Should I Invest in a Paid Search Campaign to Attract my Audience?Kenneth Nel
Have you ever been involved in speed dating? Personally, none of us here have, but we’ve heard its loads of fun. The basic idea is to try and connect with as many people as you can in a very short space of time and determine whether they are the right fit for you. The reason we’re talking about this is simply that speed dating is very much like paid search in the world of marketing.
Come and explore this with us, and let’s see if paid search is the right strategy for attracting your audience.
Paid Search Unpacked
When it comes to increasing traffic or grabbing the attention of your ideal audience in the digital realm, there are really only two horses in the race: SEO and paid search.
There is so much information online discussing the value of SEO versus paid search, but what we’ve discovered is that there is no either/or about it. But more about that later.
Think of it this way; if you are looking for a partner you can find one the old-fashioned way by meeting people at a friend’s wedding and getting to know them over a period of time, or you can jump in with both feet into the speed dating game.
The end result of either tactic will likely see you with a partner, but the time and effort that you have put into getting to know someone over weeks or months will likely equal a more stable, long-term relationship. Speed dating will get you a person, but you may find it’s a short-term fix.
And that is, essentially, the difference between SEO and paid search. The actual mechanics look more like this:
Benefits of Paid Search
Paid search is a way of generating traffic by making use of paid ads such as the ubiquitous PPC ads through Google. Any time you spend money getting clicks to your site, you are involved in paid search. The benefits are:
- Delivers immediate traffic
- Can be fine tuned to target a highly specific audience
- Can be turned on and off immediately
- Can reach a large number of people in a short space of time
- When done correctly, will position your business on Google’s coveted first page
- Can be used for multiple keywords and phrases
- Delivers useful data for future campaigns
- Immune to Google’s changing algorithms
- Can be used when keyword competition is too high for SEO
- Statistically delivers better conversions than SEO traffic
Sounds great, right?
However, there are always two sides to every story.
Downsides of Paid Search
- When you stop paying, your traffic dries up immediately.
- While you can run a campaign on a small budget, it will always cost you something. It’s never free.
- Some industries have pushed the cost per click of their keywords unreachably high which means the little guys can’t afford to perform well in a paid search campaign.
- Traffic from paid search campaigns are less likely to be loyal brand followers than SEO traffic
Determine Your Goals
So, should you get involved with a paid search campaign for your business?
Well, that all depends on your goals.
- Do you need a quick boost of traffic to promote a special offer or an event?
- Are you testing a new page or service which needs a fair amount of views to get some solid data?
- Are you starting a new venture and want to raise awareness?
If these are your goals, then you will certainly benefit from a paid search campaign.
A word of caution before you close your browser window…
Paid search is an awesome tool, but a good, solid, ongoing SEO strategy will continue to produce valuable results in the long term.
SEO – done right – can position you well in the search engine results page without having to fork over tons of cash for the privilege. A permanent SERP position for the best keywords for your business (evergreen content) will reap rewards again and again in the months and years to come.
Just something to think about.