The Case for Pay-Per-Click Advertising in Conjunction with SEO
SEO now in days seems to be the big hype across all businesses sectors. You’re probably asking yourself, “How can my company get a slice of the organic pie?”
You want to find someone you can hire that has in-depth knowledge of search engine optimization, understands the data and knows how to implement changes that adjust to the information gathered. But, is SEO all you really need to get your business successfully off the ground?
While “properly done” white hat SEO can bring you large numbers of organic traffic, SEO is not an overnight magic wand. You must keep in mind that if you’re a small business owner, your competitors have been around for much longer and have more than likely been at this game for much longer than you as well.
SEO in many ways is based on history both recent and past. For example, backlink referrals that provide both real value traffic and SEO juice don’t come overnight. You have to establish relationships, become a contributor in many cases, maybe a sponsor or any other method available in the free market. How do you speed up the process so that you can play a fast pace catch up game with your thriving competitors? You don’t want to wait for referral traffic to build up alone, so take action with other open source applications and paid tools.
Small business owners looking for added growth through new online advertising methods have a lot to look forward to. Particularly in the Pay-Per-Click ad segment of the online advertising industry. According to a Vox report, eMarketers are displaying new estimates that show $129 billion on digital advertising will be spent by US advertisers throughout 2019. Additionally, a Reuters report shows that by 2018, the digital advertising industry was well poised to bring in over $100 Billion in ad revenue, and it did.
This data underscores the importance of digital ad dollars hard at work and the need to make sure each dollar is targeted to the most willing and able buyer. PPC ads can be activated in multiple platforms such as Google ads, Facebook, Instagram and many other useful online sites. Today we will provide an example which focus on how optimizing for SEO Semantics & Google ads and its analytic tracking tools can take your business from zero to hero in only 4 months with ample room for growth.
While long term SEO is highly important, pay-per-click ads allow you to shorten the timeframe your SEO work needs in order to produce immediate results. You can then track this traffic – both organic and paid – to improve your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) methods and overall sales. As you improve overall site health, it will help add a boost to your search visibility as well.
SEO Semantics & Basic Optimization
Our example is broken into 4 months, from January 2019 to April 2019. In these 4 months we will show you how we increased positions organically and provided additional traffic with Pay-Per-Click ads at a very minimal cost. Imagine what you can do with a bigger budget than what is used in our example?
Cannabexchange’s Launch on January 1st 2019
Cannabexchange is a cannabis social media platform with advertising related tools and services which focuses on providing unique content to readers. They also provide a non-restrictive social platform to businesses and users in the cannabis industry. During the launch, there where steps we took that did provide immediate results but not enough to get the organic visibility to a point where suitable traffic and sales is being produced.
As you can see in the “top keywords” image, targeting specialized pages such as events with minimal competition allowed the site to gain visibility in key phrases that are not as competitive but do provide initial results. Let’s call these event pages with a little competition, our low hanging fruits. 4 out of 5 are on the front page of Google for the chosen keywords with basic SEO semantics.
During this same time, we also implement some third-party ad strategies that allowed us to gain initial traffic while we optimized pages for better visibility. You can see this in the second image where direct traffic was a total of 206. This is impressive considering the brand name is not easy to remember.
In order to accomplish this initial first phase of traffic, we implemented SEO semantics & more, across the site event pages. This includes SEO friendly meta tag titles & descriptions, page title & description, permalink, canonical element, SEO friendly category and tags as well as an SEO friendly short description, image title and image alternative name. For added measures, we also include an SEO friendly image file name. This may not be necessary but what the heck, we’re already on a roll!
You can also implement these methods into an e-commerce website in order to optimize your site products for better traffic and conversions. If you’re looking to implement the SEO basics in product optimization, this article, “How to add products in Woocommerce installed WordPress Website”, will be a great start to get you well on your way. It teaches you how to add the product in conjunction with basic SEO semantics.
Month 2, February 2019
As we began to optimize the individual pages, organic traffic began to pour in daily. The image below shows the traffic sources for the month of February 2019. A total of 912 visitors entered the site and 659 of those visitors came from organic search. Compare that to the month of January which had a total of 87 organic search visitors on the image above.
This is a perfect example, even without paid ads and with only basic SEO optimization methods, you can still see a considerable number of visitors gained. Especially, if the pages targeted are chosen wisely such as our event pages example. However, maybe this isn’t enough for you. Regardless, nothing else was needed to accomplish this next goal. We continued to optimize the event pages and increased our keyword coverage. This lead us to 912 users for the month.
Let’s look at Month 3, March 2019
March 2019 was interesting as we gained very little but still showed a consistent growth pattern. We also show in the following image that traffic is not always consistent across mediums from month to month. If you also notice from the traffic changes, that since the business was new, we were testing our marketing efforts in different ways. Social traffic was lower for the month of March compared to February as was organic traffic, but we gained overall in other areas.
In a way, you can see this account hit its first minor plateau where the overall traffic increases begin to level off a little. This is a good time to begin to ask yourself, what’s next? But in doing so you come up with an additional medium that will supplement your overall user visits. PPC ads were started on week 4 of month 3, and in this example, you can see that paid search had been started. Albeit late in the month, so the visitor count for this medium is very low. This is good for comparison with April 2019 in the image below.
Let’s Compare April 2019 to March 2019
In April, the PPC paid search traffic increased from 46 in March to 232. This in conjunction with our organic traffic, display traffic, direct traffic and referrals is enough to get us to the 2K traffic milestone we are providing in this case study. We were a little over 100 visitors shy off our mark for April. This is attributed to the ads being stopped 1 week before the end of the month.
We ran the ads for a month, and they were started about the 23rd of the previous month. The additional 133 needed to reach our 2K milestone would have been easily captured in a week with more active Google ads. In addition, we make our reports from the beginning of the month to the end of the month. Which means that this example does not include any of the traffic in the first week the ads were activated.
For comparison, this example had been executed with a $200 marketing budget for Google PPC ads. An extremely modest amount for the type of platform that Google has provided. We recommend no less than $1,000 per month on just Google ads alone when possible. You can always start with your ideal minimum and you can always go as high as you want.
In the coming article this week, we will walk you through Google ads optimization. You will be able to learn important tools and you’ll be able to optimize your ads for better click through rate and conversions. Please leave a comment below or contribute to these teachings so that others can gain from your knowledge.
Thanks for taking the time.
June 9, 2020