SEO vs. Print Ads

SEO vs. Print Ads

SEO vs. Print Ads

August 02, 2010 by

How much potential business is out there searching for you and CAN'T find you because you haven't setup a budget for search engine marketing and SEO?


With the internet growing in popularity, it is more important for business owners to start adjusting their budgets and making room for search engine optmization (better known as SEO), internet marketing and internet advertising.

The Internet is becoming a more popular alternative to traditional advertising like newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV because of the trackability and targeted placement. I have spoke with people with several small business owners and a large percentage don't even know that SEO exists and that SEO can be a great investment.

Before we go any further, I want to clerify that SEO's spend their time optimizing the Organic Results and not the Paid Results. View the below image:

What does ranking well organically mean? Most of the world wide web’s users are used to overlooking sponsored paid links at the top and to the right of the organic search results.?The website pages ranking in the "organic" search results receive the lion's share of searcher eyeballs and clicks - between 60-70%, depending on factors such as the prominence of ads,  and the relevance of secondary content, etc.

Note: You CANNOT buy your way to the top of the organic results. That's why Organic SEO's are important to your business and you should be starting to think about it.

Also, please read "Why Search Engine Optimization" by Ryan Trask to answer additional questions.

Example SEO vs. Print

A common measurement-tracking tool is the cost per marketing impression. A marketing impression is defined as the single instance of an advertisement being displayed. Therefore, the cost per impression is how much money a company spends to display an advertisement to each potential customer.
Starting with the cost per impression, businesses also track and calculate leads, sales and even conversion statistics. From here, successful marketers are able to form effective marketing strategies to allocate money towards the tactics that are producing the best results.

To develop an effective marketing strategy it is important to review all traditional and online marketing options and how they compare with cost per impression to ensure that the tactics selected will produce the highest ROI.

Here is a breakdown of traditional marketing tactics of television, print and radio advertising, their benefits and shortfalls, as well as examples of costs per impression for each medium.

Print advertising includes both newspaper and magazine advertising and it is appealing to marketers because print ads are relatively inexpensive to produce and they can also be changed out quickly, especially with newspaper advertising. However, with more and more people now accessing their reading material online, print advertising offers a very limited audience. Also, it can sometimes be difficult to guarantee specific placement in a publication without paying a premium price. Despite these drawbacks, print advertising is still a widely popular part of most business’ marketing plan. But how does it compare in cost? Just to give an example, a 1/2-page ad in Pheasant Forever magazine (5 issues per year) costs $3,700.00 and reaches 253,000 people. This calculates to $0.015 per impression.

Compared to the examples print marketing tactics outlined above, online marketing with SEO can produce a lower cost per impression. More importantly, prospects that view SEO results are much more targeted than those of traditional marketing tactics. Based on our client's benchmark performance and average impressions of 100,000 per month (1,200,000), a monthly investment of $350 (4200/year) for SEO calculates to only $0.0035 per impression.

I have seen dentists, ecommerce shops, chiropractors, hunting businesses cut out their newspaper and magazine budgets and trust a good SEO to bring in more business vs. print ads.

Below is a example cost on Print & Web Rates for Pheasants Forever:


Website Advantages over Print Media

The Internet is revolutionizing the way in which companies do business. It will soon be the basis for most information transfer and commerce. By establishing an online presence now, your company will be able to utilize the many advantages that a web site has to offer.

Low Publication Expense - This is perhaps the biggest advantage of the Internet. There are no paper costs, no postage costs, no mailing lists to maintain or print. When you compare the annual cost of your web site to other advertising media, such as yellow pages or newspaper, the difference is staggering. Considering the millions of people worldwide who have access to the Internet, cost per exposure is extremely low.

Greater Exposure - Your company story will reach an audience of over 70 million plus, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Dynamic Publications - Your web site can grow and change with your business. It is much easier to modify your web site than a printed brochure. And the 2 can go hand in hand when managed correctly too.

Enhanced Company Image - An Internet presence instills in your customers the confidence that they are dealing with a company that is on the cutting edge of information technology.

Real-time Promotion - New information about your company will be available to your customers almost immediately.
Interactive Marketing

The interactive nature of the Internet allows your business to market its products and services better. Customer feedback forms, online catalogs, searchable databases, and secure online transactions allow potential customers and clients to immediately respond to you in a way that is faster and easier than other forms of marketing.

Comparing SEO's

How do I know if a company is better than another? You won't if your not educated on the topic. Just because a person says they do "Search Engine Optimization" or "SEO", doesn't mean they know anything. You also can't compare SEO's based on a hourly wage. I've seen SEO's fees running $50/hour all the way up to $900/hour, with the average for a talented SEO being around $125-$250. You will get what you pay for when it comes to SEO. Think about the potential business that is searching for you that CAN'T find you.

Cost of SEO

I like to see customers set SEO up on a budget. Why? As SEO's, we spend hours tweaking out websites and it can also help amortize out the fees on a more consistent basis for you.

SEO Results

SEO and Internet Marketing is just like building your brick and mortar business.... it takes time and results are not instantaneous. Some results may not even appear for 6-12 months.


If traditional advertising isn't giving you the conversions you are looking for or expect, why not give SEO a try. Keep an open mind with your SEO about new business ideas and give it a solid year. You may even find business in places you least expect. Also, please read "Why Search Engine Optimization" by Ryan Trask to answer additional questions.

Posted in: SEO / SEM

© 2024 3plains. Powered by 3plains CMS

Back To Top