Most of the business owners and executives who come to see us for web design and Internet marketing already know they need to be using search engine optimization, social media, and pay-per-click advertising. What they don’t necessarily know is how they should prioritize them and use them together. In fact, many aren’t sure of the distinctions at all.
That’s understandable—the men and women we work with our busy building and running their companies. They don’t have the luxury of learning the ins and outs of Internet marketing the way we do. So, if you feel as they do and aren’t sure how you should use search, social, and PPC to grow your company, here are a few things we want you to keep in mind…
Organic Search Engine Optimization is the Foundation of Most Internet Marketing Plans
Organic search engine optimization is so important to Internet marketing that a lot of business owners and executives think the two terms mean the same thing. When you have a high ranking on Google for targeted set of terms or phrases, you’re virtually guaranteed to have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of potential buyers coming to your website every week. Best of all, they are arriving at the exact moment when they’re in the market for whatever it is you sell.
Additionally, good SEO becomes more efficient over time. That means you spend less and less to maintain that top search engine position while the results just keep getting better and better.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising Generates Quick Responses and Makes for Easy Testing
Pay-per-click advertising makes a nice supplement to organic search engine optimization. It can be hard for some business owners to rationalize paying for clicks when they could be getting them for free, but PPC works much more quickly, and lets you test out new ideas, campaigns, and marketing messages in a matter of hours instead of weeks.
These advantages are important for couple of reasons. First, if you need traffic right away and don’t want to wait for organic SEO to kick in, paid search ads can be a great option. Also, they can help you analyze conversions and results over a fixed period of time before you make a bigger investment in a larger campaign that could last for months.
Social Media is All About Brand Awareness and Building Relationships
A lot of marketers get confused about the role social media should play in the Internet mix. In our experience, it has a lot of possible uses, but is best for building brand awareness and one-on-one relationships.
The reason is simple: while a lot of people will go on to Google looking for products or vendors, most Facebook and Twitter users are having fun, sharing ideas, and seeing what’s new. So, you might be able to grab their attention with something that’s interesting, but they aren’t likely to make a purchase quickly.
Knowing that, it makes sense to engage them with catchy images, behind-the-scenes stories, and even jokes or personal opinions. That way, you can let buyers get to know you, and to develop a relationship that’s more meaningful than the one they have with other companies or vendors.
A lot of marketers (and more than a few web designers) fall into the trap of thinking that SEO, PPC, or social media is the ultimate solution to finding new business. In reality, it’s the way they work together that yields big results.