There are many approaches that can be taken when it comes to setting up marketing campaigns for small businesses and larger corporations alike. Some lean more toward ‘team organic’ and focus most of their resources on writing informative, engaging content that ranks well by including carefully optimized keywords and phrases. They know the fruits of their labor will take longer than their counterparts who lean the opposite way toward ‘team Pay Per Click’ but don’t mind because they want to make sure their placements are secure on Google’s search engine.
The other side of this marketing coin often prefers running Pay Per Click campaigns through Adwords, because it offers quick conversion results and lots of data to track on a microcosmic level. However, there is a lot of evidence that Pay Per Click benefits organic content marketing, and it’s possible to strike a balance between the two to get higher results!
A Refresher on PPC
For those who are entirely new to marketing, or haven’t explored it, Pay Per Click (or PPC as it’s most commonly referred to) is the practice of paying a publisher a pre-approved amount of money per click on their advertisement link. This practice is usually used to boost a brand’s appearance in search engine results.
By increasing your visibility on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) your brand can, in a perfect world, rise above the competition and access engagement and conversions at a faster rate. Waiting for earned, organic traffic to come through can take months or even a year as your content gains traction.
For this reason, PPC is a good tactic to use when you don’t have a lot of time to wait on the results of your marketing campaigns! PPC is also referred to as paid advertising, or paid search, and we’ll use these terms interchangeably going forward.
How to Get Started
Now that you know what PPC is and what it can do, how do you get a campaign started?
- Get set up: Google Adwords is the platform where you’ll research opportunities and set up your paid ad campaigns. If you haven’t set up an account here, we highly recommend doing so!
- Set a budget: Paid ads require funds where SEO marketing can theoretically be done for free. If you haven’t allocated anything in your budget for PPC this year, there are other ways to get funding for your marketing campaigns. Depending on your annual income, you may qualify for a business line of credit or a business credit card that can provide money upfront to run some experimental campaigns. As you get feedback and learn the effectiveness of your initial ad runs, you can then decide where to scale up your spending and switch back to using some of your profits toward advertising.
- Define your expectations: Make sure your team is on the same page as you plan where to focus your efforts and at what scale. Often there are disconnects around expected results between marketing teams and other departments or roles. Determining or differentiating these expectations ahead of time will save a lot of frustration and miscommunication moving forward.
How SEO and Adwords Work Together
As tempting as it may seem to focus solely on running paid ads, it’s essential to have an SEO strategy that works in tandem with your PPC program. The same benefits of paid ads can carry over to your content by pulling in results on your organic content sooner than waiting for click-through data over a period of months.
How does Adwords help organic content?
Adwords assist with your organic content by presenting an associated ad that users will see before organically ranked content. By adding this other layer of suggestion, Google Ads can impact your organic search engagement to show the reader that your brand is trustworthy and authoritative.
The customer’s actual click may take place on your organic content, but the paid ad gave your brand twice the exposure on the same SERP. Eventually, the content will move up in ranking because of this beneficial relationship between Organic and PPC!
Paid search helps your earned campaign content by acting as a testing ground for your ad copy, and headlines for effectiveness. By running A/B tests on specific keywords and phrases, you can use the resulting data to inform what to do in your SEO content.
Think of it as a marketing crystal ball that gives you facts to go on instead of guessing when you go to create content.
How to Make PPC Work For You
Drive your organic results by running PPC campaigns for brand awareness. While it’s nice to be able to bring in conversions based purely on the quality of your content and the value it brings to your readers, your business will eventually need to get to a point where credibility is automatically associated with your brand.
To bring brand awareness, run ads targeted to people who are already in research mode, on the edge of conversion, or making a purchase. This can inject your business into their SERPs and meet them at the point in their customer journey where you might not be noticed otherwise.
Run an inventory of all keywords on your website and where they stand. Are there some that perform really well, while others fall at the bottom of the list, even though they’re relevant? Which keywords have a high difficulty standing that you want to try ranking for? Getting an accurate snapshot of your current situation will help you decide what to do next.
Once you’ve narrowed down the areas you want to focus on, get in front of the right audience by optimizing your PPC so no time is wasted on ineffective campaigns. Create a custom intent audience that pin-points your target and ensures those who see the ads are already out on SERPs looking for your products and services.
You can use keywords to reach people from your existing content that might be seeing less traffic, but it’s ideal for presenting your brand and its benefits to the customer, thus driving organic traffic and readership when things start to underperform.
While focusing on either PPC or SEO-based marketing platforms can both be beneficial and move the needle on your goals, a whole new world opens up when both are run in tandem. It’s worth the time and effort to explore where your marketing efforts can expand in PPC can help your business reach its goals!