We often get calls from potential customers looking for us to launch and manage Pay Per Click (PPC) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns. While we are more than willing and able to fulfill this work, we make it a point to have a conversation with our potential and existing clients about paid ads, laying out all the pro’s and cons. Much like a Nutritional Value table indicates what you can expect from consuming fast food, we at Zero Limit Web transparency, longevity and sustainability are critical to us— we want to make sure you know what you’re in for.
What is a PPC/Paid Ad campaign?
Much like traditional ad spend in newspapers, magazines, fliers and brochures, any business can pay to have their website strategically placed in the keyword search results.
PPC campaigns revolve around the cost per click and the bid for the keywords regarding the niche of your business. For example, a particular keyword or phrase for your niche might have a suggested bid of $11.27. In order to get page one placement (whether that be top, right or bottom of page one) for your business, you need to outbid the “suggested” amount by at least double, and then pay that amount every time that someone clicks on your ad. And then pay for those clicks for a specific duration of time, budget dependent. As you can imagine, those costs quickly add up.
“In fact, as of February 2016, Google has completely eliminated the sidebar Ads, making the coveted top 3 Ads highly competitive, and you guessed it: More expensive per click”
If you’re website is stuck in the search result trenches, you can buy your way out via the great “paid ad” escape. Why make your business suffer when you can just spend your way to get to the top? PPC campaigns provide instant gratification with immediate results in the form of paid ad placement. Where the ads are located is based on several determining factors, including cost. It is the quickest and easiest way to get to the top of the search results, however as discussed above, they can also be the most expensive. In fact, as of February 2016, Google has completely eliminated the sidebar Google Ads, making the coveted top 3 Paid Ads highly competitive, and you guessed it: More Expensive per click.
Using PPC to Power Up Your SEO
While some new studies suggest that Paid Ads might help with CTR those same studies indicate that the bulk of an SEO company’s campaign is pent on those Ads and, in order for CTR to benefit from ads, location, frequency, niche and ad spend play a critical role in the propensity of clicks and time spent on the website. Meaning, the more you can pay for the ad, and the longer you can pay for the ad determines the success of the ad. And, unlike organic rankings, once you stop paying for the ad campaign, you lose rankings because you haven’t invested in sustainable results. According to Moz, “For every one click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks.” Despite the arrangement or placement of paid ads on page one, and the potential site retention or CTR, organic results still fair better and remain more trusted by searchers than paid ads.
“For every one click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks.”
In addition to cost, in order for Paid Ads to be successful, they require a fair amount of consistent hands-on management and expertise. A budget must be established, a duration of the ad’s campaign should be determined, bids for placement must be won, content, keywords, and a converting website are all key factors, not to mention a knowledgeable and dedicated human to monitor and move the campaign along.
As food comparisons go, think of PPC as the expensive fast-food of SES: It satisfies the craving but doesn’t satisfy the rankings. You’ll spend the money, and see temporary results, but when the money for the ads run out, your rankings and traffic go with it.
The One-Two PPC/Organic Combo
If you truly want to establish your presence online, maximize your budget, gain organic rankings, and attract and retain the attention of searchers (your prospects) you want a well-balanced SES comprised of both organic and paid campaigns. In digital marketing, you can have the best of both worlds—allowing you to simultaneously enjoy the benefits of organic rankings and paid ads.
“When you set aside your budget for marketing, consider allocating the majority of your funds for an ongoing SEO campaign that builds trust, strengthens your brand and secures your position in the rankings.”
This is where strategy is of utmost importance. When you set aside your budget for marketing, consider allocating the majority of your funds for an ongoing search engine optimization campaign that builds trust, strengthens your brand and secures your position in the rankings. The remainder of the budget can be set aside for paid ad campaigns on a need basis. Some examples of this would be for a tailored, limited-time campaigns like planned events, fundraisers, product launches, or a sale or clearance, or anytime your business, products or services need a little “boost.”
Last we discussed Part 1: Organic SEO vs PPC – and this week we dove deep into PPC concepts within that context. Finding that perfect balance could be time-consuming, even cumbersome for a small business owner or limited-capacity marketing team.
Next – Part 3: The Strategy Perfected. Social Media Marketing
So what should you do? Which route should you take? What about that bonus Search Engine Strategy?
We’ll let our years of experience in the field answer all of those questions in Part 3: How a properly implemented social media marketing strategy can be the perfect addition to organic search, where user engagement matters!