The Internet represents a wealth of information and online buyers will peruse that information via reviews, social media conversations, forums, and more, before they make purchases. Inbound marketing is the process of directing a customer through that information (nurturing) all the way to the end of the purchasing journey.
Creating an inbound marketing strategy means plotting out the journey you want your potential customers to take, which requires anticipating the questions your customers will ask and providing the answers in helpful, quality content. It also requires creating qualified access points, such as the links provided in PPC campaigns. Here are five reasons why your inbound marketing strategy isn’t complete without paid search.
1. Qualified Access Point
For the vast majority of online shoppers, where does the purchasing journey begin? Unless that particular shopper only ever shops at Amazon, no matter what, they’re going to go to a search engine and punch in their search terms. They might try a few different terms, depending on their results, as they try to refine their search, but this is the moment of their journey that you need to put yourself in front of them or you could get lost in the shuffle.
A well-placed PPC ad that appears when they enter a qualified search term will ensure that your link gets center stage, providing the access point to your site that you need to begin their purchasing journey on your terms.
2. Complements Organic SEO Efforts
If you’ve just begun to optimize your site for visibility in the search engines, it’s going to take time for the organic results to become evident in your placement in the SERPs as well as in a boost in traffic to your site. PPC can supplement the slow growth of those organic efforts by positioning paid links where you eventually want your organic links to be visible on the search engines. The frequency and duration of these paid links will obviously depend on your budget and other factors, such as cost per click (CPC), Ad Rank, and Quality Score, but it should certainly be incorporated in some capacity in your strategy.
Note: Ad rank is how well your ad is expected to perform based on the bid amount, expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience (which all make up the Quality Score).
3. Update Messaging On the Fly
A real advantage of PPC marketing, in addition to ideal placement in the search engines, is the ability to change the messaging with limited effort and investment. If a call to action doesn’t seem to be working, the messaging is off, or your products change frequently, you can use tools like ad customizers to update your ad in real time, which is especially useful for online stores during the holidays.
4. Can Be as Broad or Targeted as You Want
For limited budgets, narrowing your PPC target audience to a pre-specified geographic area can capitalize your resources and produce better results than throwing out a net over a broader audience. It all depends on the settings you choose as you’re setting up your campaign.
5. Great Companion Feature to All Marketing Methods
Never get comfortable with a single marketing method. A healthy marketing strategy will involve multiple methods working synergistically together. It’s tempting to fall back on solo methods because it seems less complicated and easier to juggle, but a single method fails to represent the actual way customers work their way through the purchasing journey. They will interact with a vendor on more than one visit, in multiple ways, before finally making a purchase.
PPC is a targeted, highly specific way to position yourself in front of your customers at the right point in the sales funnel.
How has PPC helped you the most in your marketing efforts? Or how as it failed to produce the results you were looking for? Talk about it in the comments!
Pease, Diane. “5 Key Reasons Why Paid Search Should Be Part of Your Inbound Strategy.” http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2389434/5-key-reasons-why-paid-search-should-be-part-of-your-inbound-strategy?utm_term=&utm_content=5%20Key%20Reasons%20Why%20Paid%20Search%20Should%20Be%20Part%20of%20Your%20Inbound%20Strategy&utm_campaign=SEW.Daily.EU.A.U&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=SEW.DCM.Editors_Updates. (January 19, 2015.)