Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are they main method of advertising on the internet. But good SEO will, over time, put your website up in the listings. So, when is SEO not enough? When does it become time to investigate into paying for PPC?
SEO and PPC both have their places. Their roles are complementary.
SEO is search engine-focused. Search engines want to deliver the best searches they can. Good SEO shows a search engine that your site is the site to trust with a high ranking. Getting traffic and conversions from SEO is a side effect of looking good to the search engine.
PPC is searcher-focused. While PPC ad networks do require a certain level of quality in their ads so the network is trusted, from an ad purchaser’s perspective it’s just like any other kind of advertising. It’s an appeal to the viewer.
PPC ads sell a product or service. The usual mechanism is that the ad entices the viewer to click. The click takes them to a landing page that persuades them to take further action. PPC is not the route to go if all you want to do is advertise your brand. SEO (along with social media) takes care of that side of branding. Thus, if you’re not selling a product or service on your website then you don’t have to worry about PPC.
Once you do start sales, that is the time to consider PPC. PPC is a shortcut to getting conversions and it works. Google places PPC ads at the very top of the page and does a very good job of ensuring ad relevancy to a search query. Google makes money hand over fist from PPC buys because it works so well.
PPC ads can also be used to gather information, but this has to be done carefully. PPC ad networks aren’t kind to people who use ads to just harvest information. That’s the sign of a spammer gathering data for a campaign. If you are going to use a PPC ad, you have to give the person who follows through on the landing page something in return. A free report, some templates, anything that lets Google know that the person who clicked their ad got something out of the deal besides a signup page.
PPC ads can also help with your SEO. A well-converting ad can tell you a lot about your audience. You can find out which queries people are using to find your ad before clicking. This is valuable keyword data about your audience that can feed directly into your SEO efforts.
Could all of this be done with SEO? It could, but it will take a lot longer to see appreciable results. That said, if you already have good SEO and then you place a well-targeted PPC ad, you could see a significant boost in conversions since your ad is linked to a high-ranking site.
Yes, PPC costs money and you have to set your ads up right to get a good ROI. But if you already have a product to sell it’s time to consider it. SEO alone will get some sales but you really need PPC to get a steady stream of customers.