Online marketing in general is a lot like building a house. Building a house from scratch means a mix of materials which work together permanently to create an enduring structure that isn’t easily displaced or dismissed. While your home may have required brick, cement and support beams, your digital campaign needs search engine optimisation (SEO), content, programmatic advertising and, perhaps most importantly, pay per click (PPC) also referred to simply as ‘search’.
Remaining for another moment with the home building analogy. You could indeed craft a shelter from a pile of bricks stacked on top of one another with no cement, but the benefits would be as short lived and potentially disastrous as a content campaign with no programmatic or search promotion. You’d simply be expending resources with little hope of positive return. SEO on its own is a powerful technique, but one which tends to yield mainly long-term results. You can get reports on improved website performance due to SEO changes within about two months at a push, but they won’t be more than basic indicators until about six months later when the picture actually starts to become clear.
If you can afford to wait that long in order to increase sales that’s great but there are things you can combine with SEO to fill in that time gap and increase conversions now. Pay-per-click, on the other hand, will start to yield results immediately, getting your marketing message in front of the right eyes and leading to a marked increase in page visits and (if your conversion page is properly optomised) conversions/sales.
How to Properly Use PPC
As noted above, search marketing will yield instant results but the cost-per-click (CPC) in the beginning will be higher than it should ultimately end up being. Bidding and other related costs with search are connected to the relevance of the keywords you’re bidding on, and relevance is largely determined by your website. That’s another way in which SEO ties into your PPC campaign, reducing costs over time.
But, even early on, PPC is very cost effective if run correctly. It’s important to dispel the idea which persists in some corners that a search campaign can, or should, be entirely automated. A good campaign is one that’s checked manually and periodically by a professional. A good campaign manager will be able to read the data and patterns to optomise and increase spend where targeting is working, and cut wasteful bidding.
Building an audience list is critical these days and is also something better left to a professional who has consulted with you. This thinking extends to re-marketing campaigns which ensure that consumers who showed interest or almost converted are reminded of that interest in your product or service at a key moment of their online browsing. Waste no opportunity.
There are many other considerations such as getting your ad copy right, which in itself can be an art-form considering space limitations, but these are things we’ll dig into another time. For now, consider the needs of your current or upcoming marketing campaigns and which services you should be running together. But, no matter what they are, search should almost certainly be a part of your plans.