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What’s the best way to rank in organic search for high ticket items?

Research show that relatively inexpensive consumer and business products (under $500) achieve better results in terms of sales with pay-per-click (PPC) ads than with organic results, but the polar opposite is true for high ticket items. In fact, organic results achieve dramatically better results than PPC in that scenario. Why?

It really boils down to trust and credibility. People that are spending a lot of money would like as much risk removed as possible. With high organic rankings there is a perception of credibility. High organic rankings imply industry authority leadership, experience, and expertise—everything searchers want when contemplating a major purchase. This perception translates into more trust and a greater likelihood to click through to the site.

So why don’t all organizations that offer relatively expensive items opt for organic. There are really 2 reasons. First of all, depending on the competitiveness of key terms and the expertise of the content creator, it can take months or years to achieve high rankings. Second, achieving and maintaining high rankings requires regular content creation and optimization expertise. As many marketers can attest, that can be difficult, frustrating and time consuming. There are many, many companies offering pay-per-click expertise but very few with a proven track record in organic search.

One study, published by the UK’s Econsultancy, concluded that only 6% of clicks were the result of PPC. In another study, it was 10%. But don’t be fooled—PPC still makes sense for low ticket items, which account for the majority of products on the market. For organizations that offer both low-ticket and high- ticket items, a good rule of thumb is PPC for low-end, organic for high-end.

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