1. Firstly, free listings are clicked on far more than paid listings, especially for those well educated prospects. Recently, while developing an inbound marketing strategy for a large lead generation firm, I came across a report that showed a spectacular difference in search behaviour as you moved from high school education to graduates and then onto to individuals with masters and PhD’s. The report demonstrated that the more educated your prospect, the less likely they are to click on a paid listing. I get this quite often with friends and colleagues who swear black and blue that they don’t click on Google’s paid listings.
If you are selling to young students, you should buy Google Adwords. It works fantastically for a client we have firsthand experience with (Jane at 247 Girl has ranked consistently as the number one teenage website in New Zealand). If you are selling to accountants, doctors or even engineers, you need to incorporate SEO as a major focus because that’s where the trusted clicks and volume lies.
2. If you work hard to rank high for organic listings, it will always be longer lasting. Now Organic free listings generally are not free, it comes at a cost of both time and money you might spend (or outsource to an SEO specialist). Promoting your web pages to rise up the listings is ongoing, while the Google Adword game is less time consuming, but consistently sees money going out over and over again. We call it crackvertising.
3. Through our experience in Analytics we see a common trend. Searchers visit your website more than once before buying, filling out a form or downloading that whitepaper etc. We track this data carefully and observe that a respectable section of the leads we get are from people who have visited our website or blog through numerous searches over multiple months.
4. Google dominates the NZ and Australian landscape at over 80% of all searches. However many in our industry see Google as just a search marketing company, but they are really just a modern broadcaster/ media business with a highly efficient system for selling ads that work extremely well in the longtail. Unfortunately, like other media businesses who are in the game of selling ads, Google benefits from efficient pricing of ads. As more and more niche businesses start to promote themselves on Google, their prices will become less and less attractive as those with the biggest budgets will again win.
1. You can experiment for cheap. One of the good things about using Google ads is that you can use a very small budget to run some experiments, understand the return on investment and supplement your oganic listings. Just make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your site, and link your Adwords account to it. Before you write off Google Ads, you need to measure the results and Google Analytics is specifically designed to give you that insight.
2. It is insanely fast. Most people can be up in less than an hour.
3. You can target specific markets like just New South Wales, or even more specfic like a suberb in San Diego, California.
4. You can use day parting, which allows you to block out Saturdays and Sundays, and only 9-3pm on week days. This allows you to be more targeted and really squeeze out more qualified clicks.
5. You can send the traffic to custom designed landing pages crafted for just the words you bought. This has dramatic results on conversion rates relative to organic results that generally land on your home page and other main category pages.