PPC is way of getting targeted audience to your website by publishing ads on search engines. It is an effective way of generating when you don’t highly rank for your top keywords. But unlike SEO, you will have to pay a price for visitors coming through those published ads.
In order to have a successful PPC campaign, you will need to take care of few important things.
1. Understand your business/brand
- What is your brand/business all about? What are your services/products?
- Study your competition. How are your different than your competition?
- Go through your successful and failed marketing strategies so you can learn from them and not repeat them.
2. Know what your goals are.
- Different businesses have different set of goals. It can be anything based on the nature of your business like of you own a blog your goal is to get more visitors or may be more subscribers, if you are a online shopping website you want more buyers. You goal can be anything based on the nature of your business, so determine your goals early.
- Make your goals realistic. Say if you advertise for $200 you cannot expect to get 200 new leads. But a more realistic goal might be getting around 30 leads. New leads don’t mean new buyers/customers to your products or service but they might possibly turn into one.
3. Determine your budget
- Managing a PPC campaign is exciting and yet overwhelming. You can end up wasting more than whats on your budget if you don’t keep a close eye on your spending. You don’t want to go crazy on an advertising campaign which is not paying off.
- Based on the industry and the keyword you opt-in for, your cost of advertisement varies. For example if you are a cake shop owner you keyword might cost you around 30 cents while if you are a auto care center you might end up paying 5 dollars to 8 dollars a keywords.
- Study your ppc campaign on a regular basis and keep and eye on your ROI. Study how much is your one customer worth. If your spending is around $20 per customer but you are just making $10 on one customer, its not worth carrying that campaign.
4. Who is your targeted audience
- Who is your audience? Figure out the targeted age group, gender, etc. If you are a Bridal store your targeted audience are females.
- What is their location? If you are a cake shop owner in Los Angeles you don’t want to target audience in Seattle.
- What are they looking for? If you are trying to sell an iPhone to a user looking for ringtones it will not turn into a lead. But instead if you are offering a ringtone to audience looking to buy iPhone it can turn into a lead.
5. Work on your keyword list
- Make a list of all important keywords related to your services or products. The success of a PPC campaign mostly depends on the right keywords.
- Finalize your targeted keywords using keywords tools – keywords planner tool (by Google Adwords), Google trends, Wordtracker, etc.
- Bid on the keywords that aptly describe your business.
- Eliminate the keywords that don’t generate leads.
6. Attractive ad Campaign
- For your ad campaign to be successful, your audience has to find your ad attractive.
- Make your TAG line appealing and catchy. Putting right keywords in the campaign is not the only thing about tagline.
- Create different ads for multiple keywords.
- Try not to mislead your audience with your ad campaign. If a visitor come to your website and doesn’t find what he/she is looking for it negatively affects your business.
7. Homepage is NOT your Landing page
- When users are redirected to home page instead of landing page they can get overwhelmed with the content.
- Design a new landing page if you don’t have one.
- Landing page should have a good call of action. If it doesn’t have a call of action the visitor leaves your site, increasing your bounce rate.
8. Most IMPORTANT – monitor your campaign closely
- Check your ROI.
- Redesign your ad if its not generating enough leads.
- You need to track the success of your campaigns and ensure if its getting you right audience.
- Redo points 1-7 based on market changes and change your campaign accordingly.
In general, it is advisable to work towards increasing your ROI by drilling your Adwords spending up and down based on trends without losing the track of your monthly spending. SHare your views with us on this.
Any new client I am consulting always asks me: “What approach should we start out with first?”
So the first thing I would like to say is that there is no first, second or last approach. SEO and PPC are the standard and most powerful traffic generating approaches for your online marketing campaign besides other marketing strategies like social media marketing, video marketing, content marketing and so on..but lets not get into it right now and carry on with our discussion on how to choose between PPC and SEO.
Lets start with a brief understanding of both these approaches. Both these approaches work towards the same goal (generating more traffic) the only difference is the way of achieving it.
