You’ve likely heard or read about the fundamental ingredients of building a sound organic web presence:
- Compelling robust, keyword rich content people want to read like share
- Keyword rich Meta Title Tags, Headings and internal links
- Structurally sound web pages which load quickly and are user friendly
- Social media presence and content distribution to generate social signals and authorship credibility
- Backlinks from other reputable, relevant websites
- Mobile friendly web pages
- Videos appropriately tagged and transcripted
The list of elements of a successful organic SEO strategy is exhaustive, however the time, energy and commitment that goes into SEO can pay rich and consistent dividends. There are, however, many ways and opportunities to supplement an organic SEO plan.
When does it make sense to use a pay per click strategy in addition to applying the time honoured and oft-measured elements of organic SEO? Here are a handful scenarios, which might merit paying to boost your social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; or may sway you to bid on Google Adwords or Bing Ads, even as a temporary strategy.
1. Need for instant traffic results
You may be the new kid on the block and your web presence may not be fully configured or indexed, you may not have yet developed any relevant backlinks or been recognized as an authority in your field. Your need for visitors may outweigh your recognition among your industry competitors or patience for organic strategies to take hold. You might be introducing a new product to market or not want to miss a seasonal deadline for sales. In this case, a limited paid advertising campaign can deliver immediate traffic.
2. A/B Testing of titles, keywords and messaging
Say you have done your keyword research, but you don’t have the time to build thorough, Google Hummingbird-worthy content around all of them in a short time. Experimenting with some keywords or headings in AdWords or on LinkedIn promoted posts can give you a good idea of how they will resonate with users when you incorporate them into your blog posts, product pages or landing pages. Once you get feedback, shares or likes in the wilds of social media, you can sprinkle the keywords, which resonate the most with your prospects into your own site. You might create a buzz on social media and be able to carry that on into your organic, long term strategy with the additional readers you might reach via your paid campaign.
3. Google Authorship is not yet your friend
If you are new to market with your website, to content marketing or to business in general, you likely do not have the authorship credibility established competitors have developed over time. Levelling the playing field (or trying to) may be expensive in the short run, however, when you gain traction in your industry with clients, web browsers and establish relationships, you can build authorship credentials while upstarts and new entrants invest in Pay Per Click, as per the endless cycle of business evolution.
4. Your marketing campaign has a defined end date
As a manufacturer, you may have excess inventory of a product and want to help it to fly off your shelves by a certain date. As a service provider, such as a real estate broker or training provider, you may have a deadline before your property listing comes to an end or registration closes on a class. A Pay Per Click ad or a Promoted Post may serve as a hail-mary to try to capture as many prospects before your opportunity expires. One of the strengths of organic SEO is its long term success. However, in select cases this can also be a weakness, in which case paying to appear on the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) or social media sidebars makes sense.
If you do decide to dip your toes or dive right in to the PPC pool, be sure you have a good understanding of where you are positioned organically. Take time to conduct thorough keyword research to understand if there are keywords for which you maintain a strong organic position and subsequently do not need to spend $ for clicks. Generally speaking, you should never have to buy clicks for your company or product name because presumably you should dominate these searches. If you are ranked in the Top 3 positions of Google for any given keyword, you are not likely to get any value or return from paying for clicks on the same keyword. The organic search result is much more likely to be the first item clicked on the search page.
For most established businesses with somewhat predictable marketing and sales cycles, the organic web presence optimization approach is widely recognized as “future-proof” and prudent. Eighty-five percent of clicks on SERPs go to trusted organic results. When you are fresh out of the gate with your web presence, Pay Per Click may be the table stakes you need to pay as a rookie, however, earning trust, credibility and organic SEO authority should be the ultimate goal of any established business.