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Leasing Keywords versus Owning Keywords

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Aaron Abbott
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PPC (Pay-Per-Click ads, the Sponsored links and purchased ads on Google search) is immediate, but organic is everlasting. Paid is easy, while organic has to be earned. Paid converts, but not as well as organic. So why would you keep spending all of your money on PPC campaigns, while ignoring organic?

You may ask why fix something that isn’t broken? The answer is simple. PPC is like a car lease — you receive a nice new car from a dealership for a certain amount of money per month and put very little money down upfront, but when the lease is up, the car is no longer yours. Just as if you were to pause or stop paying on your PPC campaign, you no longer would rank on Google for the various keywords you are bidding on (unless you are there organically of course). If you own your car, as in organic rankings, it’s your vehicle, your traffic, and your road forever (unless you do something to get blacklisted by the Google/Bing Cops. If you’ve done that, we can help there too!). The point is that like owning a car, you can own keywords and can possibly save money on your paid campaigns.

What many marketers overlook is a unified marriage of marketing channels. Use paid and social to support your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), while using SEO to support your paid and other social efforts. They all work together in harmony-and when done right, the rewards drive traffic, qualified leads, conversions, and ROI. The magic combination comes down to the understanding and optimization of budget allocation, time investment, and strategy in the Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Channels. This combination (when done right), much like my Grandma’s brownie mix, can give your campaign tasty results that keep your users coming back for more. If you use too much butter (yes butter!) or milk, your brownies become heavy, like being served too many remarketing ads when you aren’t in consumption mode. But when you use just the right amount of all the ingredients, the brownies are always going to be the best you’ve ever had, getting better each and every time. Who’s hungry?

Here’s a scenario for you to consider: you have an eBook PDF that your team has created. The PDF has newly conceptualized terminology that represents an evolution in your business function, or in your core offering. It’s exciting, but nobody is searching organically quite yet. So what do you do?! Since your are a B2B company and know the traffic from LinkedIn is very engaged, as well as Google AdWords traffic for the particular subject matter, you should create specific ads that drive traffic to this content. While typical best practices is to send your paid traffic to a navigation-less landing page; here we encounter a different scenario. Let’s do something different- let’s send them to the actual page of the website. Do not gate this particular asset, or offer a scaled down version of it on the main page of the website that will ultimately become the desired ranking page. Send that traffic to the the actual page that you want to rank, so we can maximize impressions, sharing, and bookmarking. This is where the lease becomes a purchase-to-own option!

What we want to think about here is driving traffic to this page so we can get traffic going to it, and minds thinking about the content and the new keywords around this next-generation solution. Think about the keywords/topics that relate to the new concept and use those as the triggers for the ads to display, while relating to existing terminology/needs. While paid traffic will remain paid, and has little impact on your organic rankings (if any); what it will do is stimulate thoughts and keep these ideas top of mind. Further, if you have social sharing functions, and immediate ways to stimulate social sharing and engagements (which do have value to provide your organic rankings), then you are taking even more advantage of the existing opportunities. Are you seeing how each channel can help the other channels?

Take a look at these attribution paths from actual conversions as reported in Google Analytics. These paths ended up in conversions to a sale. Some users actually went through 7 engagements from organic searches, then coming directly back, to then be re-engaged by the effective placement of a paid ad.

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The point at the end of the day is not to focus on the immediate impact, while forgetting about lasting value. The goal is to define your digital footprint in a way that positions your offerings where you can drive traffic, leverage that traffic, and keep that traffic coming back and converting.

The magic happens when you put them all together and supporting the keywords you want to own, by leasing spaces that can give instant positioning. But, if you don’t think about creative paths to programmatically approach your marketing and conversions, and only focus on your paid efforts because it’s immediate (or you think SEO is a joke), your success will always require payment, while ultimately hitting plateaus of ROI and growth.

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