When you’re running a local small business, the online marketing and advertising options seem limitless, and honestly overwhelming. But the resources you have to tell your unique story across all of these platforms and get found online don’t seem so endless. So you are considering whether you need to place your focus on SEO or PPC. We can make a strong case that this isn’t an either-or situation. You can do both. And you can be a marketing superhero in both worlds. Here’s how to combine SEO and PPC effectively to get better digital results for your small business.
What Is Online Advertising?
Online advertising is highly-targeted digital marketing that reaches your ideal customers where they spend time online. That’s social media, search, popular blogs, video sites, review sites, etc.
Most online advertising works on the pay-per-click (PPC) model. That means you only pay when someone clicks your ads as opposed to paying based on viewership/listenership or how long your ad runs.
PPC is one of the best things to ever happen to small businesses because it allows you to very precisely and cost-effectively manage your advertising budget by selectively showing ads to your most likely customers. You can check out our webinar training if you’d like to learn more.
Online advertising has also given small, local businesses like yours direct access to analytics data once only accessible to big networks or publishers selling advertising on “their” content. This better way of advertising allows you to optimize your message and get the most out of every dollar you spend to reach people online.
Online advertising puts the control in your hands where you can work it in your favor with the right small business marketing tools and tactics.
Best PPC Online Advertising Options for Small Business
When it comes to online advertising, you have a lot of options. But there is a handful in particular that really get the job done for local organizations.
- Google Ads – When people search for something in Google, they are very high intention, often ready to buy/schedule now. So Google ads give you the power of perfect timing you need to increase your ROI.
- Google Local Service Ads – If you’re a service business, specifically help people find you when they’re looking for a service you offer in their area. Meet new customers who’ve never heard of you.
- Bing Ads – Reach people who use Bing search, often at work on their lunch breaks.
- Facebook & Instagram Ads – Be visible on social media to both grow a social media presence and make immediate connections with your ideal customer through demographic, behavioral, and geo-targeting.
- Yelp Ads – Be found when people are checking out the reviews of your competitor or looking for a high-rated local company. Yelp is a tight community you want to be a part of. It will drive referral traffic directly to your site at exactly the right time to close the deal. Yelp ads are more expensive than other advertising, but that’s for a reason. That will boost your organic visibility over time and help you get instant results.
- YouTube Ads – Tap into one of the fastest-growing sites where people view over 1 billion hours of video each day. Video may seem complicated, but it delivers.
Being present in places like these not only increases visibility; it can expand your perceived credibility and build customer affinity for your company. Generate more leads, and higher quality leads through targeted online advertising.
How Does PPC Complement SEO?
There’s no getting around it. Investing in organic visibility in search engines is the best, most cost-effective, sustainable way to reach a local audience. But there’s one big downside. It takes time to earn an organic ranking. And any organic tactics that promise fast results will probably hurt your website long-term. Slow and steady wins the race in SEO. But what small business do you know that has that kind of time?
Paid advertising allows you to get to the top of important searches and earn clicks months before it would be possible through SEO–and possibly a year before you reap those rightfully-coveted rewards of steady organic traffic. It allows you to begin seeing some return on investment now when you need that money to reinvest into your long-game organic strategy.
While Google has confirmed that ad clicks don’t directly boost your rankings, they do increase brand awareness and help you build an audience in your local community. They aid search engines in their efforts to better understand your audience and how you add value to the online community. This can drive more targeted traffic to your site from other channels to increase organic ranking faster.
Paid advertising helps you obtain visibility across channels through Google, Bing, and Facebook’s website partners.
Effective online advertising for local businesses is geo-targeted, in addition to targeting other demographic and behavioral traits. You can–and should–selectively show ads only to people within a certain town, zip code, radius to get reach your most likely customers. So people see your site in local search, and they see you in local ads. That’s more comprehensive visibility with the people who matter to your brand and helps you manage ad costs because you’re avoiding clicking from people who’ll never be in your area.
How to Combine SEO and PPC Successfully
Now, let’s take a look at how to combine SEO and PPC in a way that maximizes your ROI. Here’s how to ensure SEO and PPC add up to more than the sum of their parts.
So we’re assuming you’ve already invested in a website that is fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. Of course, that comes first. But once you have that in place, it’s time to start focusing on online advertising to generate immediate revenues and experience you can start reinvesting in building out your marketing strategy.
1. Don’t Over-extend Yourself
Focus on a select few channels in the beginning. Start with:
- Google Ads plus Google Local Service Ads if you qualify (both managed through Google AdWords)
- Facebook and Instagram Ads (both managed through Facebook Ad Manager)
YouTube and Yelp can wait. Tackling Google and Facebook first helps you build valuable online advertising skills and streamline your messaging and process.
2. Track Your Performance
Google and Facebook are the fastest ways to reach most local customers. And they’re easy to understand and set-up. That definitely doesn’t mean you can just set ads up and then move on. You do need to track ad performance and continually improve your click-through rate and lead-generation success using local marketing analytics and management tools.
3. Expand Advertising Channels
As you learn more about what works with your customers through advertising, you’ll grow as a business, and your marketing budget will grow as well. Now’s the time to add more channels to reach new audiences and strengthen the ones you have by becoming visible in other places they are online.
4. Align Paid and Organic Strategies
Are you trying to reach a certain niche demographic or targeting certain search queries? When learning how to combine SEO and PPC, too often, businesses treat them as independent of one another when they work so well together to meet common goals like:
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Increasing share of voice and market share
- Overtaking the competition
5. Use Advertising Insights to Boost Organic
If you only invest in organic strategies like SEO and organic social media, you could be waiting a long time to hear what your ideal customers really think about you. Paid advertising is the fastest way to learn about your audience.
Are you getting no clicks? Something in your ad messaging, timing or tactics isn’t resonating with the audience you’re trying to target.
Are people clicking but then not taking desired actions? You may have an issue with your landing pages, offerings, or website. Your ads may be attracting the wrong type of customer.
Test your messaging and the relevance of your content with audiences. Review audience analytics and performance data. Then apply what you learn to improve the content on your website. Make it more clickable, helpful, and visible organically in search.
How a Local Marketing Platform Combines SEO and PPC
SEO and PPC work better together, so you need a 360° view of your online presence. Through this more comprehensive perspective, you see how the two complement each other and impact the number of leads you’re generating. You’ll get actionable business insights you can apply to instantly boost both PPC and SEO performance and grow over time.
The Surefire Local Difference
You could be working with a local marketing team of professionals and leveraging the industry’s most powerful software to make online marketing easier on you and your team. Get deep insights from data collected across all your online advertising and organic efforts together all in one place. Utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate and improve your ads, content, and online presence.
We put next-generation software in the hands of local, small businesses. It’s as user-friendly as it is intuitive, so you save time and money while getting more done. This is the comprehensive marketing tool your local business needs to leave the competition in the dust.
Local Dominance. Unlimited Growth. That’s what you get with Surefire Local’s small business marketing software. It’s time to schedule a demo and see for yourself what it’s like to dominate your local market.