Integrating Search Optimisation and Pay Per Click

Is Your Business Missing over 50% of Sales Leads?

 

Thanks Jan you FORGOT the Yellow Pages!

SEO PPC in Silos

SEO and PPC should not be placed in separate "silos".


Most business owners are now aware that most searches for goods and services start online and not with the big yellow doorstop. Australians use search engines to find and research what they want. 90% of the time, Google is the search engine they use.

So whether we like it or not, a search marketing strategy has to be the starting point for getting prospects to our websites. (Sorry folks, Facebook just won’t cut it for mainstream business and serious traffic. Social media certainly have a role, but usually not for generating primary traffic.)

Search marketing covers two things:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay per click advertising (PPC)

Many businesses regard these two areas as being separate, often employing separate specialist teams to manage each one. But there is significant interaction between SEO and PPC, and if you “silo-ise” them you are not managing your search marketing efficiently. Businesses will often focus on one or the other, not understanding the need to integrate both SEO and PPC.

In fact, if you are not combining both PPC campaigns and an SEO strategy, you are likely to be missing out on over 50% of your online sales leads.

This will be a contentious statement to many business owners, but before providing some hard data to back this statement, let’s just set the stage with a quick review.

Search Marketing Review

 

If you are already a search marketer, what are your responses to the following 10 points? Some of these are “no-brainers”, but others you may find more contentious.

  1. I have strategies for both SEO and PPC management
  2. I have done my keyword research and reviewed keywords for which my competitors sites are optimised.
  3. I have installed Google Analytics, or another analytics package, and created goals.
  4. My pay per click campaigns are correctly focussed and structured.
  5. My pay per click campaigns are being actively monitored and managed.
  6. Bids on individual PPC keywords were run for sufficient time to collect statistically significant data.
  7. I run ads using my own brand as keywords.
  8. I bid on keywords even when I rank in the top few of Google search results for those keywords.
  9. I work on conversion optimisation of both SEO content pages and PPC landing pages.
  10. I am actively engaged in content and link development using information from analysis of my pay per click traffic.

 

If you answered YES to all the above 10 statements, then I would maintain that you have a balanced search marketing strategy, and are on the way to getting most of the money on the table.

If you didn’t tick all the boxes, or disagree with some of these statements, then read on.

SEO and PPC – Cannibalism or Synergism?

 

When business owners ring me about SEO services, I always ask them whether they have run a PPC campaign, either now or in the past. In many cases the question results in a short pause. You can almost hear the thoughts ticking over.

“What’s this guy trying to sell me?”

“I don’t want to spend money on PAID advertising when SEO will give me FREE traffic”.

“If I can get a high ranking for my super relevant industry keyword, then I don’t NEED paid ads.”

There are a couple of problems with these points of view.

Firstly, organic traffic from SEO is not free. SEO is time consuming, and, even if you do it yourself, you need to put a value on time. Quality SEO costs.

Secondly, SEO and PPC are synergistic NOT cannibalistic.

  • Having an ad on a page of search results where your keyword also ranks highly will improve overall click thru rates – traffic – for that keyword.
  • Businesses that rank highly for particular keywords will often get at least as much traffic from clicks on the paid ad as the organic listing.
  • PPC will provide the market intelligence, including the vital keyword traffic and conversion information, you need to run an effective SEO campaign

 

 

 

Show me the data

 

Just to reiterate – I made an earlier claim that “If you are not combining both PPC campaigns and an SEO strategy, you are likely to be missing out on over 50% of your online sales leads.”

As a pay per click management company, we find that the vast majority of website sales leads come from either paid or organic search, and that pay per click makes a substantial contribution even when the site ranks at number one or two position for the ‘big-money’ keywords.

Here’s some summary data from analytics of a number of business websites. They show the proportion of contact form sales leads generated from various sources.

 

Case 1 – Local Service Business

Business characterised as:

  • A main-stream service business
  • Local, with geographically focussed  pay per click campaigns
  • Pay per click not highly budget limited
  • Website has high rankings for the most important keywords
  • Business bids on own brand keywords
  • Adwords focus includes keywords where organic rankings are high

Case 1 data

Sources of sales leads over same period. Pay per click and organic make roughly equal contributions to website sales leads, even though site ranks well.

Case 2 – Local Service Business

Business characterised as:

  • A main-stream service business
  • Local, with broad geographic focus in highly competitive area
  • Pay per click not highly budget limited
  • Website has good rankings for the most important keywords, but does not dominate organic search
  • Business bids on own brand keywords
  • Adwords focus includes keywords where organic rankings are high

Case 2 data

Sources of sales leads over a period. Pay per click and organic make large contributions to website sales leads, but pay per click delivers substantially more leads.

 

Case 3 – Multinational Service Business

Business characterised as:

  • A niche service business
  • Pay per click campaigns in several countries
  • Pay per click budget limited
  • Website has average quality rankings for the most important keywords

Case 3 data

Sources of sales leads over a period. Pay per click is vital for this business, but there is considerable scope to improve organic rankings using data from the pay per click campaigns.

Google’s Research Data

 

There is some interesting research data on the issue of “click cannibalism”. “Click cannibalism” is the notion that running paid ads on the search results pages where your website also ranks well organically, will reduce your “free” organic clicks.

Some research from Google:

“.. we examine how the number of organic clicks change when search ads are present and when search ad campaigns are turned off. We then … estimate the fraction of total clicks that can be attributed to search advertising. .. these studies reveal that over 89% of the ads clicks are incremental, in the sense that the visits to the advertiser’s site would not have occurred without the ad campaigns. “

One outcome of what they are saying, is that you will get more clicks by running paid ads on a keyword, even if your site already ranks well on that keyword.

For the full paper on Incremental Clicks go here.

Some may be sceptical of this Google research data, but it is really just common sense that the more times a link to your site appears on search results page, the higher the probability of someone clicking on it.

So an effective search marketing campaign will include both pay per click and organic search (SEO) strategies.

In the next post I will look further into the 10 points covered in the Quick Quiz above, in particular the more left-field ideas such as bidding on branded keywords and maximising synergy between pay per click ads and organic search listings.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>