Coming from an SEO background it took some time for me to warm up to Pay Per Click.
My first years working in Internet marketing was 100% focused on pure Search Engine Optimization. The fact that the vast majority of people, including myself, often prefer the organic results over the paid ads was only reinforcing my opinion. The other pretty common opinion between SEO professionals in the early days of digital marketing was that it’s either SEO or PPC.
Fast forward a couple of years and the situation could not be more different. The vast majority of the projects I’m working on are integrated campaigns covering SEO, PPC and social media.
How do I use PPC to compliment my SEO.
1. Using AdWords search ads to bid on my brand name.
Working with a couple of brand I’ve quickly realised that when I search for my own client’s brand, the competitors appear on top of the results with their paid listings. Even more so when I was doing search for a compound keywords my brand + keyword(s). The way paid ads are displayed, prominently on the very top of results, means that even if most people ignore the ads, a percentage of the traffic which would go to my site will end up clicking on the competitor’s ads. This can happen even when they search for my own brand name.
Using PPC and bidding on your own brand name can help you get more traffic which otherwise could potentially end up on the sites of your competitors.
Of course there will be a cost associated with running these ads but your quality score should be high on your own branded term so CPC (cost per click) shouldn’t be too expensive. AdWords is a very complex platform and I suggest you do proper research and get all the training you need. You can even consider getting AdWords certifications. You can check this guide which explains the process in detail.
2. Seasonal campaigns & new pages.
As we all know, SEO is a long term game. You build your website, invest in content assets, run link acquisition campaigns and slowly build up your site’s authority. With time your sites rank well on a number of keywords, usually around your key pages/services. However, there are times when you need to deploy new pages quickly – you may have a new service, product or seasonal promotion. Using very targeted PPC campaign, you can drive targeted customers to these pages. At the same time, you can work on the SEO so eventually these will start ranking organically.
3. Creating awareness of a new service/product.
Let’s say you have a new service or product, something that hasn’t been done before, and your potential clients simply aren’t aware of it. If they are not aware of it and if it’s something completely new then they will be very unlikely to search for it. This is where paid discovery, display advertising and video ads on YouTube can come in very handy. Using services like Facebook Ads you can target very specific audiences and get your message to the right crowd. Video ads on YouTube can also be very efficient in building awareness of your new product or service.
4. Amplifying content.
We all work hard to create good content and then we work even harder to promote it, earn links and earn shares. When it comes to links, in my opinion, nothing can beat good contacts and highly targeted manual outreach. However, when you have invested heavily in your content it’s often worth spending some money on paid discovery services like StumbleUpon Ads. The more people see your content, the better the chances are of attracting natural links and shares.
Keep in mind that some audiences are more likely to link then others, with bloggers being probably more likely to link to you than taxi drivers.
What next ?
Before you jump into PPC, make sure you get yourself familiar with all the main platforms.
The two main platforms are Facebook and Google AdWords and there are plenty of resources available online to get you going.