I want to share with you a search engine optimization (SEO) service case study. Before I do, however, I have to let you know that whenever we show client information, we tend to blur things out a bit for a few reasons. The first is that the clients we perform SEO for are in highly competitive fields and often have very sensitive intellectual property. I want to respect their privacy one-hundred percent. The second reason is that sometimes my competition stalks me online and messes with my clients. Keeping this information private helps protect my clients from being annoyed. I do not want annoyed clients. Let’s move on.

The client, in this case, is a $50M a year company who services several niches in a B2B and B2C capacity, worldwide. They are based in the US and perform all operations out of their single location. NineTwice started working with this client in 2006 in a website design capacity. Since then, we began managing their Google AdWords campaigns and in 2014 started very focused ethical search engine optimization efforts.

Fast forward to today and we are running very successful, concurrent, AdWords and organic SEO campaigns for their highly competitive keywords. What’s interesting…and what I want to share with you today is how effective organic SEO can cost much less than a traditional AdWords campaign and, at the same time, produce a higher click-through-rate.

Take a look at the image below. These are global results for a two-word, highly competitive key phrase. The client has the potential to gross hundreds of thousands of dollars with a single sale. The very top result is the client’s AdWords campaign result. The first organic result is also the client’s and links to the client’s landing page for this particular key phrase. There they are, an AdWords listing and an organic listing right next to each other. Harmonious? Maybe. If I had to bet, though, I’d say the organic listing is looking at the paid result with a snarky grin. Why? Well, the organic listing has a secret that many business owners don’t think about. Read on…

Organic SEO Cost Savings

So what’s the big secret the organic listing has in it’s back pocket? Well, there’s an important difference to note between the two listings. The PPC campaign costs my client about $1500 a month. Meanwhile, the organic campaign costs only $600 a month for this key phrase. But that’s not the only difference. The AdWords campaign is limited to 10 or 15 clicks a day before the daily budget is exhausted, while the organic campaign has no limit on the amount of clicks it can get. So even after the AdWords campaign ceases to show up because of budget limitations, the organic listing will still be there, inviting clicks to its landing page and driving business to the client.

The takeaway here is that a well-executed organic campaign can place a search result right next to a paid search result, typically for a measurable cost savings..$900 a month savings, in this case.

Let me put it in very simple terms. The organic campaign costs less than half the budget of the AdWords campaign and has no limit to the amount of traffic it can drive to the clients landing page. That’s pretty powerful. Even if you ignore the research that suggests that there are different demographics that click on ads versus organic links (which demographic are you in, by the way? Have you clicked on an ad lately?), this strategy keeps producing opportunities for conversions though strong, ethical search engine optimization.

So, what’s the lesson here? Ditch AdWords in favor of organic SEO? Not in every case…and every case deserves analysis. But instead, companies should look carefully at the balance between paid campaigns and organic placement, letting each compliment and bolster the other. My advice, if budget allows, find that blend. And if budget is constrained, you will get much more out of your spend with a highly optimized organic SEO campaign.

NineTwice is a recognized Google Partner and I have to let you know that no one can ever guarantee first place, or even first page, placement for your search phrases. The Google algorithm is sophisticated and ever improving. It is important to make sure your search optimization uses a strong balance of ethical techniques to encourage high placement from the search engines.