On Tuesday I was at The Great B2B Marketing Debate hosted by the B2B Marketing magazine and Mardev. The topic was "Is SEO eclipsing pay-per-click for lead generation?"
This was one of the events that I end going to because I must have said "Hey, that looks like a fun debate" and then a few days before the event itself someone in our marketing department tells me that a) I'm going, b) I'm speaking, c) They require a written speech ahead of time and d) I'm for the motion.
It just so happened that a few days before this event I was in New York. Umm. Anyway; I hope that the speech I put together was good enough to interest most of the audience and as it happen - we won the debate.
I wasn't really for the motion. SEO and PPC are different and simply have different strengths and weaknesses. A good blog post which explains this would be Lisa Ditlefsen's SEO is like buying a house whilst PPC is like renting. Lisa Ditlefsen just also happens to be the B2B Marketing Newcomer of the Year.
So when I say we won the debate and then say it was Lisa and myself arguing for the motion then I hope the bigger picture starts to fall into place.
It wasn't an easy debate to win (and not just because we were arguing for the purposes of the debate - not because either one of us thought PPC is loosing traction) as we were up against Simon Norris a co-founder of Periscopix and Stuart Small the Business and Industry Leader from Google UK.
What caught my attention at the start of the evening was the attention that Google was giving it. You don't tend to see Google at many events in the UK - not even the big trade shows. I was surprised to see six other Googlers on the attendee list at the start of the night. In truth I don't think all six turned up (Christmas shopping on Oxford Street was too tempting, I bet!) but Google did sponsor the event and provide quite a lot of reading material.
I jotted down some quotes from Stuart which I'd like to share:
- For every 100 searches - 20 of them are a PPC click
- 20% of searches are unique - that's not seen in the last three months
- Google Checkout buttons increase clickthrough rates
It's not a surprise that the (still relatively rare in the UK) Google Checkout button increases clickthrough rates but perhaps slightly more surprising to hear Google pushing that so directly at business decision makers.
I was interested by the three month time limit on what defines an unique search though. Three months is clearly the time which Google keeps data for analysis on search queries (though Google Trends or the AdWords Traffic Estimator chart further back).