SEO or SEM (PPC), organic vs. sponsored? Where should your online marketing budgets go? Well the answer is both. SEO and PPC can work very nicely together depending on where you are with your online marketing efforts. We came up with ten instances where SEO and PPC should be used together as an effective online marketing campaign.
1. Preparing for a Site Redesign - when planning a redesign and making sure that all of the SEO best practice are being put in place as you prepare to launch, you’ll want to bolster your online campaign with sponsored efforts as you transition your site from the old site to the new. Once the SEO efforts kick in post launch, you can reduce your PPC spend and focus your sponsored efforts elsewhere.
2. Preparing to Launch a Microsite - Microsites allow you to try out a more targeted online strategy. For quick traffic generation to your new micro site, you’ll want to utilize an well planned sponsored strategy. At the same time your SEO efforts can be geared towards a focus on long-tail, and less competitive keywords to drive additional traffic to the micro site.
3. Launching a new Sub-Domain - Similar to launching a microsite, sponsored efforts can be used to direct traffic to the new sub-domain while an SEO strategy can be developed to obtain long term rankings for the sub-domain.
4. Launching a new Website - Anytime you launch a new website, you should have both an SEO and SEM strategy working together to help obtain traffic to your new web property. Initially your sponsored strategy might be the only means of driving traffic to your new site, until you can improve your visibility in the natural search results of the search engines.
5. Marketing Your Website on a Shoestring Budget - If you have a tight budget, you can focus efforts on SEO and compliment that with a smaller PPC strategy where you bid on phrases that are less expensive. You may want to focus your PPC spend for local search while you concentrate your SEO efforts for more general search engines rankings. As you develop content through SEO and on-page optimization the only cost you incur is time.
6. Company Mergers & Merging Web Properties - In the dynamic economic environment that we have experienced in recent years, it’s not uncommon to see companies merge. Quite often startups are bought out and you are left with multiple web properties at your disposal. This is another great example of when you should be using SEO and PPC simultaneously to educate your target audience of your recent merger or acquisition. You may want to phase the old company out, as a result you may want to move some content from that companies website to your own. Developing an SEO transition strategy that is backed up by a solid PPC strategy can be an effective way to educate your existing consumers as well as any new prospects who may be looking for your solution.
7. Releasing a New Product Line - PPC can be used in conjunction with SEO to promote your new product or solution line. Chances are that your new product name will be easy to rank for organically, backing that up with some non-branded traffic from sponsored efforts and you can quickly achieve some additional branded and non-branded traffic that will convert on your site with the proper type of messaging and promotion.
8. Online Reputation Management Campaigns - Experienced some negative press? Use SEO and sponsored solutions to protect your brand in the online space. From an SEO point of view, you’ll want to ensure that any negative organic listings are pushed to page two of the search results page, by optimizing your site for blended search, and leveraging social networks to dominant the SERP landscape. Furthermore you will want to protect your branded via PPC efforts so that negative or "questionable" listings do not appear within the sponsored results.
9. Entering New Markets - If your company is large enough to go global or is entering new regional markets, you might want to use SEO and PPC to target these geographic demographics. Depending on your expansion, you might want to try a GEO-targeted sponsored campaign, backed up with content development for organic rankings in the natural search results of the search engines.
10. Plateauing Search Engine Traffic - Seen your website traffic start to plateau? Maybe you need to modify or add a sponsored strategy to your SEO strategy or vice versa. Revisit both your SEO and PPC efforts and get creative with some new messaging to drive more traffic to your site.