I am a huge supporter of natural search placement for nonprofits because it’s the placement that is free to obtain and therefore within the realm of possiblity for most non-profits. But did you know that it’s also a more effective way of obtaining new activisist/supporters than placing paid ads?
I found hard numbers from Google about the effectiveness of natural/free vs. ppc/paid on a Feb 1. blog interview with Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Analytics Evangelist and author of “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day”
The interview highlights two items that I found interesting:
1. The average Google query now consists of 4 words and not 3! That’s up for the first time ever as of Q4 2007, from the long-time 3 word per query Google user average.
2. 14% of Google clicks come from paid search and 86% of clicks are organic.
Let’s summarize that. Eighty-six percent of clicks happen on organic/natural/free search results so a strategy that involves buying paid ads without thinking about natural placement is not 100% effective, now is it?
The good news is that non-profits can gain high natural placement though good SEO practices, building links from .gov and .edu partners that they already have relationships with, and not use financial resources to get there.