Should I separate or combine my SEO and AdWords campaigns?

vector_136_background_01Great combinations are always winners. In comedy, the boxing ring, tennis court, innovation and business. Think Flight of the Concords, Joseph Parker, the Williams sisters, the Wright brothers and Bill Hewlett and David Packard.

The same can be said of marketing. Two complimentary methods can really maximise your audience, transforming into more traffic, and into sales and bookings. Today, Kristina Trood, General Manager at Results First looks at organic and paid search marketing. Namely search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC), in the form of Google AdWords.

  • Cost and return on investment (ROI): Because you’re organically in the search results, you don’t need to pay Google every time someone clicks on your listing. You pay a monthly admin fee to the SEO company, but this can work out to be much more cost effective. For example: if your website receives even 700 clicks in a month, SEO would usually work out to be more cost effective long-term than AdWords, at an average of even $2 a click.
  • Brand recognition: These days most search engine users are clued-on about the search engine results page (SERP), and know that AdWords are paid ads. They also know that the listings that Google puts up organically are usually the strongest and most relevant sites. This is why people use Google, after all. If your site looks credible to search engines, it appears trustworthy to searchers.
  • Instant clicks: Because AdWords Ads go live instantly, your website can start getting traffic and conversions instantly.
  • Targeted ad copy: An advantage with AdWords is that you can insert carefully planned and crafted ad copy. You can include ‘calls to action’ such as deals to encourage click-through responses.
  • It’s great for seasonal trading: As you can turn ads on and off, AdWords is great for seasonal trading and promotions.
  • Tracking ROI is a breeze: The data around AdWords is more transparent, and there are things like ‘call-tracking’ which allow businesses to track their ROI very effectively, with AdWords.
  • You can direct traffic: AdWords ads can direct traffic to specific pages or landing pages on your website for more targeted results. This is harder with SEO as Google has more sway.
  • Results can take time: SEO is a long term strategy. This means you may not get ROI as quickly as with AdWords, despite the potential for a greater ROI. If you’re looking for instant results we would recommend running SEO and AdWords together.
  • Tracking exact results can be harder: Because of privacy laws, Google doesn’t record the data of some searches when people search logged into their Gmail accounts. This means that you’re unable to see exactly which phrase was searched to bring in the traffic.
  • It’s hard to be in control: Google changes their algorithms and subsequently the proverbial ‘goal posts’ frequently. For this reason we always recommend experts like Results First run your campaigns, as they have the research, analysis and understanding to forecast changes.
  • You can lose, very quickly: If a campaign isn’t setup by people with experience and expertise, you can end up wasting your marketing budget on non-relevant and frivolous clicks. For this reason why Results First always recommends advice and management from professionals.
  • It can be expensive long-term: Once you decide to turn an AdWords campaign off, the ads come down straight away. To relate this to traditional marketing, a billboard in the middle of Queen Street may get phone calls, but once it’s taken down the calls will stop.
  • Blockers: Today, some users have plug-ins called ‘Ad Blockers’, so you’re ads won’t appear at all, although these are generally advanced users and relatively small in number.

Results First, New Zealand’s top-rated SEO company, recommends both SEO and AdWords to anyone that has a product or service that people are actively searching for or a service they want to engage with.

There are times when we would recommend running, either service or both. For some business types an AdWords campaign followed by SEO may work, or SEO and AdWords at specific times of the year.

It always depends on the situation, so our Digital Strategists have a comprehensive conversation with business owners about their needs, so they can tailor an online marketing strategy that provides the best return on investment, in a timely fashion.