It's drilled into you every day by marketing gurus… you don't need to pay for clicks. Be original, write great content, share on social media – and magically the sales will come banging down your door. Or will they? I continue to preach to our audience that it's never one medium over another, it's how they can feed or follow one another. In the case of Search Engine Optimization versus Search Engine Marketing and Pay Per Click, there's some incredible synergy in utilizing both.
Our next podcast on Edge of the Web Radio will discuss this very topic as well as other reasons your company should invest in Pay Per Click.
- Converting Keywords – If you're starting down the road of writing content to get ranked, what are you going to write about? What are the best keywords that will convert the most traffic? Too many companies have no idea… they do some research on their industry and competitors and come up with a list. Then for months they apply tons of resources to get ranked on those terms. Maybe they do get ranked… only to find out that no one is converting on their site anyways. Instead of investing that time and energy into content and organic search, they could have spent a small sum on pay per click and actually tested keyword combinations to see what converted the best. Once you know what converts, then you can write, share, and promote content about the topic to improve your search ranking and reduce your overall cost per lead.
- SERP Real Estate – Have you ever searched for a major product or brand and were surprised to see that they had paid advertisements on their product or brand name? There are a couple reasons for this… the first is so their competitors don't bid on those results. But the more compelling reason is that you can substantially increase your click-through rate on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) even when you're ranking in very high positions! When you're ranking first, you can increase the click through rate (CTR) by 50%, a PPC ad alongside rankings from 2 to 4 can increase CTR by 82%, and for rankings below 5 the CTR will increase 96% on average!
From Search Engine Land – Google Research: Even With A #1 Organic Ranking, Paid Ads Provide 50% Incremental Clicks:
- Conversion Rates – After the user clicks on the SERP and arrives at your site, you very well may find that, aside from direct traffic, paid search traffic has the highest value and the greatest conversion rates. That's incredibly important and you must setup analytics properly and track each of your campaigns carefully. The theory behind this is simple – when search engine users are ready to convert, they jump on the SERP and click on the top results.
- Remarketing – One huge advantage that PPC has over your SEO strategy is the advantage of remarketing. Remarketing targets ads to people who have already visited your site (but didn’t make a purchase) through tailored messaging or exclusive offers. With Google Adwords, for example, you can generate campaigns across search and even third party sites that will display your ad after a visitor has arrived at your site and then left. I'm afraid you can't follow someone like that with organic search so it's incredibly advantageous.
Don't dismiss paid search. As content strategies have skyrocketed in popularity, the competition is fierce – requiring promotional budgets to make the difference. I'd encourage you to hire a professional (else your budget will get eaten up at a rate beyond comprehension!). Test tons of combinations, utilize best practices, chase the converting keywords with organic strategies to drive down cost per lead, and convert the masses over to your company. Pay per click is organic search's best friend.