iManila Reasons Why You Shouldn't Rely Solely on Paid Advertising - iManila

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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Rely Solely on Paid Advertising

Written by Erika Villanueva on . Posted in IDEAS

As a web company that offers Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, we are used to explaining to potential and existing clients the difference between the two. It’s actually pretty simple to remember once you understand it- SEO is organic search and it takes time, while SEM is paid advertising that produces immediate results.

After reading that, you’re probably thinking “Hey, if both Digital Marketing techniques require me to spend a few bucks, why don’t I just go with SEM since its results are instantaneous?”. Now, I’m not here to discourage you from doing so (after all, SEM is also one of the services we provide), but I am writing this article to tell you that if you plan to rely SOLELY on paid advertising, you will be left behind.

I’m not saying that SEM is not an effective marketing technique, it has its own merits, of course. If you’re not familiar with paid advertising’s benefits yet, you can check out this specific part of our SEM infographic:


Looks good, right? But if you consider yourself an effective digital marketer, it is essential to your job to not only see the strengths of a particular strategy but its weaknesses as well. What I am about to enumerate and explain in this post is the latter- Seven (7) Reasons Why You Should Not Rely Solely on Paid Advertising:

1. It produces short-lived results. 

It’s already in the name: Pay-Per-Click (PPC), which means that even though paid advertising is the easy way to gain only the traffic relevant to your product or service, it is only effective as long as you pay for it. Paid ads are only up when you still have a budget, so once your paid clicks are all consumed, your ad will be taken down and you are back to square one. In short, no money, no ads, no traffic.

2. It is not budget-friendly.

Yes, it is cost-effective since you are only charged when the ad is click but if you look at it in longer-terms, digital ads are getting more and more expensive with time. This is ground-breaking especially for keywords that have high competition, meaning you have to be willing to compete financially with other businesses rooting for the same keywords on their ads. Oh, and you are going to have to do this over and over.

3. Consumers take it as hard-selling.

According to a survey done by Nielsen (a global information and measurement company), 60% of consumers don’t trust paid advertisements. Why? Because generally, when consumers are pushed to entertain a particular ad, most of them immediately jump to the conclusion that it is not a credible sales pitch.

4. It only works on your chosen search engine.

The thing with SEM is that when you pay for it to run on Google, you only gain traffic from Google users. Other search engines like Yahoo!, Google, and Bing will not run it, so you’re losing relevant traffic from those engines as well. Compared to SEM, SEO casts a larger net because it works for all search engines; this is the reason why the two techniques complement  each other well and produce outstanding results.

5. Organic Results are seen first before Paid Ads

Studies done by marketing specialists have shown that an average consumer views content in an F-shape pattern which means that consumers see organic results first, followed by paid ads. Catching the consumer’s attention only takes a few seconds so the placement of your marketing effort should also be taken into consideration. Our recommendation? Dominate BOTH paid and organic; you’ll surely be noticed!


6. It’s now old news.

Much like everything else, SEM was once Digital Marketing’s shiny new toy that everybody wants to try out. Now, with more and more marketing techniques rolling out, consumers are starting to become numb to the very idea of paid ads. Remember that consumers search for sources that provide recommendations and descriptions of products/ services before actually buying. This means that if your want your ad to be clicked, you need to make consumers understand your business and deem you trustworthy first; that’s done the SEO way.

7. It attracts window shoppers.

Content-wise, paid ads have more limitations compared to organic ones. With SEM, you’re given a particular number of characters, forcing you to create a copy that is compelling yet very concise. Note that PPC can’t let you really tell potential consumers what you can do and how you do it, so the market you’d probably be attracting are window shoppers still on research mode.

In conclusion, SEM or paid advertising can be effective when done continuously, but it will definitely burn a hole on your marketing pocket. If you want a digital marketing effort that will surely create a positive impact on your business (and also produces long-term results) , the SEM + SEO dream team is your way to go. It might look pricey at first glance but in the long run, it will actually save you a lot of money. :)

Thinking of joining in the Digital Marketing craze? Check out our Digital Marketing Services and let us help you boost your online presence! Visit us at  localhost/iManilaLive/services/digital-marketing/ now!


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Erika Villanueva

Erika Villanueva

Erika Villanueva is the vertically-challenged assistant marketing manager of iManila. She believes in the magic of metaphors, relates to Batman's dark mood, enjoys Milan Kundera's wry humor, and considers sarcasm as an effective communication tool. She grooves and headbangs to the sounds of John Mayer , Jimi Hendrix, and The Black Keys.

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