Tag Archives: Paid Marketing

3 reasons to use PPC (even if you have great rankings)

cash in walletI’m often asked at client development presentations and seminars a question like this: “Why should I use PPC? I already rank well with SEO.”

I love these questions, because it gives me an opportunity to talk about my favorite topic — paid marketing. For nearly every business, paid marketing must be part of your mix.

Here are my top 3 responses to the “why should I use paid” question:


  1. Control the page. Even if you had the greatest SEO team in the world, the best you can get for any given search is two organic listings. So what better way to dominate the page than with a paid result as well? In most cases, you’ll have two, if not three links (think “chances”) to capture a potential prospect. And when using the same keywords for both paid and organic, you should see far better results overall (for both spots).
  2. Control the message. The snippet and URL shown for your organic search results may not be the best possible place for your prospects to visit. Instead, support this listing with a paid result. Within reason, you can say what you want to say in the ad, and direct clicks to the page on your website which converts the best. From another perspective, if you’re facing negative or less than desirable organic results, use paid marketing to level the playing field.
  3. Expand your reach. The only way to expand your reach organically is to create content and links which support your additional keywords. But try doing this for more than a few dozen terms, and you’ll never make progress. If you want to be found for hundreds, even thousands, of potential keywords, the only way to get this type of reach is through paid marketing.

With the given change in Google’s search page, organic results are getting further and further down the page. These three reasons apply in all situations, and for all businesses. To borrow a page from politics, you’ve got to pay to play, and the only guaranteed way to get traffic from a search engine is to buy it.

Photo credit by Penny Matthews.

Popular Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Pitfalls

money jarWith each passing day, PPC engines grow more complex and feature rich. But even with these new enhancements, potential clients still believe that PPC doesn’t work. When I ask a few questions about their experience, these common pitfalls are often the reason between success and failure.

Here’s a short checklist of mistakes business owners (and some agencies!) make, and how to avoid them:

Bidding on irrelevant keywords.
If you don’t write about the broad category of keywords, don’t bid on them. Use Wordtracker to generate lists and permutations of phrases based on a root keyword, and then use Google’s Keyword Tool to get a suggested list of phrases based on the copy of your website or landing page.

Not segmenting ad groups.
Having few keywords, one campaign and one ad group is never the way to structure your account. To have the best relevancy, segment your ad groups based on your various landing pages. The search engines, and Google in particular, like to see clicks lead to a page appropriate for the query.

Not targeting your local market.
Make sure you target geographically both within the ad group’s settings and by including geographic place names within your keywords, ad copy and landing pages. For example, if you’re a divorce lawyer in Lubbock, TX, your keywords could be “divorce lawyer Lubbock” or “Lubbock divorce attorney”, etc.

Leaving content match on.
This is a default setting in nearly all PPC engines, and is designed for maximum profit for the search engines, not necessarily for the advertiser. Content match publishes your advertisements on non-search based pages, alongside relevant content (or within your targeted geographic location). Content targeting is best if you have “impulse” goods or services for sale. In your account settings, disable content match until you get a flavor for the types of traffic pure keyword-driven search brings. Only then should you consider expanding to the content network.

Sending all clicks to your homepage.
Unless the homepage is your only page, it’s almost never right for the first click, since it will require your visitors to navigate, search or do something before they can take your desired action, such as signing up for your newsletter, or requesting your whitepaper.

Poor account setup is very common, and is easily fixed. If you’ve made these mistakes, it’s never too late to restructure your campaign. In just an hour or so, you can be well positioned for better PPC success, save some money, and get more predictable results from your paid marketing campaigns.

Photo credit by spacey.