THE MARRIAGE OF SEO AND PPC
And Its Offspring – Synergy
In Plain English: Making 1 + 1 = 3 or 4 or 5 or more!
Small business digital marketers have a distinct advantage over larger enterprises. That advantage comes down to no entrenched opposition to integrating Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts with pay-per-click (PPC) strategies. And that means fine tuning your online marketing to target and hit the bulls-eye of your preferred audience(s).
In contrast, there typically is an inherent perceived conflict within agencies serving larger companies and/or their internal marketing departments … the result is a “siloed” slant that blunts the payoff to internet marketing.
Small business, whether taking a DIY approach or seeking to invest in professional third-party management services, can take the high road and forge a synergistic strategy that welds SEO and PPC into a powerful one-two marketing punch.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Definition, Deployment and Benefits
SEO is the process of generating online visibility of your website through a search engine’s unpaid results. This is referred to as organic search results, i.e. a function of actions you have taken to create content that the search engines grab on to.
An effective SEO strategy will drive more visibility for your business, establish you as a thought leader and convert more qualified inbound leads who are seeking what you offer. To be effective your strategy must be alert and responsive to the continuing evolution of the search engines, particularly Google. That means being nimble and proactive in perfecting your strategy as search algorithms and market conditions advance.
Anything less and your more vigilant competitors will triumph in the quest to be at the top of the vendors list (Page 1 of Google) when your customers, prospects and referral resources are searching for what you can deliver. If you are not on Page 1, then you just lost a customer to a competitor who has successfully done what is necessary to occupy that critical position.
Note: In our March 2018 issue of the Third Marble newsletter, we showcased the topic of “Businesses Who Want To Show Up on Page 1”. (Click here to read) It’s a good place to start to catch up on an important study that highlights best practices as well as immediate practical steps you can take now to succeed.
Your SEO process is a building block effort. That construction project will depend on:
- The number of pages you have on your website
- The number of competitors you face
- The number of locations you have.
There are a series of definable tasks that need attention. Click here for a Checklist for Success of the items to be addressed. You’ll enjoy a presentation of 12 key elements that ultimately are coupled with ongoing SEO optimization.
If you choose a DIY approach to SEO, be aware that there is more below the waterline than is obvious in a view of the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a partial list that you should be mindful of as you approach you objective of successful search engine optimization.
You will gauge your success with your SEO strategy based on how well you build a stronger overall organic search presence that drives more people to your website and increases your conversion rate, i.e. suspects to prospects, and prospects to customers.
That means no less than a Page 1 presence!
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – Google AdWords
You’ll recall that SEO is the process of generating online visibility of your website through a search engine’s unpaid results. As the name implies, PPC is paid advertising on a search engine’s results page to drive traffic to your website.
Let’s use Google as our example search engine. Google AdWords is its PPC management system. Companies that advertise via AdWords have their ads appear on the Google search results page. So far there is no cost incurred.
When searchers Google (clicks) using a keyword or key phrase an auction market is triggered. If there are many companies bidding for the same phrase, then the cost per click will be much higher. If there are only a few companies bidding on a phrase, then the cost will be less.
The advertising company that bids the highest price for a click on its ad gets placed at the top of the Google search results page. That page placement will enjoy the highest number of clicks and the peak likelihood of conversion to sales.
Your success with PPC advertising will depend on a superior and tightly targeted choice of keywords and phrases, plus a well written ad coupled with an attractive, easy-to-navigate website. Unless those three “aircraft” are all flying in formation, you run the risk of months of frustration and costly errors.
The Union of SEO and PPC
So now that we’ve covered the details and distinctions between SEO and PPC, let’s take a look at the leverage and multiplier effect when the two are combined in your marketing mix.
From the SEO side, your mission is to create superior content that is perceived as valuable by your target audience(s). That means meaningful product information with lots of benefits statements directed at the needs of your prospects and referral resources. Additionally, your pages, images and reviews should demonstrate your clear position as a thought leader and industry expert. That drives organic search results that the search engines embrace.
Now couple your organic search strategy with that of paid search. Here’s where the synergy comes in to play. You want to be present in as many online entry points as possible. PPC delivers a trifecta function:
- First, it allows you to buy search results before you are regularly ranking high with your SEO organic efforts.
- Second, Google allows more data to flow when paid-for ads are initiated through AdWords accounts.
- Third, PPC is an excellent way to test the validity of your SEO campaigns. Buy what you consider are the keywords and use PPC to confirm your choices before jumping into an extended, and time-consuming SEO series of promotions.
What To Do … And How To Do It!
OK. Hope this article has been helpful in making the case that an effective combined SEO/PPC marketing strategy will turbo-charge more visibility for your business, establish you as a thought leader and convert more qualified inbound leads who are seeking what you offer.
That said, it requires diligent, nimble, proactive monitoring and execution to prevail in the competitive arena of being at the top of the vendors list when a buying decision is to be made or a referral opportunity surfaces.
Now your choices are do-it-yourself or invest in professional SEO/PPC management services. It is likely that you are already wearing several hats as a business owner and ladling in yet another marketing responsibility is probably not an option … particularly if you have to master the learning curve to effectively marry SEO and PPC.
SEO and PPC strategy and execution is a profession unto itself. You are well-advised to seek proven expertise just as you do with your accountant, attorney or other trusted advisors.
Third Marble Marketing is primed to be your SEO/PPC “go-to” resource.
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