The Classic Showdown: SEO vs PPC vs Social Media Marketing

SEO vs PPC vs Social Media Marketing in One Graph

The Google Trends graph below compares organic search interest over time for “SEO”, “PPC” and “Social Media Marketing” search terms.

According to Google, the graph numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular.

So, why the total domination of SEO?

We have a few theories, neatly placed in bullets below.

  1. In absolutely every circumstance that we’ve experienced, visitors from organic search engine results convert into customers at a much higher rate than PPC and Social Media Marketing. Translation: people continue to trust organic search engine results over paid ads and social media.
  2. SEO is getting easier to measure and understand as metrics are combined with website analytic data. Further reinforcing the value of SEO with regard to website visitors.
  3. The costs associated with PPC are ever-increasing as bid rates in competitive markets soar.
  4. Social Media Marketing continues to be difficult to directly measure, although the indirect benefits are undeniable.
  5. Paid Social Media Marketing is following in the footsteps of PPC concerning ever-increasing costs.
  6. Every click and/or interaction costs within paid search and social environments. SEO costs the same each month no matter how many clicks or interactions occur.

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