Why SEO is the Most Affordable Customer Acquisition Tool

October 5, 2021

Some brands are willing to spend a lot of money to gain new customers. By the end of 2021, it’s estimated that digital lead generation advertising will surpass $3 billion. 

Paying for clicks on Google and social media platforms is the most common way that brands acquire leads online. But because only a small percentage of those clicks actually convert, the cost of acquiring new customers through those channels can get very pricey.

When it comes to earning new customers online, SEO is the most affordable way to do it. Here’s why SEO is still one of the best customer acquisition tools, and why it’s the most sustainable digital marketing strategy for long-term revenue growth.


PPC is Getting More Expensive

CPCs are getting more expensive every year as more advertisers buy-in to the ad auction. This is called ‘CPC inflation,’ and it’s happening in every industry.

For example, say you pay $5,000 dollars to target a keyword with a CPC of $10. If those 500 clicks meet Google Ads’ average conversion rate of 3.48%, your brand ends up earning 17 new leads (or customers) at a cost of $294 each.

Unless you generate significantly higher revenue than that number, that’s a large price tag. 

Although better Quality Scores can help lower CPCs, the price with PPC is still determined by who you are competing against and how much they are willing to spend. Some brands even run unprofitable Google Ads campaigns just to maintain market share.

Unless your brand has an unlimited budget, a cost-benefit analysis of the pay-per-click model just doesn’t add up. 


When Done Right, SEO Drives Clicks to Perpetuity 

Beyond the cost, the other hard reality of PPC is that once your marketing budget dries up, so does all of your website traffic. 

PPC can be a great way to jumpstart traffic to a website, but if all of your traffic is dependent on PPC spend, your brand is one crisis away from losing most of your revenue. However, when you rank organically for keywords, those clicks and leads keep arriving to your website for the long-term, and essentially, for free. 

It’s always better to own rather than rent. Site owners can certainly lose rankings if they don’t tend to their content and their website with SEO best practices, but when done correctly, SEO will drive clicks and website traffic for years.

SEO is More Sustainable for Long-Term Growth

Ultimately, the longevity of SEO makes it the most affordable (and sustainable) customer acquisition model.

To do SEO well, you have to invest in the quality of your content, the performance of your website, and a strong digital PR or link building program to increase your keyword rankings. These investments do have a price tag at the outset, but they have compounding benefits in improved brand awareness, stronger social media signals, and more direct traffic.

I’ve seen brands who invest in SEO cut their cost-per-lead in half and sometimes more. If your business struggles with pricey customer acquisition, consider what a comprehensive SEO strategy can do for your marketing budget and bottom line. 


About the Author

Manick Bhan is the founder and CTO of LinkGraph – an award-winning mission-driven SEO and digital marketing agency – and the creator of the SearchAtlas Software Suite. As a growth hacker, data scientist, and skilled programmer, SEO is Bhan’s greatest passion and his life’s work.

With 10+ years of experience in Search Engine Optimization from the in-house and agency side, Bhan has taught both startups and Fortune 500 companies how to scale their brands with a data-driven SEO strategy that can break into any market with ease and outrank even the biggest of competitors.