There are three main reasons that people focus on organic rankings and ignore pay-per-click:
- The idea that SEO is free
- The thought that PPC is expensive and has a poor ROI
- The fear that PPC might involve…. math *cue scream and breaking glass*
SEO is free only if you consider your time to be worthless and opportunity costs to be a figment of people’s imagination. The reality is that SEO can take weeks or months to produce results, and your time could be going to do things like managing your business instead of glaring at your Google Analytics and waiting for your SERP to change from a seven digit number. If you’re in a highly competitive, or even fairly competitive market, you could never find yourself ranking on the first page, even if you find compromising pictures of Matt Cutts using Bing.
It is true that PPC can be expensive and can provide little to no ROI – if you’re not managing your campaigns properly. Things like a low quality score can drive your costs through the roof, (*cough* track and improve your Quality Score with tenscores.com *cough*) and bad landing pages can ensure your conversions stay low. However, properly managed accounts can lead to profit well before organic rankings lead to sales, and they can help you keep your sanity if your SERP tanks due to one of the animals from Google’s evil menagerie attacks your site.
Finally, PPC does involve a LITTLE bit of math, but no more complicated than what you’re dealing with when tracking ROI from organic results. Google AdSense handles most of the calculations for you, so you really only need to worry about figuring out how much you can spend. There are no derivatives, quadratics or quintiles, unless you really want there to be.