We spend a lot of time here at webFEAT Complete ensuring that our clients’ websites are shining examples of effective search engine optimization (SEO), and we’re proud to see the sites we build and optimize climb up the ladder toward that coveted Number One spot in search results. A lot of what we do for an SEO client is optimizing their site so that it reaches that point organically – that is, when a site’s quality and content are such that search engines can easily recognize it as relevant to a user’s search. There are several factors that go into this, including strategic use of keywords, building and earning links from other trusted websites, and producing quality content. But where does PPC fit in?
PPC – An Organic Alternative, or Addition to Your Digital Strategy
But organic SEO is only one way to put your site in front of users’ eyeballs. Paid or sponsored content – that’s Internet-speak for advertising — also goes a long way toward getting clicks. In fact, Google is so aware of the power of these sponsored links that it launched AdWords, an increasingly sophisticated self-service advertising tool that has been reported to earn the search engine giant over $100 million per day. PER DAY.
As web marketers continue to learn about the relationship between organic and paid search rankings, take a look at these four reasons why you should be using AdWords in your web strategy:
#1: Customers Still Respond to Advertising
It’s a hard truth for SEO cowboys to accept after pouring hours into optimizing a site’s content for organic reach, but those ads at the top of the search results page (SERP) tend to dominate users’ attention. One study showed that, even when a site obtains the mythical No. 1 spot organically, an AdWords ad for the same site sitting atop your Google results will still grab roughly 40% of the click traffic:
Source: Search Engine Land
This might be because AdWords ads, being highly customizable, usually result in more engaging, more valuable content than a link and a headline. The variety of ad extensions AdWords offers – for FREE – results in ad links offering more ways for users to interact with your site and your business. The mobile optimized extensions, particularly the call button, are among our favorites.
#2: AdWords Puts YOU in Control
AdWords needs to be part of your advertising strategy because, quite literally, you’re in charge. You tell Google how much you’re willing to spend each day. You tell Google what keywords and phrases should prompt your ad to appear. You tell Google what features (extensions) the ad should have. Then, based on your input, Google will work its patented algorithmic magic to link to your site.
Ultimately, flexibility and targeting make up the AdWords game. From within your AdWords account, you can instantly modify your budget constraints, or budget one amount for pay-per-click (PPC) ads and another for the display network (that’s the part of AdWords that distributes your ad out to relevant 3rd party sites). You can also modify the keywords (and types of keywords) very easily, and even vary keywords based on the campaign, audience, and device you choose.
The result is not only more control on your end for how and when your ads appear, but also who sees them.
#3: It’s Easy to Measure AdWords Success
If there has only been one true statement about Google, it’s that they nerd out over stats. Big time. The clearest example of this is probably Google Analytics, a service that allows a user to see – in fine detail – how many visitors click your site, what pages they land on, where they were referred from, etc.
This passion for analytics translates over to AdWords in the form of the pay-per-click ad. AdWords tracks the performance of every ad it creates on your behalf, and – what’s cooler – it presents a side-by-side display of your ads’ performance and the traffic data captured independently by Google Analytics. So, for example, AdWords can show you that there’s a correlation between a spike in site traffic last Monday afternoon and a Google ad that went live that same afternoon.
Maybe more important, though, is that Google Analytics also gives you insight into what each visitor does once they land on your site. Do they go explore? Do they go right for the proverbial “Buy Now” button? Do they bounce? Combining AdWords with Google Analytics makes this valuable information easy to access and interpret.
#4: Ads Show Results Faster than Organic
Over a third (approximately 36%, according to Search Engine Watch) of all searchers click on the first link on the SERP. That figure plummets to 12% for the 2nd link in the chain. The 10th link – and keep in mind this is still on the first page of the results – gets a measly 2% click-thru-rate.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that even a simple PPC ad at the SERP’s header will yield significant, immediate results. Organic, SEO tactics, on the other hand, can take months to yield any palpable results.
The flipside of this coin is that results driven by AdWords can disappear as quickly as they appeared, and it’s a solution that constantly requires funding to keep moving.
Pay Per Click and SEO
In PPC accounts, landing pages for each page must be selected. Say you own a bike shop and you have an ad for tires. One thing that assists in lowering your cost and raising your rank is the relevancy of the landing page, the content on it, and some other factors. If you have and ad for tires and link to an accessories page, your ad won’t be successful, and you’ll have to spend more money. With Search Engine Optimization content is built, landing pages are specific, detailed, and provide a great user experience. If you have a tire ad, going to a page about tires, with every detail you’d need to know, it’s more likely that the customer visiting your website will place an order instead of bouncing off of your page, to a competitors website. Pairing SEO and a PPC campaign pays for itself in the long run.
AdWords/PPC is a powerful and effective tool to quickly and dramatically gain visibility. Given the breadth of options and degree of flexibility, however, it can also be a complex puzzle to piece together. That’s why we like to include AdWords service for our SEO clients because, ultimately, a website with healthy traffic is one that relies on a balance of organic SEO work and paid ad content in order to succeed.
At webFEAT complete, our PPC campaign managers are AdWords Certified! Having AdWords Certification requires studying and testing of the current best practices that can help businesses get the most for their money. Our goal with any PPC campaign is to show business owners or marketing managers a return on investment through conversion tracking.
Thousands of additional visits and targeted leads to your website are waiting to be seized. Let’s get started today!
Also published on Medium.