By Richard Scheufler, Senior Marketing Consultant
At VIB Marketing Agency, I have been approached by an increasing number of potential clients whose ranking and organic web traffic have been severely affected by Google’s recent changes to algorithms associated with page ranking. I have also seen clients’ investment and returns in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rapidly decline. It has become more evident lately that savvy companies must rely on multi-faceted marketing campaigns that include pay-per-click (PPC) and social media marketing (SMM) to restore their ranking and traffic. Applying the instantaneous sprint of PPC, supplementing with the marathon that is SMM, and aligning these strategies with other forms of online and offline marketing has helped our clients stay on top and win the race.
Back in November 2013, the world was already debating and witnessing the decline of the market and ability of SEO. Forbes Magazine discussed Google’s decision to limit analytics as one of the main forces that is catapulting businesses toward paid search in an article entitled Will 2014 be an SEO or PPC Year for Marketers? Forbes reported that “72 percent of businesses surveyed reported they plan to spend more on PPC in 2014. Google AdWords was by far the area where businesses planned to spend the most money on paid search, followed by Bing Ads, display networks, and Facebook.”
Pay-per-click advertising is immune to search engine algorithm changes. It is the quickest and best way to overcome the reduction in organic search traffic that used to be driven by search engine optimization. Best of all, it can put you at the top of the first page of search engine results, delivering significant and relevant traffic on the very first day.
One of the main advantages of pay-per-click is precisely targeting your ad to customers exactly at the very moment they are searching for a product or service such as yours. The one major con of PPC is the expense. A poorly managed account can take you through the floor faster than it could rocket you into the stratosphere, which is why it is very important to find an experienced agency that is qualified to manage your strategic pay-per-click campaign.
The power and instant change that PPC can create is second-to-none. The top PPC companies are Google AdWords, Bing/Yahoo and AOL. Google AdWords is the top PPC provider with over 80% of the market. PPC offers many tools that help to effectively reduce expense/risk and increase success. My favorite is tracking code, which allows you to track which keywords lead to conversions.
Social media advertising is also experiencing rapid growth in 2014. Over 60% of marketers have advertised on social media and 57% have dedicated teams managing and optimizing their campaigns. 64% of advertisers expect to increase their budget and the majority of businesses are advertising on Facebook and Twitter.
With Facebook reporting 802 million daily active users and 1.28 billion monthly, it’s no wonder! As time progresses, a properly managed social media presence can become one of your most profitable, powerful and economical marketing/advertising tools.
SMM delivers multiple benefits from one investment. It can increase your website’s organic ranking as users visit and link to your site; generate leads and sales; and foster loyal customer relationships, which will further enhance ROI. Social media advertising platforms are extremely sophisticated at delivering highly relevant ads to an extremely targeted audience. Using an individual’s self-reported data, web history and buying habits, social media delivers ads that align with users’ interests, increasing the likelihood that they will act.
Advertising on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can strategically target a large portion of your audience, and it is typically more economical than PPC. However, it does not deliver the instantaneous results and high click-through/conversion rates that PPC does, so I recommend applying both strategies in tandem for the greatest impact.
None of the tactics I’ve mentioned will work alone. In order to stand out amongst your competition in this rapidly changing marketing environment, you must engage in as many effective channels as your budget allows. Based on my clients’ experiences, these channels should include PPC (AdWords, Bing/Yahoo, AOL) and social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter), complemented by other forms of digital marketing like emails, e-newsletters, blogs, and directories as well as offline advertising and direct mail.
In order to increase the likelihood that your campaigns are effective and your message aligns across all channels, it is in your best interest to have one agency handle your PPC and SMM. All of your campaigns should work in tandem, because a patchwork campaign run by multiple agencies runs the risk of distracting your audience and hurting your ROI. Your PPC ads should feature the same messages, landing page and promotions that you are featuring in you social media.
Need assistance with your strategic online advertising and marketing campaigns? It would be my pleasure to assist. Call me at 440-984-7049 to discuss your project.