Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Combining Search Engine Optimization, Sponsored Ads, and Pay per Click Strategies

Once the decision has been made to use search engine marketing to raise the ranking and visibility of a site, the next question asked is, “What are the best and fastest ways get results?” Considering that search engine results pages are essentially divided into two parts, organic results and paid advertising, it usually makes sense to employ both for optimal results. In fact, paid advertising has two options in itself, presenting a total of three options to market a website. These options are:

* Search Engine Optimization – Aimed at achieving high rankings in the organic search section of the results pages, SEO is an online and on-site marketing strategy made up of several different elements. These elements include keyword research, the creation of off-site content such as blogs, press releases, and articles, on-site optimization, and link building. This process, unless a site is operating in a micro-niche with little in the way of competition, yields optimal results when left to an experienced SEO company due to the time, expertise, and labor required to execute a successful strategy. In the view of many, the biggest drawback of search engine optimization strategies is the length of time it takes to see results. As opposed to the immediate gratification offered by on and off-line paid advertising, getting to the front pages of organic search rankings can take weeks or even months. That being said, organic search (specifically on the front pages of the search engines) is where a growing majority of consumers go to research, find, and buy products and services. This makes the rewards of a successful search engine optimization strategy well worth the wait. For those looking for more immediate results while the search engine optimization work takes effect, the following paid advertising solutions can achieve the aforementioned instant gratification.

* Pay per Click - Found on the right hand column of the search engine results pages, Pay per Click (PPC) advertising can be combined with an SEO campaign to buy “real estate” on the front pages of the search engine results pages. Buying this real estate is done by determining the bid prices for PPC ads and making a bid which is high enough to reach the front page for the keyword or phrase selected. Once the bid has been selected and a short (about ten words) ad is created, searchers are able to see the ad on the front page for the relevant keyword or phrase as long as higher bidders for PPC spots don’t come along. From that point forward, a charge will occur each time someone clicks the ad in order to be directed to the associated website. Bid prices can vary widely depending on the level of competition for the keywords selected. This is another area where keyword research by a search engine optimization company can make a huge difference, providing a basis for avoiding expensive and competitive keywords with high bid prices, instead allowing for alternate keywords that can generate traffic without a high price tag.

* Sponsored Advertising – Search Engine Placement (SEP) is a relatively new approach to Search Engine Marketing which can actually guarantee fixed placement in the top three sponsored spots on the first page for your selected keywords. These fixed placements are found in the sponsored links/results/sites in the shaded area at the top of the search engine results pages. Unlike pay-per-click, the fixed payment guarantees a spot in the top three sponsored positions for as long as it is maintained. The fixed price eliminates issues such as exorbitant click-through fees, being out-bid, and/or being removed from an ad spot when the budget is exhausted.

While an organic search engine optimization campaign cannot be expected to deliver immediate results, adding pay-per-click and search engine placement ads can provide a front page presence while the SEO campaign gains traction. The Gervais Group is an experienced SEO company that specializes in balancing these three activities for maximum returns. For more information, visit them at www.gervaisgroupllc.com or call (770) 529 2262.

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