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It has been brought to my attention that some in the industry are pushing the concept that you absolutely, positively, without a doubt have to have search engine marketing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or your website is going to die a fast yet painful death. These people are using phrases such as "anybody who tells you otherwise is lying to you."
The funny part of that statement is that it is a complete and total misconception ill-conceived around product offerings. You see, if a company is good at one thing and poor at another, they will spread the idea that the thing they are good at is the key to success and the thing they are bad at is not important. It's sad, but that's sales. It's human nature. I am not upset by this.
The part that upsets me is when dealers fall for it. They should know better. It doesn't make sense. There is too much research on Google and Yahoo searches to believe otherwise. Do the searches, do the research, then use common sense.
Here's what common sense tells us. Less than 25% of searches click on the sponsored links that are offered through search engines. It isn't like it used to be. In 2004, PPC was the place to be. As time has progressed, fewer and fewer people trust the listings in the paid sections, thus the continuous decrease in the number of users clicking these ads.
Organic listings are clicked on the most often. They have a degree of trust that can only be gained by ranking based upon what the search engine believes is the most relevant. To rank only for PPC and not for organic is completely the wrong strategy.
Ideally, a dealer will have the budget for both PPC and SEO, but if it's not a perfect world for you, SEO is a no-brainer between the two. Think of it like buying a house. What you invest into a house stays with you, just as how you optimize a site can last for a long time if the SEO services stop.
PPC is like renting a home. It's fine, it puts a roof over your head, but as soon as you stop paying rent or turn your PPC campaign down, you have built up nothing. All of the money invested in the past is gone and your site is in no better shape than it was before.
This post was not meant to attack anyone openly. It just irritates me to see sites that are so poorly ranked organically spending money on clicks. PPC is a great bandaid for an unoptimized site and is a nice supplement to optimized sites, but it's definitely not the primary focus of a true automotive internet marketing campaign.
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