You Do SEO, But What About Your PPC?

I’ve been blogging about PPC for several years on this site and with the popularity of guest blog links I now get several requests each month for guest posts. I wouldn’t bore you with all of them because the writing is usually low quality but I decided to take on of the “offers” and do a little look at their PPC efforts (or lack thereof). This particular offer came from a website called TestsLive, which does certification exams. The primary audience for this exam includes IT Professionals who have skills in planning, designing, and deploying highly virtualized infrastructure. Candidates should have particular knowledge in Active Directory, storage, security and networking services, and other relevant Windows Server 2012 concepts. So let’s take a look.

Organic Landscape

I did a search for “Microsoft 70-413 exam and the SERP has only 1 ad, shown below:

Top 3 results are from Microsoft. Nothing surprising. The next 7 results on the page appear to be “competitors” that offer training or information on this test, so it would appear their SEO efforts are justified. But let’s look at the PPC landscape.

PPC Landscape

As you can see in the screenshot above, there is only 1 PPC ad (no ads below the organic results either). This particular company has two products; one is a $148 subscription to their entire library of exam prep stuff and the other is a $118 exam simulator. On a highly relevant keyword, if they only have 1 competitor, I have to believe that they could appear immediately on the first page, in PPC positions 1 or 2, for a very reasonable CPC. How might the numbers work?

Say they pay $1 CPC (remember, very little competition) and only convert 1% of clicks into a paying customer. Depending on the cost structure, they could be profitable from Day 1 and still have upsell opportunities down the road.


Don’t forget about PPC. It’s great to get all those “free” clicks from SEO, but a focused PPC effort can drive immediate, profitable traffic if done correctly. Especially if you’re in a vertical with less PPC-savvy competition.

About Robert

Conversion rate optimization and PPC wizard. If I'm not out playing ultimate frisbee or golf you may find me hiking, skiing or mountain biking.
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One Response to You Do SEO, But What About Your PPC?

  1. Ryan says:

    Word. I think everyone gets hyped about SEO because they think it’s “free” when in fact the pay for SEO services or better yet with a lot of their time.

    PPC is better in my opinion, you can change your message or even your landing page without having to invest more time and money using SEO techniques.

    And, as you mentioned here, CPC would be prettyl ow due to low competition.

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