The Search Marketing Unicorn: unleash your PPC & SEO mythical superpowers

Isn’t it about time all the possibilities offered by combining PPC and SEO are embraced? The Search Marketing (SM) unicorn agrees.

In today’s highly-competitive marketing world, brands and businesses must do whatever they can to get their message heard. On top of this they have to make sure they are louder than their competition. This is where SM comes in, and it’s what can help you dominate the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) ladder. With 5 billion daily searches conducted on Google alone you should definitely make the effort to be found and ranked; don’t be forever forgotten.

How can you get found on the World Wide Web? Well, by combining your organic and paid advertising search efforts, i.e. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising. In 2017, it’s not about one or the other; it’s about combining the two: a must if you want to stay ahead.  If your marketing team’s efforts have so far been split between paid and organic, I would suggest you start exploring how the two can work together to amplify your online search marketing strategy. Today. Actually, yesterday!

Now, let’s get down to the search business. Definitions, definitions! (because trust me, I know how confusing all this marketing lingo can get!)

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation, in its most basic terms, is the process by which a website is optimised (kind of improved) to rank better in searches for specific keywords or phrases. Content is key to this. For example, if my company – a car insurance provider – wants to improve its website’s ranking for car insurance then my content has to be rich in that sense; I would have to include titles and descriptions containing this phrase, speed up my loading time, and insert links from car insurance-related websites. For SERPs like Google, this adds credibility and automatically gets you ranked higher.

PPC: Pay-Per-Click advertising refers to the advertising you see at the top and along the sides of searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo! and social media networks. With PPC, a company pays only when its ads are clicked. Sounds brilliant so far, doesn’t it? The downside is most keywords aren’t very affordable given the high competition and need to be monitored daily (if not by the minute). What I mean by this is that if my company is for example selling car insurance, it would make perfect sense to bid for the ‘insurance’ keyword – which will cost around $25 per click! What happens when you simply haven’t got that kind of budget though? My thoughts exactly…

You simply explore all the possibilities, and believe me they can be rewarding when utilised properly and executed by a team that knows what needs to be done. Such is a PPC/SEO team who will use their expertise to drive your brand’s online marketing strategy. You can try yourself, but trust me this is one of the few aspects of marketing which works best when you know what you’re on about.  I have come to realise this even more so through my research, and in fact there’s a winning formula:

SEO + PPC = SM unicorn

And a few key practical benefits.

Increased visibility = you’re there every time they search

Using both PPC and SEO strategies guarantees increased exposure on SERPs; through PPC you can appear in the form of an advertisement and via informed SEO you appear in the organic results. The positive outcome is that you show your potential customers you’re an established brand. You’re not just paying to appear; you’re there because you are credible, given your effective SEO. This is vitally important, especially for mobile. Note how when you search for something on Google on your mobile the first 4 listings are ads, meaning paid search dominates. If your user scrolls down past the ads, finding you high up in the organic search results will greatly assist in making you first choice. You are reminding a potential customer you’re there not just because you paid for it; you’re there because you deserve to be!

Keywords = you can test and use for both

With PPC you get to test variables and see what works and what doesn’t so much faster than SEO. For example, by determining which PPC keywords have the highest conversions, you are in the advantageous position of optimising your overall strategy. What do I mean by this? Well, by using PPC you can test the conversion rate of keywords you want to rank for in organic search (i.e. SEO). The feedback you’ll get is immediate and you won’t have to wait for SEO results, which take longer to appear. In other words, if it works for PPC, chances are it will work for SEO too! By the way, this works both ways. You can also examine which keywords are typed in by your customers in your site search tab (which has to do with SEO); those are probably the same words they will be searching for on Google, so why not use them to update your PPC keyword strategy.

Remarketing = no one can escape you

Let’s say your brand website ranks fairly well thanks to good SEO and you’re getting significant traffic, but your leads aren’t converting. For example, potential customers on my car insurance website are looking at the different policies on offer, but then leave my site without making a purchase. Will I just let them go? No way! I’ll head down to my PPC nerds and ask them to purchase ad space from Google. Do you know why? Because that way my company’s ad (mine, mine, mine) will come up when my aforementioned potential customer will be online again. Basically there’s no getting away, which essentially means my car insurance (I need to come up with a name, fast) won’t ever be forgotten!

Data = you can make smarter decisions

Using PPC and SEO together (i.e. running simultaneous campaigns) will provide you with more data, in turn helping you make smarter decisions. Consider click through rates, bounce and exit rates, time on site and of course conversion rates. Taking the latter as an example, you can determine two things: which keywords are the most effective and lead to sales, and which are sending visitors to your site but don’t assist in the purchase process. I’m pretty sure (although I’m not a PPC/SEO nerd) that this alone will help you make smarter decisions about your paid marketing and any future changes you need to make to your website.

Conclusion is, like most things in life, together is better! And unicorns are so cool! Plus, if I go any deeper I’ll get totally disoriented and I have to focus on building my car insurance empire, so I’d rather just let our in-house PPC/SEO nerds explain it to you so do drop them a line at [email protected]. If you need interpreting give me a shout, I’ll be down the corridor. Galloping like a unicorn.


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