As a business owner or marketer have you wrestled against a decision to choose Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?
As a business owner or marketer who is responsible for driving and converting website traffic, you’ve likely encountered articles and discussions that pit search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) against one another in a fight to the death. Ardent supporters of each side will offer a bevy of reasons that you should use their tactic and avoid “that other one” like The Plague. Do yourself a favour - instead of narrowing your options, broaden them. Use PPC and SEO in tandem and you’ll soon discover the benefits of remaining happily neutral in the debate of one vs. the other. If you are using SEO and purposely neglecting PCC (or even vice-versa) you are severely limiting the potential effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
It’s hard not to put Google on a pedestal. The majority of us search using Google, we run our PPC campaigns through AdWords, and we keep our fingers on Google’s pulse, nervously awaiting the release of their next animal. But too often, we lose sight of the fact that solely focusing on what ‘works’ on Google can lead down the wrong path (black hat tactics worked for a while, didn’t they?). That’s not to say that writing content and paying for great keywords - Google’s current darlings - isn’t effective. It just means that at the end of the day, reaching, engaging and providing value for your customers is more important than using and pleasing Google at all costs.
As a primary example, Google isn’t the only cost-per-click (CPC) platform out there, which means PPC doesn’t always have to target Google search. You might have a plan to create great, targeted content that nets you a stream of organic traffic, but that could take time. Your content might be stale before anybody even sees it. So why not promote your content on Facebook? At the very least, the paid promotion will get eyes on your content and, if it’s good, people will share it. That should get the SEO ball rolling on the rest should take care of itself. The end result is a piece of content that Google sees that people like, but that wasn’t the goal. The idea was to connect your content with an audience by any means possible.
Marketing - yes even digital marketing - has to exist beyond Google. And by extension, that means PPC is about more than just Google, too! The sooner you can take that leap of faith and not limit yourself to one line of thinking, the better your marketing efforts will be.
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of using pay-per-click as an integrated part of a larger digital marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some of the hidden powers of PPC that can help boost your business:
Question: I understand that SEO and PPC work well together, but I only have the budget for one. Which area should I focus on?
Answer: The short answer to this question is PPC. You’ll get quick traffic for a fixed cost and if you’re just starting out, that’s what you want.
The longer answer, though, is that you should always have SEO in mind, especially when you’re running PPC campaigns that are giving you all kinds of great data. In theory, if you (or whoever manages your PPC) run effective campaigns, you should eventually have the budget for a longer term SEO and content strategy. As we’ve discussed, PPC will generate a much higher return on investment if you think about it not as a one-trick-pony, but rather as an overall contributor to many different aspects of your larger digital marketing strategy. .
For more help with understanding pay-per-click advertising or information about dedicated PPC management, please get in touch.