Lately I have got a lot of questions on what one should do to advertise online and get business. Many people I talk with always want to know where they should spend their advertising dollars. In my early marketing years I had the same question, the only difference is I did not have anyone telling me the best strategy. I have come up with strategy that I use as a frame for every client that I work with. Obviously every singe industry is going to be more or less competitive and will need to be tweaked to fit your industry but the starting point is the same.
Before we can go further its important to understand what each is and what it does. Here is a image of where you will find each one on the search engines.
PPC (Pay Per Click) – PPC is just what its name entails, you pay a certain price for each time someone clicks on your link. The upside to PPC is its based mainly on the price you are willing to pay (There are other factors that go into it but the main factor is the price willing to pay). The result it you can get instant traffic to your site just minutes after starting the campaign. The main downsides are, if you stop paying, so does your traffic, and the price for each cost can vary so much and change at any time depending on how much your competitors are willing to pay. Many times you can find yourself in what I call a latter battle where you outbid your competitor, so they up you to get back to the top and that keeps going on and on until it hits the ceiling for what a lead is worth in the industry.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – SEO is by far one of the most effective marketing strategies when done right. It gets you to the top of the Natural or Organic listings on the left of the search engines. The advantage to this is around 70% of all people only click on natural listings so you are tapping a much larger number of searchers. On top of that SEO is a long term investment, unlike PPC if you stop paying or doing SEO, your listing will not fall due to not adding additional SEO. Your competitors can take you over if they to better SEO but for the most part when you get to the top you will stay there or near. The disadvantage is… It takes a lot longer. Some keywords can take 4-6 months to get listed at the top where others can take years. Each keyword is going to be different.
So the real question is, is what do you focus on? Obviously its going to fluctuate from site to site, but my general rule to start off is 70% PPC and 30% SEO when first starting off. So if your budget is $1000 a month on marketing, you would spend $700 on PPC and $300 on SEO. The reason I do this, is noone wants to wait 6 months to start making money, and that’s about how long it takes for SEO. So when starting off I like to junpstart the marketing with more PPC to get instant new visiors to your site to start making money. The idea is each month your rankings will change on the SEO and soon you will adjust the budget as you climb the natural listing. Since being on the natural and paid listing at the same time to me would be a waist of money, as you move up a specific keyword you remove it from your PPC. Eventually I work to get it 100% to SEO. The time it can take for that will vary depending on how many keywords you use and how competitive your industry is.
When you create a PPC campaign you can use as many keywords as you would like at once, where with SEO you will focus on one, or a few specific keywords or phrases. So you are going to remove each keyword one at a time and go down the list of keywords used till you have no keywords left in PPC.
Things To Keep In Mind
- Every campaign will differ from keyword to keyword.
- More competitive keywords may require maintenance to maintain positions
- The goal is to be able to move off of the more expensive paid listing side, to the organic “free” side
- Do deep research into each keyword and make sure you are focusing on a keyword that gets enough searches, but that is not too competitive. Chances are if you are trying to overthrow Amazon it will never happen (at least any time soon)