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Should I Stop SEO or Pay-Per-Click

I am often asked by clients if it would be more “cost effective” to drop PPC (pay-per-click advertising) and focus on just SEO (search engine optimisation), or vice-versa.

The answer I always give my clients is “NO!”

This is why…

In many people’s eyes these forms of search marketing are worlds apart and are often thought of as totally separate entities. As with any comparison, they both have their pros and cons. In theory SEO is a long term solution that requires patience to achieve high rankings, whilst PPC allows you greater flexibility since you are paying for each potential lead sent to your website.

The truth is PPC & SEO are both important online marketing elements and like any marketing strategy you need a good marketing mix that works in synergy. If your business relies heavily on “word of mouth” would this mean that you would take down your store signage and stop giving out other print material as well because this medium is working for you?

That would be absolutely crazy!

Below are some ideas on how you can use both PPC & SEO to make your online marketing mix more effective

1 – Use PPC to retrieve valuable keyword ideas from your Ad Groups and utilise this in your SEO strategy.
2 – Use your keyword targeted SEO pages as landing pages for PPC adverts and optimise these pages for conversions by split testing.
3 – PPC and SEO can be used to dominate pages that you’re ranking for organically to strengthen the appeal of your brand.
4 – Analytics and AdWords data can make your website more user-friendly and geared towards conversions by creating and monitoring sales funnels (a direct path to a specified page).
5 – Monitor successful Ad Groups to determine great calls-to-actions and implement similar content on your website.
6 – Utilise cutting edge web technologies (eg. responsive design, Google+ authorship, rich snippets, re-marketing, mobile data repositories…etc) to have an extra edge on your competition from the moment  a consumer finds you on a search.
7 – Increase your visibility on social media and iterate this as a platform to gather real information (people are painfully honest on social media).
8 – Setup Google Analytics and associate it with Google Webmaster Tools in order to turn your data into insightful information and find opportunities for both SEO and PPC.
9 – Make use of your offline collateral to drive traffic to your digital presence, provide them with value, and watch the conversions stack up!