What’s the best strategy for spending when it comes to e-commerce marketing? Do you spend money on formulating and implementing a complete SEO strategy, or do you instead invest in PPC and get a faster and more accurate idea on which keywords generate the most profit?
Pay Per Click, or PPC for short, is an Internet advertising formula where the advertiser pays the Internet publisher a certain rate when their ad is clicked on, regardless of whether or not a sale is actually made. In other words, it’s the amount of money a business spends in order to get a click on their online advertisement.
As a rule, a content site (or network of content sites) has a set price, while a search engine lets advertisers bid on keywords and phrases. The more you’re willing to bid, the higher your ad appears on search engine results. Search engines usually place PPCs ads in sections with names like “Sponsored Ads” or “Sponsored Links”, to differentiate them from normal search results.
FYI, PPC is SEO
The point of this article is not to say that PPC is something you do instead of SEO. Rather, the gist is that PPC is in fact a form of Search Engine Optimization that belongs front and center in your marketing strategy, perhaps at the cost of letting other SEO tactics fall by the wayside.
The whole point of an SEO campaign is to drive traffic to your site by the process of finding out which keywords are the most effective and going with that. With Pay Per Click, you spend money to get a quick idea of what works, money you might be shelling out on an SEO campaign anyway.
The Advantages of PPC
In the most basic terms, PPC will drive traffic to your site, pure and simple. Say you have a bike repair business in the Boston area, and you have created a PPC ad for it. Someone typing “bicycle repair” on Google will see your ad in the search results (its prominence dependent on how much you bid), and by clicking on the ad, the potential customer gets directed to your site. Even if they don’t spend money right away, they now know where to find your business when they need it.
A decent PPC campaign can tell you in about four weeks give or take, whether or not your keywords are effective. The beauty of PPC is that it doesn’t require any extensive research to find out how well the keywords in question are performing. The results come back faster because you’re getting charged for clicks, so it’s easy to see how many times an ad was accessed.
Also, you can conduct precise keyword targeting by sending various ads to different geographic locations and networks, and seeing which ones get more click-throughs and conversions.
You can also find out exactly what people are typing on their search engines in order to access your site. Such exact information removes a lot of guesswork, and lets you focus on what has yielded proven results.
Tying It All Together
This doesn’t mean that you should abandon the more traditional SEO campaign. Rather, PPC can run in tandem with a reasonable SEO campaign, and the latter can actually be made more effective based on the results culled from PPC. There’s more than one way up the mountain, but Pay Per Click makes for one Hell of a good Sherpa guide.