A recent report found that U.S. Internet advertising revenue hit a record $26 billion in 2010. The most popular format of online advertising continues to be search advertising, which means that it's more than likely that your business was or is one of the companies paying to run Google AdWords or other search advertising.
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So does pay per click (PPC) fit into an inbound marketing strategy? I believe it does, if it is done in a smart way. You see, there is a right and a wrong way to approach it.
Here are 4 tips to integrate PPC into your inbound marketing strategy to get the greatest ROI.
4 Tips for Adding PPC into an Inbound Marketing Strategy
1. Create a landing page for traffic. Do not just create an ad that sends people to your home page.
As an example, let's say that Zappos runs an ad for Nike running shoes. When you click on that ad, you fully expect to see Nike running shoes when you get to Zappos. If you were directed to the Zappos home page where you had to search through the menu to get to the running shoes, you would definitely leave the website.
Remember: we don't have a lot of patience when searching for something online. We want to find what we are looking for so we can solve our problem or issue.
If the ad you are placing does not match the page you are directing the traffic to, you will not get a lead or sale and you will end up paying for costly clicks.
2. Do not rely solely on PPC for your online traffic!
This is a very expensive way to get traffic and PPC networks change their pricing often. You can't depend on your PPC budget to be the same each month and get the same amount of traffic.
You want to use PPC in conjunction with inbound marketing components like SEO and social media interactions to attract visitors to your website. It does take more time to start seeing results from SEO and social media, but it's a much more engaging and natural way to get visitors.
3. PPC can be a great way to test if a keyword is worth your time for search engine optimization.
If you are curious to know if a keyword is really worth taking the time to optimize for (SEO), do a test on a PPC network. If you see that the keyword really does convert to leads and/or sales, you now know that you can spend the time to start creating blog articles and offers that center around that keyword you would like to rank for organically.
4. Have your PPC account optimized by a professional.
You will spend less money and the money that you do spend will be spent wisely. I like to compare this to trying to file a complicated year end business tax return on your own as opposed to hiring an accountant. An accountant will know all the rules and spots to look out for.
Pay per click advertising really is a great way to get traffic - if you do it the right way. Keep these tips in mind when setting up your account and you'll getting a greater return on investment and see better results.