Now Could be the Time to Develop Your PPC Strategy
Used right, PPC can bring your rankings to the top. But to stay there, it needs to be part of a cohesive SEO strategy.
The best SEO strategy incorporates a blended approach that uses a number of tools to bring you better rankings and higher conversion rates, all with an eye to budget and getting the best possible return on your investment.
It is strange, then, that so many people view PPC management as something supplementary to their overall SEO campaign. While PPC is a distinct topic, it is a strategy that must be aligned with your other SEO activities in order to realise results that are meaningful and lasting.
So how can your business benefit from a combined approach that blends paid advertising with your traditional SEO tools, to come up with an overall strategy that puts your business on the first page of Google and keeps it there?
Why use PPC?
Some people get the impression that there is some kind of either/or when it comes to SEO and PPC. If the latter is a shortcut that gives you a leg-up into the top results, then what is the point of bothering with organic SEO?
The answer might be obvious to most, in that the pay-per-click leg-up provides a great shot in the arm, but you still need SEO for a sustained, long-term digital marketing strategy that enhances your reputation, your conversions and your overall sustainability.
Less clear, perhaps, is when the question is turned on its head. If organic SEO is working well, then why bother with PPC? The point here is that like it or not, the top four results from most search engines are reserved for paid ads.
The long and short of it is that your best chance of winning more clicks is by holding a prominent position in both the organic and the paid listings.
More Data Means Better SEO
Organic SEO and PPC each provide separate and unique data streams, and more data means better information to enhance conversion rates, leading to more sales and better profits.
This can also generate a virtuous circle within the digital marketing campaign itself. The more data you have, the better you can analyse your keywords, and the faster you can enhance and optimise your PPC ads, leading to better return on investment from your PPC as well as better results.
But it does not just enhance the PPC aspects. By assessing the overall conversion rates of the PPC campaigns, you can also steer the overarching SEO strategy in the most profitable direction, thereby optimising the whole organic approach.
What Businesses Can Make Use of PPC?
In short, all businesses can. We recently saw how the government used PPC to share their manifesto with people asking questions such as “what is dementia tax?”. Charities can also utilise PPC, in fact, some charities are eligible to receive a free spend with Google’s Ad Grants service of up to $10,000 a month.
While AdWords can work for all businesses, it can be very challenging for those operating in a very competitive niche. As with any other type of advertising, the key is ensuring that ad spends never eats into the profit margin, at least, not in a long-term advertising strategy. Some companies do operate AdWords, and other PPC services, at a loss, so they can corner the market. If you can place your business at the top of the paid search results during an exceptionally busy period, or better still, when a totally new product launches, many people will see your brand first and may some to associate your business with the new product.
This is especially true in retail. For instance, the latest kids craze is fidget spinners. Stores such as The Works have positioned themselves as leading suppliers of fidget spinners organically, but other companies have been targeting the keywords to generate more interest. One such company is YPB Print Solutions that offer branded fidget spinners via the paid shopping results in Google Search.
Not Only Google AdWords
Although we started talking about getting to the top if Google with PPC, it is important to mention that there are other very effective PPC platforms out there. Social media ads are a highly targeted means of using PPC to further improve traffic, with positive benefits feeding back into your overall SEO effort and enhancing your ROI.
This is because the advertising platforms on sites like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn serve up targeted ads to increasingly specific demographics. The data collected from these campaigns provide valuable information to inform and steer your overall SEO strategy, maintaining consistency across all channels.
Google AdWords is not the only PPC platform to invest some time and budget on. While Google AdWords is an excellent way to target users who are searching for terms relating to your business or product range, Facebook is by far the most effective way to target specific demographics and geolocations.
Facebook offers a wide range of advertising options, from simply promoting your Facebook business page to promoting individual posts that link direct to your products and services.
The great thing about Facebook is that people tend to be there when they are not specifically searching for a product or service, which means unlike Google, you do not have just one chance to hook them – you can keep your ads running, targeting a specific market, knowing that they will eventually see your ads, and you will only pay when it is clicked.
Some campaigns can work very well on Facebook. For example, if you provide a service that helps individuals at specific times, such as a tax return filing service, you can run ads in the weeks before the deadline, knowing that some small business owners will have been procrastinating for months and will now be in a panic, wondering how on earth they will file their return before the HMRC deadline. Other services include advertising floral deliveries just before Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, or advertising previews of the next mobile phone to be launched, and then inviting people to sign up to a newsletter to get instant alert when the phone becomes available.
Another platform that is growing in popularity is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the biggest and most powerful B2B platform, and allows you to reach a very specific business audience. For instance, you can target people by job title and qualifications, which is very useful if you are either advertising for a new position within your company, or marketing to a specific set of individuals. For example, people who offer web publishing services may run ads to attract content managers, SEO consultants and PR officers. Timing is still key – if you advertise your services at the end of the month when people are struggling to complete all their tasks before month-end, you can strike gold and win a new client that will keep coming back for years to come.
PPC is SEO
The best SEO campaign will make smart use of PPC, but only as one of a whole range of tools that all blend to provide a strategy based on continuous improvement and optimised return on investment. When done well, your PPC campaign can generate more organic traffic by increasing brand awareness. This is really true of all types of marketing – while you may be promoting a specific product or service, always be sure to push your brand out there too, that way, when they next generation of products are launched, people will remember your website and may bypass Google search completely.