When was the last time you considered the content on your site before you fired up a new PPC campaign? Or did it even occur to you that maybe you should? A lot of people see PPC as a quick and easy win in the marketing sphere, and sometimes it is. Hit upon the right term at the right time, and you can watch your ad easily outdistance the top search engine results.
But…what if there were more? More clicks to be had, more business to garner, and yes, more money to be made? And what if while you were making that money, you were also building an audience, generating goodwill for your brand, and making a name for yourself as an authority in your space?
Content can do those things for you, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Now just imagine what content could do for you if it were created to support and correlate with your PPC campaigns.
Avoid a Bait and Switch Bounce-Out
While it’s true that every bit of text, every image, pretty much everything on your site counts as content, there’s a big difference between valuable content and something you slap onto a page to get views or appease Google. This is a particularly easy trap to fall into when creating landing pages to support your PPC campaigns.
Yes, you want to get to the point and give people what they came to your site to get. If someone clicked on an ad, surely they’re in the mood to buy, right? Well, maybe.
Or maybe they still need some sweet talkin’ to get them in the mood to pull out their credit card and hand over the digits. Not to mention, some of those people may expect a little more information than a brief description, price, and a “Buy Now” button when they click through an ad. This is where valuable content comes in, and keeps people on your site.
Build your landing pages to cater to those impulse buyers, or the ones who’ve already done their research and don’t need any further incentive. But for those who are still on the fence, or who have just begun to do that research, you’ll benefit from becoming a one-stop shop that not only provides the ability to purchase a product or service, but offers in-depth information about it.
Say you run a travel site, and you create a PPC campaign to sell vacation packages to Croatia. Maybe you just had the same thought I did when I first heard “vacation” and “Croatia” in the same sentence, but apparently, its coastline is considered “Eastern Europe’s Riviera.”
And there’s my point. How many people are aware of the vacation opportunities in Croatia? Once someone clicks that ad, if there’s not enough information at the other end of that link to sell them on the idea of vacationing in a once-war-ravaged country, you’re not selling anything, and that person is moving on to find vacation packages to Hawaii.
Create robust, informative, and valuable content that supports your PPC campaigns, and you stand a better chance of seeing some ROI on those campaigns, and reducing your site’s bounce rate.
Give Your Branded Search Terms a Boost
Whether or not to bid on your own branded terms is an ongoing debate. I’ll leave you to duke it out in the comments. All I’ll say is, if you’re going to use branded terms, just like any keywords you incorporate into your PPC campaigns, creating content to support those branded terms may give you some lift in the SERPs.
Take Up More Space in the SERPs
Kristina Kledzik wrote a great post on the Distilled blog about why you should incorporate PPC into your marketing. I’ll use her same screenshot example:
But while Kristina’s point was that you should incorporate PPC to take up that top, paid part of the page, I’m going to focus on the bottom portion, because that doesn’t happen without content.
This is a prime example of how quality content and PPC can work in tandem to help you not only dominate a good portion of the SERPs, but put your brand in front of more people, and lead them to valuable content that, if done well, can get you even closer to making a sale.
Integrate Your Marketing
Yup, I’m about to throw a buzzword phrase at you: integrated marketing. You know, if you keep rolling your eyes like that, they’re going to get stuck. I’ve seen it happen. Now just hear me out.
First of all, integrated marketing is nothing new, although the definition and the execution have changed a bit over the years. Today’s integrated marketing is a coalescing of content strategy, SEO, social promotion, and a handful of other marketing channels and tactics, including PPC.
Creating content that supports your PPC campaigns, and using PPC and correlating content to boost your branded search terms, are specific examples of the general concept that is integrated marketing.
Whether you’re creating a comprehensive marketing strategy for your own business, or you’re providing this service to clients, understanding how every piece of the marketing puzzle fits together is essential. While you may not have considered before that the content you place on your site can—immediately or eventually—support PPC campaigns, it’s definitely something to think about and plan for.
Integrating your marketing isn’t really about your products and services, though. It’s about your brand. Think of it as putting together a really well coordinated outfit. When things match, or contrast each other in pleasing ways, it draws attention and you get compliments. When your clothes are horribly mismatched, and you’re just out of sync, you may still draw attention, but it will be the silent, staring, head-shaking kind.
Okay, so you know you need to put all your marketing pieces together. But how? When you’re looking for an integrated marketing strategy for your own business, you have a few options:
– Do it all yourself.
– Hire an agency to do it all.
– Hire separate agencies or independent professionals to put it together for you.
DIY Integrated Marketing
Can you write content and manage PPC campaigns? Sure you can. And then manage your site, engage your audience via Twitter and Facebook, blog regularly, oh and then manage the invoicing and bookkeeping, too. Wait, what was your business again? Right.
While you may have the skills and talent to perform all those individual marketing tasks, the real question is, do you have the time?
Hire an All-in-One Agency
They’re out there—agencies that will do it all for you, from the audits and strategies, to the campaign creation and management, to the blogging and tweeting. Just be sure to vet an agency before you hand over your money. You want to make sure not only that they have the capacity and manpower to handle all those tasks for you, but that the people handling each component of the integrated marketing strategy are at least experienced, if not experts.
Assemble Your Own Team of Experts
Let’s be honest—when agencies gather a lot of talent in one place, their rates go up, and rightly so. But you can find niche agencies, smaller teams, or even individuals who will provide just as much expertise and hard work, but for amounts that are within your reach, if you’re a small business or individual entrepreneur yourself. Plus, an a la carte marketing team allows you to choose the people with the experience, talent, and backgrounds that appeal to you rather than having to accept a one-size-fits-all solution. You can be small and still have it all.
As a writer and editor, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little biased in favor of content. You need it, and you must be prepared to pay for it because the best writers and editors don’t come cheap. You really do get what you pay for, especially when it comes to quality content.
But if you take into account how much more good content can do for you than take up space on your site, and give you a place to plant keywords, and how it can be incorporated into your PPC campaigns, as well as nearly every other facet of your overall marketing strategy, you’ll find the cost isn’t so great after all.