If you have an established business, customers often come to you. But if you’re a new business or a small business, you have to go find your customers. In doggy domains, that’s called marking your territory or claiming your turf. And there’s a lot to accomplish:
- Establishing brand recognition
- Identifying your target customers
- Howling about your unique advantage
- Persuading customers to buy from you
To make matters even more difficult, you may have to accomplish these goals in two very different arenas: online and in the real world. In the real world, you can mark your territory with billboards, newspaper ads, magazine ads and direct mail. Online, you have much different tools, including a PPC marketing strategy.
SEO vs. PPC?
Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are often viewed as entirely separate approaches to the same problem. That’s because they take different paths to similar results:
- SEO works by preparing your website with search engine-friendly content while securing backlinks to build your online reputation, which helps your website show up in searches.
- PPC is paid online advertising that reaches a well-defined audience to drive traffic to your website.
Which is better for you depends on your situation and your budget. The primary difference between the two is that a PPC marketing strategy yields almost instantaneous results, while an SEO campaign can take months to show meaningful results. But before you jump on the PPC bandwagon, consider this: A PPC campaign stops as soon as you stop paying for the ads, while an SEO strategy continues to thrive well after your last payment.
Develop a PPC Marketing Strategy to Suit You
In the best — and most generic — marketing plan, you’d use a little of both. A PPC campaign delivers traffic to your website now, to get you up and running. It’s not a miracle cure, so you need a professional like Barking Dog to do the right things to persuade your website visitors to become customers.
While that’s working, you have time to develop an SEO plan for the long run. When you have a successful SEO marketing strategy, your website shows up in online searches without ads. That’s called organic searches because your website ranks high in search results because it’s relevant. That’s the value of an SEO strategy.
Where Pay-Per-Click Fits
A PPC marketing strategy helps make your business profitable from the start. It puts your message front and center for your targeted online audience. It guides them through the sales funnel as they transition from curious visitor to dedicated customer. PPC works. But it can be expensive.
That’s the reason to build up your SEO ranking. Once your website is appearing on search results organically, you can stop your PPC campaign, slow it down or use it intermittently as needed. In the process, you’re carving out your niche and marking your territory.
Just remember that there can be many steps to both a successful PPC campaign and a robust SEO strategy. You need to give both the attention, focus and resources they require. Otherwise, your territory may shrink to the size of a doghouse.
Remember, if you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes!