January 7, 2015 | Branden Stanley

Where Does PPC Fit into an Inbound Marketing Strategy?

When you plan your inbound marketing strategy, you’re probably thinking about how search engine marketing should fit in. Should you focus more on pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO)?

The struggle is real, at least it is for me—remember, I’m a big fan of PPC! Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and the effort it takes to run a successful campaign is not easy with either option.

We know that more people click on organic search results than on paid ones, and that over time organic traffic usually results in a lower cost per lead. So when is it a good idea to introduce PPC into your Inbound Marketing strategy?

As a Quick Fix, Not a Permanent Solution

In most cases, it will take longer to rank for broad keywords that are searched frequently and are highly competitive. Instead of these difficult terms, inbound marketing best practices suggest focusing on long-tail keywords, which are both easier to rank for and help you reach the specific audience you want to target. Just keep in mind that it takes time and consistent targeting to increase your organic ranking for any kind of keywords.

One of the great benefits of PPC is the ability to appear quickly in top positions for broad or long-tail keywords in search engines. Do you need rapid results to reach a short-term target? Having some presence in search results is better than none, even if you have to pay for it.

As you work on increasing your organic rankings with on-page SEO, and brainstorm blog post ideas that will appeal to your audience, you can bring new visitors to your website by running a PPC campaign at the same time. Over time, you’ll be able to draw back on bidding for keywords as your organic rankings go up. This strategy will save you marketing dollars and reduce your cost per lead acquisition.

When You Need Help with Content Strategy

Inbound marketing is all about creating content that potential customers are interested in, which allows you to foster a relationship with them and ultimately increase sales. But how do we know which keywords they are typing in to find content? How do we know which keywords will result in the most conversions?

Running a PPC campaign as a part of your inbound campaign gives you insight into which keywords perform best for your business, so you can create more content about those topics and build organic traffic.

Currently, Google won’t tell you which keywords brought in your organic traffic (“Keyword Not Provided” are the 3 words online marketers fear most), making it harder to see what search terms you should focus on when creating content.

There are workarounds, such as looking at traffic from Bing and Yahoo in your analytics or tracking the keywords on your website’s most-trafficked landing pages and blog posts. However, if you’re running an Adwords campaign, the keyword information is a great tool to help you focus your efforts.

If you get PPC but aren't sure about how to plan an inbound campaign, check this out:

Free Inbound Marketing Assessment



Branden Stanley

Branden Stanley

As VIEO’s senior sales and marketing manager, Branden Stanley worked with current and potential clients to find the marketing and web design services that will best serve their diverse businesses.

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