It is not unusual to see declines in ad revenue for the major search engines from quarter to quarter this year. Companies of all sizes have drastically cut advertising budgets and other expenses. For example, one of the companies I own used to spend over $80K each month just on PPC! We have since cut that budget to keep costs down. Thankfully, the organic search results for that site increased drastically so we essentially replaced the PPC as the organic SEO improved.
When consulting with companies on their online media strategies, we generally recommend a combination of PPC and SEO. The PPC offers a way to generate immediate results and the investment in organic search engine optimization ensures long term visibility. Any Internet marketing company will tell you this and many have different strategies of how to develop these plans. However, it is usually interesting to note that users delivered to your site via PPC ads generally do not stay as long, view fewer pages, and have higher bounce rates. Users gained through organic search results behave differently. This is where “quality” of traffic comes into play.
Regardless of how you obtain traffic and visibility to your website, it must be engineered properly to convert those users into some kind of revenue. Conversion analysis is very important when assessing the quality of a PPC campaign because you want to calculate your ROI and make adjustments accordingly. Either way you look at it, investing in proper search engine optimization will allow you to spend less in marketing in the long run and your site will enjoy a higher quality of users.