If you’re trying to figure out how to attract customers online, the array of different options can be overwhelming. SEO, Adwords, social media, PPC, content marketing – the options can seem endless and it’s far too easy to get sucked into trying a bit of everything.
But for your business to succeed online, you need consistency and direction. You need a PLAN. And step one of that plan should be how you’re getting your potential customers from a search engine results page to your website.
This is called Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, and the two branches of this are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and paid ads – we’re going to focus on Google Adwords.
But don’t fear – you don’t have to decide on one over the other. Both have their benefits and limitations, so we’re going to look at how you can use SEO and Google Adwords together to create an SEM strategy that really works.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Get a paid boost for quick wins
The main benefit of Adwords is that the only time delay is how long it takes you to set up your campaign. Unlike SEO, where results can take months to come through, Adwords is all about instant wins.
This makes it great for campaigns where you need results fast. If your business is a new startup, it can take a while for your website to build up enough authority by itself to rank effectively, and so Adwords can be a great way of building an audience while you wait for your SEO efforts to kick in.
Equally, you might have a shorter-term promotion, such as a holiday campaign, where you want to be able to predict more accurately the dates you’ll be able to rank for a certain keyword, so Adwords can provide a more predictable result.
2. SEO and Adwords: Make the most of free traffic
SEO isn’t an instant fix, but if you’re looking to be in the game long-term, it’s a vital part of the jigsaw. SEO is all about getting more exposure in organic – or unpaid – search results.
Treat your SEO as a mid- to long-term strategy, and whilst your Adwords campaigns are bringing in initial traffic, you can be building on your SEO, content marketing and social media strategies to get the long-term gains and ROI that SEO brings.
3. Double up for extra impact
If you’re struggling to compete for traffic on a particularly challenging keyword, doubling up SEO and Adwords on the same keyword can help you get an edge on competitors.
Your Adwords campaign will get your page listed at the top of the search results page, whilst your SEO efforts will get it in the organic results further down.
As potential customers browse the results, you’ll pique their attention when they see your site appear twice.
4. Edge into your competitor’s space
Another way of using the tactic above is to edge into your competitor’s search results space. By targeting keywords such as ‘Alternative to [Competitor Product]’ on both Adwords and whilst optimising your content, you can start to edge into the search results when people search for your competitors – capturing the attention of their audience and bagging yourself some new customers.
So next time you’re looking for customers online, don’t feel you have to choose between these approaches. Both SEO and Adwords are great strategies to attract online customers and by knowing when to use each of them you’ll be able to make the most of your advertising budget whilst creating an impact online.
About the Author
Maryn Mcdonnell is a creative content writer. She spends her days working closely with many entrepreneurs and creative thinkers from various fields. Her interests include travel, self-improvement, and technology. Find Maryn on Twitter @MarynMcdonnell