Among the first things new clients want help with is figuring out where to spend their marketing dollars. Many business owners are not terribly familiar with Internet marketing, especially “inbound” or search marketing (that is, marketing that is driven by Google or Bing searches conducted by customers who are seeking your products and/or services. Panoptic’s clients generally need help understanding the opportunities, and guidance in deciding between whether to start with SEO – search engine optimization – or paid search advertising (also called Pay Per Click, or PPC).
The biggest, most pressing question is usually “which will bring me the better return for my investment?”
Of course, if you have the budget then by all means do both. But most of our small business clients can’t shoulder both a monthly SEO retainer and full PPC campaign management.
As an agency that specializes in SEO, our recommendation is always to focus on the SEO first. Our thinking is that SEO addresses the health and effectiveness of your website, your primary marketing vehicle, and any issues that may be causing your site to be less than maximally visible to prospective customers — or less than effective at converting visitors into customers — must be tackled before investing any time, effort or cash in any additional initiatives.
That’s not to say that PPC isn’t a valuable marketing channel. In fact, PPC can work in tandem with SEO to bolster your visibility and conversion rates in important ways.
Very often, clients still want to take on PPC first — the appeal of targeted search advertising is just too great to resist. However, we warn you: PPC requires the same commitment as SEO. There is no magic – just a lot of hard work. Here are three things to keep in mind as you consider jumping into your first PPC campaign:
- PPC is not a “set and forget” proposition. Don’t expect to set up your campaign once and watch the sales roll in. Without spending time to analyze and interpret performance data you won’t be able to optimize your campaign. We’ve seen it time and again: clients’ PPC campaigns fail and they abandon them, thinking PPC is not worth the monthly investment.
- PPC is complicated. There are keywords and negative keywords to manage, ad copy and landing page copy to optimize, bidding tactics to implement and optimize. To get the most from PPC advertising you really need to find someone who has the expertise to assist you through the whole process. Advertising is now more competitive than ever; if your campaign isn’t properly managed, big opportunities are lost in an instant.
- PPC requires collaboration. Remember: you know your business and customers better than anyone else. You need to keep Panoptic in the loop and partner with us so that we can make joint decisions to help you reach your goals. Brainstorming ideas and reviewing campaign results together regularly is absolutely necessary for developing the best PPC strategy and overall Internet marketing plan.