So many times, I see people writing articles about companies investing in either SEO or PPC and I just shake my head. It’s not an either/or thing. Not if you’re serious about moving the needle on your traffic and sales. See, SEO is a long game. Create the pages, code them properly, wait to see traffic patterns in your analytics, adjust, rinse and repeat until you get to page one….and then keep it going. PPC on the other hand is a competition where you are looking to bid for the terms that can get you front and center quickly. You tweak ads, adjust bids, switch keyword focus if needed, but the payoff is immediate. Now, using them in concert is the real holy grail.
I know there are 2 distinct schools of thought when thinking about the keyword that IS your business name. One is not to lose any ground on a results page that is yours. To me, this is a fear strategy. When I see it, I always click on the paid link. You’re afraid that if the potential customer sees another link on the page, they’ll click it and not your organic one. The other way of thinking is that if they already know your name, the search is merely for your URL. The domain name game is very competitive and the exact URL of your business name may not be yours. For many years, Delta.com was not the airline, but the dental service. I subscribe to the 2nd school of thought. Don’t be afraid of your competition on your page, as a matter of fact, target them in your PPC campaign. Make their name one of the keywords you are going after and create an ad that will pull traffic right out from under their nose.
To effectively have a good return on your digital marketing investment, you want your organic search results to be at least 50% of your overall traffic sources. Less than that just means you are buying the clicks and I guarantee you that your paid traffic is going to have a higher bounce rate and a lower pages and time per visit than your organic traffic. So, you may ask….go ahead….ok, why should you bother with pay per click at all if organic is the be-all I make it out to be. Well, dear reader, organic search results take time. You may want to plant a vegetable garden, but if you want a salad tomorrow, you better get to the store and buy the ingredients. SEO doesn’t turn the way you want it to when you want it to. Engage any professional agency and you’ll see, the results are generally slow, but appreciable and long lasting. But then Google changes the algorithm and you need to take a step back and re-adjust. Not so with PPC. You need to stay on top of it and constantly adjust, fiddle, create new ads, do your research, but there is a consistency there.
The last thing I want to point out is when you look at your analytics, please tell me you’re looking at your analytics, look beneath the obvious. Yes, your home page gets the most traffic and you want to know where your customers are going as opposed to where you want them to go and so on, but look at how your customers are finding you. Are your entry pages all your home page or are your customers finding your interior pages? Are they coming from social media and from which site and to which page. Look at your Google Webmaster tools and see where your keywords that are working for you are coming up. Is it page 2, 3, 4? Target those terms using PPC. Now, I may be getting into an area where you start to understand the time involved in getting it all right. That’s where a professional can help you. Like I said, it’s a long term process, but worth it.