SEO – Search engine optimization is building your website traffic using strategic approaches to have a higher ranking in organic search engine results page (SERPs). The major investment in using SEO tactics is your time (of-course money is involved too), and since it takes time for your SEO methodologies to take effect and have higher rankings, SEO is a long term effect. You will need to keep on following the new approaches (changing your in-page and off-page methodologies) towards your SEO marketing to maintain your higher rankings. The higher your SERP rankings high is the number of leads your business is getting and you will realize your efforts are well worth the investment.
PPC – Pay per click marketing is paying directly to the advertiser to display your digital ads on the search engines result pages. CPC – as the name says cost per click is what you will pay every time your ad is clicked. Advertisers bid on the keywords they want to target on their niche to get a spot on the sponsored results. The most common platforms to have your sponsored results displayed are Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Bing.
Comparing both the approaches:
Position on SERP
Displayed with all the other organic listing on the main body of the page. There will be a lots or related search results (mostly your competition) displayed based on the search engine’s algorithm, the search query and your strategic SEO approaches used.
These results might not be filtered based on the location until and unless specified. There may be no guaranty on the position/ranking of your website.
Displayed on the top or the right of the search page’s body with “Sponsored Results”, “Ads” or “Promoted” written.
The background color will be different from the background color of the body to make them stand out. There will be no guaranty for top ranking on PPC either, but the results displayed here might be filtered out based on the keyword bid for, location, timing selected.
The ongoing cost of SEO consultant (if you are hiring one) which can include your initial website setup, implementing SEO strategies and continuous maintenance of those strategies. There is no cost associated with choosing targeted keywords by SEO.
Spending around a $1000 per month on your SEO approach, getting higher rankings in SERPs will keep on generating lots of free to your website. But you need to keep in consideration that more leads will pop in only if you have higher rankings, websites with lower SERP positions can only manage to get very few leads.
The ongoing cost of PPC consultant (if you are hiring one) plus the cost of the PPC campaign which you will be paying to the ad platform based on the number of clicks and the price of your keywords.
Based on the industry and your keyword your cost on maintaining that campaign may vary.
If your keyword is “Truck Insurance” your average CPC according to Google Keyword Planner tool is $11.22. On average for 100 clicks your cost would be $1122.00. Taking a realistic conversion rate of 5% your cost of one lead is $224.40. Keeping your profit and your cost per lead in consideration, decide if its worth spending this much every month and don’t forget to add the cost of the consultant to this budget.
With SEO you have to expect at least 3 months for your leads to flow in with regular organic results. If you are a startup business you would not love to spend on advertising while just waiting for 3-4 months for your first online lead to show up.
You might need to keep up with your SEO approaches to maintain higher ranking and have new leads flow in.
With PPC, all you need to do is sign up with a ad publishing platform, chose your industry keywords and have your ad designed (1-2 days). You will have your first ad published as soon as you are done with these simple steps and can expect leads to flow in.
Once you remove your campaign your PPC leads stop (except if your leads have turned in your returning customers – you expect them as your direct leads now)
Maintaining SEO is maintaining your website and your code. It will be more complex if you don’t have much knowledge about how to manage the code and what to change when needed.
Here you will need to keep up with the new search engine updates and follow the strategies accordingly to maintain your higher rankings.
Maintaining PPC campaign will be easier (easier and not easy) compared to maintaining a website. All you have to manage here is your ad campaign and your keywords.
Here you will not need to keep up the new search engine updates, all you will need to do to maintain higher rankings in sponsored results is to bid higher on your keywords and you stay on top.
Reading the above points you would have now figured out that SEO is more of a strategic approach while PPC is a more tactical approach. So talking realistically is not about deciding between SEO or PPC, instead its more worthwhile when both the approaches are incorporated in your internet marketing strategies.
Advise: If you are a small business owner and are trying to manage your own SEO or PPC, always keep a track of your approaches and your campaigns. If you realize your efforts are not yielding your expected results it never to late to hire a consultant.