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Are PPC Ads Beating Organic Listings for Clicks?

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You’ve heard it before- “I never click sponsored ads.” I’ll admit I was an anti-ad clicker prior to joining the paid search industry as well. So, with the skepticism of the PPC ad, but with the search engines making these paid sections more prominent and more engaging, I’m sure you’re curious as to how well paid advertisements are performing in comparison to organic listings.

According to Wordstream, it turns out that while organic searches receive more overall clicks, paid advertisements beat out organic clicks by nearly a 2:1 margin for keywords with high commercial intent in the US. So, is PPC losing the battle, but winning the war?

Check out their infographic below (click the image and zoom to see full-sized) and the rest of their research to see who is winning the War on Clicks!

About the Author

Bethany Harvey

Bethany is a former Marketing Coordinator at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through pay-per-click advertising.
  • http://twitter.com/iashishPsingh Ashish Pratap Singh

    they of course do in google’s case on many systems it is very difficult to realize in a quick view that whether it’s a paid listing or organic ones.

  • http://www.antonkoekemoer.com/ Anton Koekemoer

    Hi Bethany,

    Yes – The info-graphic shows the value that PPC ads can and do bring to most
    online marketing campaigns. It’s quite weird considering the fact that people
    tend to trust peer to peer recommendations a whole lot more than online ads.

    But to rank well organically most times is a lot of effort compared to the
    amount of traffic generated from PPC ads (depending on your niche, product and or service). Though PPC is a lot more specialized
    than the basic SEO (in order to rank well organically) and acquires at least
    some experience in order to get the maximum amount of exposure and ROI out of
    your ads.

  • PPCvsSEO

    What’s with PPCHero’s lack of valuable content lately? I love the infographic, don’t get me wrong but your context is a bit of a stretch. I’m not arguing paid search isn’t valuable – it very much is. It’s also easier to control in terms of which terms you show for (keywords with high commercial intent) and which terms you don’t show for (keywords with commercial intent that might be a little too broad).

    Anyway, what I’m getting at, is that it’s a little silly to say that ‘PPC is winning the war’, despite the fact that organic results deliver (on average) 70-90% of clicks, just because paid search margin trumps organic in this small facet of keywords.

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