It wasn't too long ago when SEO was the solution that every digital marketing agency was pushing for. An entire online culture was built around the concept of Search Engine Optimization and how to get your website to crawl up the rankings and make it to Google's front pages. Nowadays, SEO has become more of a necessity rather than an option. Your business' website needs to be optimized as a minimum requirement or Google will ignore it altogether. So, if all of your competitors are using SEO tactics to make it to Google's front pages, what other options do you have to gain an advantage in this highly competitive digital market?
It's time to learn about the benefits of another 3-letter acronym: PPC.
How Can PPC Help My Business?
PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. In a nutshell, it refers to paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. These paid ads on search engines are pieces of well-researched copy placed at the top of a search results page which have been designed to reel-in targeted leads. It's called "pay-per-click" because you only pay when a visitor clicks on your link and goes to your website. In short, PPC is an advertisement that you only pay for when it's effective.
PPC works in tandem with SEO practices using many of the same parameters; well-designed content with highly-relevant keywords that tie into the optimized pages. SEO practices will lead the way for organic traffic, but this takes some time to develop. Your PPC campaign will reel in paid visits and, as your site becomes more visited, your page will start ranking higher. As your website becomes more and more relevant, your PPC strategies will have indirectly boosted your organic traffic as well.
It's important to note that PPC is not a substitute for SEO. SEO is still the most important tactic you'll need to generate organic traffic and earn Google's highest rankings; PPC however, is where your business can really earn a competitive advantage. Here are 5 ways that PPC can help your business in our ever-evolving digital marketplace:
1. PPC is a cost-effective solution
Many businesses are still hesitant to engage in a PPC Campaign because they fear it will cost them too much money without being effective enough. A poorly-designed and mismanaged PPC Campaign can certainly prove unnecessarily costly, but when it is executed carefully, it can prove to be the most cost-effective form of online advertising you can use. An effective PPC Campaign generally follows these "rules":
a. Start with a small investment, measure keyword effectiveness, adjust the campaign, and expand your investment progressively.
b. Use PPC optimization to find the best long-tail and short-tail keywords that can find you better targets at lower costs. Remember, broader keywords are more expensive and more specific keywords phrases are both less costly and will give you more nurtured leads.
c. Be patient, and increase your budget on profitable campaigns. In the beginning, every campaign will take about a couple of months to start showing its true results as initial measurements and optimization adjustments are made.
d. Study your competitors. There is a wealth of information you can get about the competition that can give you insight into how they are working, as well as what they are missing. There are several tools that let you mine data such as which keywords they are ranking, what their ad-copy looks like, and what their PPC budget is.
e. Adjust your keywords constantly. As your PPC Campaign develops, you will generate enough information to see which keywords are being the most profitable as well as which ones are just costing you money. Get rid of keywords that aren't profitable and invest more in the ones that are.
2. PPC has a rapid ROI
SEO will show its benefits over the long-term, but PPC will give you a quick turnover of positive results. Think of it with this hunting analogy; SEO is like setting up traps, while PPC is like aiming at a target and shooting. GoogleAds, Facebook Ads, and other PPC options allow you to make very specific targeting with your advertising. This means you'll be able to aim at audiences that are specifically looking for what you have to offer. You'll be able to direct your ads towards the people most likely to purchase your product or service.
A well-optimized PPC campaign will start showing positive results within the first trimester. A well-managed PPC effort will yield a high number of leads well before a year of investment. The average CTR (click-through rate, or each time a visitor clicks on an ad and goes to your website) is 2%. That may sound low, but the math for ROI is pretty astounding. Let's say you receive 100 clicks per day with a CPC (cost-per-click) of $0.20, your total investment will be $20 in advertising. If your product/service makes you $5 for each sale, you'll only need to convert 4 of those clicks to cover your costs. If you're a tech firm with each contract representing several thousand dollars, you'll be able to make large ROI on several small investments.
Note: If you are looking to lead a successful online campaign to boost your leads, you'll need to make sure your website is optimized both in SEO terms as well as sales conversion terms before you go full steam ahead into a PPC effort.
3. PPC allows you to test how products and services sell online
Running a Google Adwords campaign might be the easiest way to measure the performance of your website as a selling point as well as the online appeal of your products and services. PPC's function is pretty straightforward: you pay when they click and only when they click. This means that leads are taken directly to your doorstep. From that moment, it's up to your website's appeal and your product or service's value to strike a connection with the visitor and convert them into a sale.
If your PPC Campaign is delivering a lot of leads to your website but you aren't converting any of them, then it's likely you have to re-evaluate your website's marketing appeal or the quality and value of your product/service. Using PPC as a way to test how your offering sells obviously comes at a cost, but any company aiming to build its online presence needs to identify where improvement is needed early in their digital marketing journey.
4. PPC works in tandem with other digital marketing tactics
PPC covers a lot of terrain and integrates with every other digital marketing tactic out there:
- PPC will let you know which keywords are most effective so that you can adjust your keywords strategy for long-term SEO
- PPC campaigns are mobile-ready and help you strengthen mobile marketing
- PPC can help you get leads through email signups that you can continue to market through email campaigns.
- You can sync your Search Engine PPC campaign with your Social Media Paid Ads and ensure your message is consistent on all fronts
5. PPC lets you do re-marketing
Attention spans are short in the age of the smartphone. It's likely that many of those visitors that clicked on your ad and visited your website didn't convert into a sale right then and there. This is even truer for company's whose products or services are expensive or require a long-term business engagement. These passerby clickers aren't necessarily lost customers, however. PPC keeps track of who clicks on the ads and can then aim ads at those people again at a later time that reminds them of their interest.
Re-marketing is obviously not as simple as it sounds. Complex algorithms are put in place to identify the best moment to re-market to a visitor and improve the chances of piquing their interest.
Is PPC right for my business?
PPC is a highly-versatile online marketing tactic that can be tailored to fit nearly any business and industry. The more important question you should be asking is if your business is ready to take advantage of PPC. If your website has been optimized with SEO best practices and you have a proper sales funnel structured towards acting on leads quickly, then your business might be ready to start a PPC strategy.
It's also important to note that designing a successful keyword strategy and managing a PPC campaign with constant improvement is not a simple task. Successful PPC strategies require knowledge and expertise in the SEM playing field as well as plenty of time to analyze, adjust, and execute the campaign. This is why it's often a smarter choice to partner with a digital marketing firm with PPC expertise that will help your business have a successful and ever-improving PPC effort. They will also be able to identify what other aspects of your digital marketing strategy might need improvement to ensure that your PPC investment is not in vain.
If you are interested in PPC advertising for your business as well as demand generation tactics, find more information here.