Posted by: wingnut650 | July 18, 2008

Paid versus Organic search…the greatest debate ever

Just kidding about the ‘greatest debate ever’ part of the title, by the way, but it’s an interesting one.  Before I get started here I want to offer this disclaimer:  *I’m NOT a search marketing expert and fall much closer to ‘idiot’ in the knowledge spectrum of SEO than ‘guru’…but I think I’m clearly in the majority here*

I understand the stated pros and cons of both paid and organic search strategies, but am really struggling to say that paid search is a “necessary” option and that marketing budget, or at least that much of it, should be dedicated to paid search and not reallocated to other programs.  *I will note now that I’m speaking specifically about the use of paid search around Quest’s products of the SQL Server BU.*

Here’s why: 
1.  Quest has been in business with a web presence for about twenty years – so what? Well, the point here is that we have a web site that has been a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors (customers and prospects) so that simple traffic shouldn’t be a concern in terms of contributing to our search ranking
2.  We have a pretty large telesales team that is constantly driving traffic to our site – everyday
3.  Our customer marketing team helps promote activities that we’re doing by using email marketing tactics (they blast customers and prospects who can forward on the ecards that are used to promote specific activities)
4.  We have a dedicated web team that is in the process of redesigning our website and shaping content and usability to be optimal for visitors to the site and its pages
5.  This one actually builds on number two, but again, our internal web resources are able to ensure proper use of keywords, meta-tags, title tags, and meta-descriptions which are good ways to improve SEO

So, as you can see here by these five examples, we have ALOT of people performing tasks that at the end of the day are helping push the popularity of our website UP and are not part of a paid search strategy.  I understand  that a truely smart search strategy will blend organic and paid elements, which is probably great for a small business or business that is relatively ‘young’ in their web presence.  BUT, I don’t know that for our BU that paid search is an area where a large investment should be made – especially if we can use that budget to do more varied activities for raising awareness and lead generation.

The head scratching continues….

Blogged with the Flock Browser


  1. Thanks for nice article!

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