PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is a highly effective online marketing strategy. It allows you to put your offer directly in front of targeted consumers that are actively seeking the exact product or service you are selling.
There is also little to no ramp up time needed. You could literally build a campaign and within minutes have visitors on your website, conversions occurring, and revenue being generated — almost instantly. There is no other form of online marketing that gives you instant access to potential customers like PPC does.
The downside? It can be expensive — you pay for each click your campaign receives. While you can set a maximum CPC (cost-per-click), the top positions can be quite costly. Then we have SEO (search engine optimization), which can drive organic traffic that, while not “free,” doesn’t come with a hard-cost for each visitor.
Many businesses tend to favor SEO over PPC simply because of the perception that traffic generated through search engine optimization isn’t as expensive. Organic traffic is great and when you are able to attract visitors from Google around the clock it can really help to scale your growth.
Truth be told, PPC is the gateway to SEO success. The information you are able to gather and analyze from pay-per-click efforts can be used to help launch a highly successful organic search campaign. Let’s dive in and explain why.
Immediately Gain Top Real Estate in Google Search to Validate a Product or Service
The most appealing part of PPC is how quickly you can start testing. Savvy brands will run a Google Ads campaign and push large volumes of traffic to offer pages in order to validate a product or service prior to investing marketing dollars into areas that take longer to realize results, such as SEO.
By optimizing your bidding and budget you can own the top real estate in Google’s search results. This allows you to see how your offer stacks up against competition or more established brands.
You can use this instant traffic to test price points as well. A lot of businesses will roll out a multi-channel online marketing campaign assuming that their product or service will be well-received. PPC allows you to validate it — with real data — prior to investing time and money into something that might not have a high enough demand.
Generate Revenue to Bootstrap SEO Efforts
“We don’t have the money to invest in PPC and SEO right now.”
This is something we often hear — and there is a very simple solution. A pay-per-click campaign can be scaled easily once it’s optimized properly and your target conversion and acquisition costs are reached.
If you know that you are generating $3 profit for every $1 spent wouldn’t you want to scale as much as possible? Of course you would. You can use this strategy to ramp up revenue, reinvesting a portion of it into your SEO efforts.
Using this strategy allows you to avoid depleting your marketing budget. You’re not using credit or debt — you are simply allocating the profits yielded from PPC into SEO. This is how you can experience rapid exponential growth online.
Test Keyword Conversion Rates Prior to Investing in SEO
One of the most costly SEO mistakes is targeting the wrong keywords. Just because a keyword has high search volume or you may “think” it will convert, there is no way to tell until you have traffic on your website that originated from a Google search that originated from that exact keyword.
Use PPC as a way to test keywords — you can gather a lot of valuable data, from potential traffic volume to the conversion rates of particular keywords. If a keyword has a lot of searches but doesn’t convert you won’t want to invest heavily in ranking for it organically.
Through PPC you can usually uncover a lot of lower volume search terms and phrases that convert high and have low competition. These are the keywords you want to target SEO-wise first, as they can help drive organic traffic and sales faster than the broader, higher competition keywords.
Test Headline and Ad Copy: Convert to Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Even if you were able to rank on top of Google’s organic results quickly, a top position doesn’t guarantee your traffic is going to convert, let alone click-through to your website. If your page title and page description don’t draw attention it will be overlooked and the prospect will click on another result, rather than yours.
PPC allows you to not only test keywords, but headlines and ad copy as well. Within your PPC ad groups you will want to split-test several different headline and copy variations. The better performing ads in terms of CTR (click-through rate) will give you a very good indication of what your page titles and page descriptions should be to achieve the best performance in the organic search results.
Without this data you would simply be guessing. Your SEO effort will be much more effective in terms of converting traffic (therefore more cost-effective as well) if you start with page titles and descriptions that you know have a high probability of attracting clicks.
Discover What Your Customers are Actually Typing into Google
Within your Google AdWords account you are able to view “search terms,” which are the actual keywords and phrases that users are typing into the search engine to trigger your ads to display.
You might have an ad that is targeting the keyword “men’s sunglasses,” but the users are actually searching for “Gucci men’s sunglasses” and “Ray Ban men’s sunglasses.”
This Search Terms report is packed with data that can be used for SEO. You can see what keywords receive a lot of impressions and what ones are pushing traffic to your website. Then you can dive further to see what ones are converting — this helps you identify winning keywords and search phrases to target organically.
It’s all about user-intent and not search volume when it comes to keyword research. High traffic numbers do nothing for your bottom line unless they are converting. PPC data shows us, without a doubt, what terms the SEO campaign needs to be targeting.
When we build out online marketing strategies and campaigns for our clients we always think long-term. You have to diversify across several different traffic sources, but it must be done strategically.
Running a PPC campaign first allows us to drive traffic quickly, validate and test different aspects, and then collect data that ensures the next step, SEO, is executed as efficiently as possible.
There is a method to the madness, and we understand it inside and out. If you would like to speak to us and learn how we can help you scale your business growth through calculated online marketing campaigns contact us today.