With paid search, even the most shocking news isn’t really. Consider these figures just in from ClickZ:
Despite continued growth in search spending, ROI on search campaigns in Q1 was down 43 percent since last year, according to the latest search trend report from DoubleClick’s Performics unit. That makes sense when you think about it, since more and more advertisers are competing for the same limited pool of clicks, bidding up prices and squeezing their margins in the process. The winner in this bidding war is Google. The losers: everyone else.
. . . average cost per click and cost per keyword both spiked. Campaigns included six times as many keywords with a cost per click above $1 and used 54 percent more keywords than they did a year ago.
Isn’t it time marketers finally looked beyond paid search, and focused on organic? As overall traffic costs rise, businesses should take conversion more seriously; not just as a metric, but as an integral part of their strategy. What makes people convert? Well, relevant content that answers the visitor’s questions–and in her own language–is a start. As it happens, that’s also what boosts organic rankings.
Building a site that gets organic results and converts takes dedication–and may not come cheap–but it’s the surest path to ROI.
Has traffic cost inflation been a wake-up call for your business?