If you are looking for a long-term online marketing strategy, it's wise to invest in an SEO plan, tailored to get you the best results. Depending on the current position of your business and the competitiveness of your industry, a low-cost plan may not yield results. That is why it is important to speak to SEO professionals about your business and what plan would be the best fit, for greatest results. You may be lured by SEO companies offering a standard low-cost plan, but if you’re in a competitive industry, you’ll be wasting your time and money.
At some points during your SEO strategy, it may be worth investing in paid search or Pay-Per-Click (PPC). PPC can be used to compliment your current SEO efforts and increase its effectiveness. Here are some reasons you may consider using PPC:
· Initially Building Capital
· Seasonality & Special Occasions
· New Products
· Increase Brand Awareness/Visibility
· Short-term Campaigns
Initially Building Capital
PPC provides fast results, by instantly putting your website to the top of Google’s search engine. It’s a great tool which in the short-term, if done right, can build capital faster than SEO. You can then use this burst of capital to invest in a long-term SEO strategy, providing increased traffic for the future. PPC also allows you to gain initial traction and exposure in the market, exposing your brand to consumers searching for specific keywords.
However, it is important to research how competitive the keywords are in your industry. If you are in a very competitive market, it is likely the cost-per-click will be relatively high and not worth the investment. Work out how much a conversion is worth to your business and do the maths, before choosing paid search.
Seasonality & Special Occasions
Depending on your product offerings, your business might be affected quite substantially by seasons or special occasions. Take a florist, for example, they usually have high peak times around Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Or a water park, they usually have more traffic during the warmer seasons. It may be worth complimenting your SEO strategy with PPC to maximise traffic during these periods.
Again, it is important to pay attention to the cost-per-click of the keywords. During peak times, the costs usually rise higher than out of peak times. Keeping an understanding of what that conversion is worth to you, will allow you to make an informed choice on whether running a PPC campaign is worth the investment.
Introducing a new product to market is a big investment. PPC is a great way to scope the likely success of the product, by providing quick insights. Using PPC can help promote your new product and gauge audience sentiment. Once your initital PPC campaign analytics are coming through, you are able to put together a long term PPC and/or SEO strategy, based on solid data.
Increase Brand Awareness/Visibility
Even if someone searching the keyword scrolls past your ad, they are still likely to notice it. That’s why PPC is a great tool to increase brand awareness and visibility, although it may not come cheaply. The best way to leverage on this exposure is to back it up with great content, through your SEO strategy. If a customer sees your ad through a PPC campaign and later see an article recommending your product, they are more likely to consider your brand.
PPC is often ideal for short-term campaigns. After a small initial set-up, PPC can turn on and off like a tap, giving you the flexibility to control where and for how long the campaign runs. If you only want to run a small campaign, for example, to promote a limited time product, PPC could work exceptionally well. Whereas with your SEO campaign, it needs consistincy and time to develop and build momentum, and attempting to pause the strategy could ruin months or years of work.
Although PPC has its benefits, it is without a doubt more expensive for businesses that are looking for long-term growth. SEO is a long-term strategy that continually builds traffic, and will bring more results as time goes on. A unique SEO approach tailored to your business and industry is a better long term investment, but requires consitency and patience! Many customers have subconsciously trained themselves to ignore paid ads, me included. Usually, the best way to utilise PPC is to use it as a compliment to SEO rather than on its own.