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July Newsletter: “Why Should I Run PPC Ads On That Keyword? I Already Rank High On It Organically!”

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The Top 10 Answers To A Common Question

It’s a legitimate question, and one that we answer often.  Here are the top 10 reasons marketers should continue to run pay-per-click ads on the search engines, even for keywords where their site ranks high organically.
  1. Surveys have shown that roughly 20% of searchers click on the paid listings versus the organic links.  So why miss out on that traffic and those potential customers?  Twenty percent may not seem like a lot, but it often makes the difference between profitability and losing money.  As the old saying goes, “Fish where the fish are” and ensure that you’re prominently placed everywhere your prospect may be looking.
  3. Running a PPC ad takes up one paid listing that could otherwise go to a competitor.  Don’t you want to squeeze competitors out and leave less room for them?
  5. When one company is seen in both the paid and organic listings, they automatically appear to be the market leader, and their credibility rises.  (We like to take this one step further and take up more than our fair share of organic listings with web pages in addition to the corporate site – we are greedy when it comes to real estate in the search engine results pages!)
  7. Due to both having more real estate and appearing as the market leader, click-through rates for both paid and organic listings typically rise when both appear for the same search.  The sum is greater than the total of its parts.  This means more website visitors from both channels.
  9. Similarly, there’s often a lift in online conversion rates when the same company appears in paid and organic listings.  It’s thought that the credibility boost may make searchers more comfortable making a purchase or filling out an online form.  More conversions = more revenue.
  11. Sometimes you can control the description that the search engines display in their organic listings (via the description meta tag), but not always.  Sometimes they display a snippet of text pulled from the web page’s copy, which may or may not be ideal.  With your pay-per-click ad, you control all the copy that’s displayed, and can accurately convey your marketing message.
  13. Sometimes you can control which web page ranks high for a particular keyword in the organic listings, but not always.  We’ve all had random web pages rank high for terms they weren’t actually targeting.  With PPC, you determine what the landing page is, and you can even develop custom landing pages where the visitor can convert right there, boosting conversion rates.  There aren’t many websites that offer a conversion point on every page that shows up in organic results.
  15. It’s ideal to achieve high organic rankings, and it’s something we strive for every day.  But we can’t control what these rankings are, and they fluctuate constantly.  Search engines change their algorithms and indices, new sites enter the marketplace, and competitors get more savvy with their own SEO efforts.  Should your site’s organic rankings take a dip, your PPC presence can continue to build your visibility, site traffic and conversions.
  17. If you leave the PPC auction for selected keywords, and later decide to bid on those terms again, you may have to pay more.  During your absence, your competitors have presumably been continuing to hone their campaigns and improve their Quality Scores, making it harder for you to come back and compete.
  19. Pay-per-click’s immediacy, flexibility and control makes it a perfect test medium.  Want to know which keywords prospects respond to, which title and description generates the most clicks, which landing page drives the most conversions?  That’s easy and fast to do with PPC, much slower and more cumbersome with SEO.
We don’t intend to bash SEO here – we are big fans (and providers) of search engine optimization!  There’s certainly nothing wrong with the listings that 80% of searchers click on, which don’t cost the advertiser anything on a per-click basis.  But dropping paid search for keywords where you rank high organically is short-sighted at best, and worst case, could have a negative impact on your bottom line. Related blog posts:

Company Updates

Listen to Tim Goleman’s interview of Stacy speaking about “Top SEO & PPC Mistakes.”  Podcast available on Tim’s Marketing Elements Blog (scroll down) or in iTunes. Mark your calendar - Stacy will appear on a panel discussing “Digital Strategy – Got One?” for StartupChicks on August 18 (dudes are welcome too!). Prominent Placement was featured as a case study for Trillium Financial. Happy 10th Anniversary to our client Abacus Solutions!  We’re grateful to have partnered with Abacus since 2001.

Search Advisory Posts

Integrate search and social to boost your conversion rate by 10 percentage points (recap of MarketingSherpa’s 2011 SEO Benchmark Report) Blogging: No Longer Sexy But Still Effective Google AdWords: Quite Taxing (new users pay, in effect, an AdWords tax) SEO for the New Google (OMS session recap – don’t miss the point about the rich getting richer!) Power Triumvirate: Social-Local-Mobile (OMS session recap)

Previous Issues

June:  The BP Oil Spill and Search Engines May:  The Latest & Greatest on Social & SEO April:  Eating My Hat (But It’s a Tasty One!)

About Us

Prominent Placement, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service search engine marketing (SEM) firm, delivering ROI that traditional marketing channels can’t touch, with a level of service that raises the bar. Since 2001, Prominent Placement has managed the entire SEM process for clients across the U.S., empowering businesses to focus on what they do best. Prominent Placement’s customized solutions are backed by hard numbers, giving decision makers the confidence they need to make smarter decisions. For more information, visit our website or call 888.SEM.MKTR (888.736.6587).  If you’d like to learn how Prominent Placement can drive more leads for your business, contact Christine Verska at x713 or christine@prominentplacement.com. Follow us on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Connect with Stacy on LinkedIn Read our blog “Search Advisory

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