This week, we welcome a guest post from our Online Marketing Manager and PPC/SEO specialist, Brian Ko. Certified in both Google AdWords and Silverpop, Brian works with clients to develop strategies leveraging search engine marketing and email marketing automation.
Congratulations – you invested in a brand new website equipped with the latest features and gadgets to provide customers a fantastic user experience. What’s the plan for driving visitors to your new site?
A great website is useless without traffic, and more importantly, qualified traffic that converts visitors into customers. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) come into play. As a SEO/PPC specialist, I have three favorite recommendations for incorporating SEO and PPC into your marketing strategy to drive quality traffic to your website.
The Case for SEO + PPC:
At its most basic, SEO drives organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic consists of visitors who land on your website by searching for keywords relevant to your business in a search engine like Google. SEO uses a combination of website optimization, content strategy, and a variety of other methods to make sure your business is at the top of search listings.
Why is being at the top important? According a study by online ad network Chitika, Google results on the first page get 92% of traffic for the average search, and organic listings with the first rank have a click-through rate of 33%. Staying atop of the herd pays off, when it comes to organic search.
Meanwhile, PPC works hand in hand with SEO, driving visitors to your website through paid advertisements placed strategically around the ‘organic’ search results for specific keywords. A company bids on what they want to pay for a click on an ad.
According to a study by Wordstream Research, 64.6% of clicks for high commercial intent keyword searches (people looking to purchase a specific product) come from paid search, and 41% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on a page. The keyword competition can be fierce with PPC, but it’s worth it – you’re paying to get your site in front of your target audience.
SEO + PPC – the benefits
The statistics speak for themselves – SEO is key to getting your website found by customers online. It requires patience, perseverance, and agility to adjust your strategy to the never ending parade of Google algorithm updates. At the core, SEO is all about providing unique and relevant content to the right audience for consistent and long term ROI.
PPC is instant gratification – you pick a keyword, set a bid, write an ad, and then see results right away. It is a fantastic way to boost conversions for special events, like sales or holidays. PPC offers an ever expanding set of features (Google shopping/product listing ads, display ads, ad extensions, remarketing) giving you many opportunities to sell more products or services.
Incorporating both SEO and PPC into your marketing strategy can maximize inbound search traffic.
1. Immediate and long-term traffic: use PPC to drive traffic to your site right away and then use the collected data to optimize your SEO for long term traffic.
2. PPC data fills in SEO gaps: use the comprehensive data captured from PPC and apply it to your SEO – an especially useful workaround when it comes to secured search (see our blog post on the (not provided) issue and secure search).
3. Leverage your PPC campaign to get ahead of SEO competition. If you rank #1 in organic search listings for your brand, but you’re not running a PPC campaign, a competitor can bid on your brand name and jump ahead of you on the search results page. Don’t let this happen!
SEO and PPC are sometimes considered low priorities during the madness of building and launching a new website. Coordination and communication from the start between stakeholders, development, and the search team is vital to success.
Implementing PPC and SEO in conjunction will drive short-term and long-term qualified traffic to your brand new website – ensuring you maximize your investment.