Rushing
Without a doubt SEM is almost instant traffic, however studies show that 75% of all clicks come from the organic search results. SEO efforts have a longer lasting effect. With the #1 organic listing receiving the most clicks over all positions. Please vote in the poll and tell us what your opinion is.
Brian Pasch
The powerful thing about SEO is that it keeps on giving. I have number of automotive microsites that need only occasional updates and they still are pinned to Google page one. If you have a good URL, good content and a good architecture your SEO work only gets better in time. With the advent of user friendly technologies like WordPress, dealers can now create SEO friendly microsites at a low cost of creation and a low cost of maintenance. Best of all they don't have to lease them and they can yield leads every month with low costs. So, SEO projects may have a higher upfront cost but the long term annuity of constant lead flow makes its the best long term value for car dealers.
Eric Miltsch
I'll shake it up a little and go for both. Especially during these current times. While watching every penny spent on online marketing, I'm pulling monies from under-performing channels and testing new KW's, ads and conversion strategies with PPC to keep things current as consumer search behavior changes. SEO is still my best performing initiative...
JD Rucker
SEO, hands down, is better for a long term plan. While there are uses for SEM, those uses are not part of a long term value proposition. SEM is a great bridge while the SEO develops. It allows for quick traffic bursts, but in the pure sense of "long term" I have to agree with Mr. Pasch. It is better to have a strong SEO strategy and use SEM in the early stages. Once a website is able to stand on its own through SEO, the pay per click should stop. Some would say that you should continue with it. I contend moving on to another microsite or landing page is a better spend, more bang for the buck than focusing SEO and PPC on one site. Build a site, get it optimized, supplement the optimization with PPC until it makes it through SEO, then move on to a new site and start over.
William Bryant
SEM allows you to reach into different keywords and competitors markets that you can't normally get with SEO alone. It's a good way to maximize your results online for a low cost and get immediate results, and every good company who advertises online uses both. I will say this, nothing can replace good SEO. If you use solely SEM and don't optimize your site, you're losing out big time. SEO should be the #1 focus. SEM will help bring in results while you're waiting on the SEO to catch up, but once it does, there's no reason to stop SEM. Merely change to focus to capture your competition's traffic. For example, if you're a Nissan dealer, you can capture Toyota Tacoma searches or Honda Pilot searches using SEM, which you can't really do with SEO (unless your competition is really bad).
Eric Miltsch
The SEO element def. needs to be your cornerstone and also needs to have a long-term outlook. Just to clarify - my PPC isn't limited to just the SE's. I'm extending our reach and testing within other PPC networks including such as Facebook's marketplace. CPM & CPC rates are very low and targeting capabilities are precise.

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