It’s no secret that performing search engine optimization (SEO) for a website is a significant investment when done professionally and thoroughly.
Aside from the cost, the sheer number of tasks involved in SEO — keyword research, content optimization, formulating page titles and meta-tags, starting a blog, tweeting, adding links and more – can seem overwhelming.
Still, every company wants their websites to be visible on the first few pages of relevant searches.
There is, however, a far less costly alternative to SEO: paid search ads.
These can accomplish the goal of creating visibility on page one (an achievement that even full SEO can’t guarantee) at less cost, and in less time – with very positive results.
Yes, it’s “advertising.” So, no, it’s not as good as being on page one through organic ranking. But paid ads DO get attention.
Paid search is a viable option that offers 100% control: you decide your budget (as low or high as you like), you change the content of the ad whenever you like, you pay only for clicks, and you can immediately see the results of your ads. If they’re not pulling in the kinds of leads that you want, you can stop the campaign at any time.
We have had success with several clients who spent as little as $200 to $300 monthly on the campaigns.
Ads can be designed to support almost any marketing endeavor (such as driving traffic to your website or a special landing page featuring one of your products or services, to building awareness of a special promotion, to reach more people with your content). If the ads are well thought out and well-written, you will get clicks.
Make Your Ads “Smart”
Content is king in all sorts of marketing outreach, and it’s no different for paid search ads.
The limitation on Google ads is that you have only about 30 characters and three lines of text to get your message across. How will you make your ad stand out? Content.
I call ads that link to useful content for the prospect “Smart” ads. Rather than creating a set (five- seven typical for any program) of plain-vanilla ads that are straightforward, bland or just try to expose your message, instead exploit and tie your ad to educational content – direct them to download something that’s useful.
You could for example:
- Destroy common myths about your product or service
- Provide information or tips about selecting your product or service
- Help them compare between competitive offerings
- Answer questions or common sales objections
- Share your company’s perspective about an industry issue or problem
Your educational content needn’t be long. White papers make perfect downloads – but here again, some companies may not have any readily available. The alternative is a single landing page on your website (or a downloadable written document) that contains the educational information you have convey.
It makes sense to be where your customers are searching – online. If your company is not already highly visible, paid ads are worth at least a test run, serving a supporting or even starring role in your ongoing marketing efforts.