08 May When to choose Social Media vs SEO vs PPC?
If you have a limited budget and want to maximise your success on online marketing, you might be wondering whether to pool your resources into Social media, SEO or PPC.
In short should your business be looking at Social media, SEO or PPC. – or indeed, something else?
We get this question a lot and we’ve decided to help put ourselves in the mindset of a business with a limited budget so we can help you see what channel will work well for you.
What is PPC?
How do you get leads from PPC?
Getting leads from PPC is all about getting ads in front. Of the right people, at the right price.
There are some hacks to be had! Neil Patel, one of our favourite authorities on PPC has this great trick around optimising your ads based on your competitor searches and adverts!
“Go to SpyFu.com. In the search box, type your competitor’s URL. Click the search icon. Next, you’ll see an overview of your competitor’s match keyword performance. You’ll also see the estimated monthly PPC clicks and more. Click “Paid Keywords” to see the broad match keywords generating the most clicks for your competitor. Now, you know a lot about your competitor. You can bid on the same keywords that they’re targeting or choose a different set of keywords. Both options can give you the upper hand. Analysing their ad copy can also help you create even more effective ads that’ll compel and convert your target audience by clicking on the text ad or ad extension.”
This is just one of a range of smart hacks about getting more for your money when it comes to PPC. There is also optimisation of quality score, setting up mobile friendly landing pages, optimising ads, writing great copy and remarketing. As you can tell, just bidding for some keywords in your niche isn’t enough to make a full strategy, which is why many people choose to use a dedicated PPC agency who can help them make all these tricky decisions.
How long will it take to see an ROI from PPC?
We always say to our clients that we would expect you see results almost immediately from PPC, with optimal results being achieved within 3 to 9 months as we learn how to optimise your website, get under the skin of your competitors and learn more about your buying personas. Of course, this varies from business to business.
What KPI’s can you track using PPC?
Your PPC channel needs to be closely monitored for success, and you should be looking to get feedback on success in clicks, Clickthrough rate and conversions. To put it simply, every conversion starts with a click. That’s why clicks are an early indicator of PPC campaign success.
Clicks on PPC campaigns gives a measure of how many people clicked on your ad and by analysing clicks, you can ensure you are able to pause ads that are not performing and even increase the bids on ads that are.
When it comes to finding your unique KPIs, it’s all based in sectors. For example, WordStream analysed the PPC performance on just over 2,000 U.S. businesses and found that the average CTR in search was 2.14 percent in the auto industry versus 3.40 percent in the dating and personals industry.
Your own conversions will also be based in your business and cost of sales. For context, Google defines an average CPA (cost per acquisition) as the price you would pay for every new customer you acquire, which is calculated by dividing the total cost of conversions by the number of conversions.
We do always say that the most important real-world measure of success is your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – how much each sale costs you. You calculate your CPA by dividing the revenue spent on PPC by the number of sales directly associated with the campaign. For example, if you spend £2,000 on PPC and get 10 sales, then your CPA will be £200.
You get your ROI by dividing your net gain from your campaign by the total cost of your campaign.
This equates to ROI = (£10,000 – £2,000)/£2,000 = 4:1, or 400% – something that sounds good to us.
(You can measure conversion rate in AdWords by dividing the number of conversions the campaign received by the total clicks. Since conversion rate is expressed as a percentage, if the campaign had 100 clicks and 10 conversions, 10/100 means that the conversion rate would be 10 percent.)
These KPI’s are al based in maths but are easy to calculate and manage with a bit of know how. We can even help you out with a calculator or a discussion on how to look at the bigger picture of PPC. Your PPC campaign manager will also be able to advice on other areas of PPC to look at when it’s time to do the sums.
What are the benefits of PPC?
When it comes to PPC, people are searching for a specific term. That means whatever you sell, if you acquire a click from someone online using the paid channel, you are in with a good chance of an end conversion. Here are a few stats around PPC that may surprise you.
According to Google, Businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in AdWords and according to Wordstream, on average, 41% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on the search results page. Their study also shows that for high commercial intent searches (someone looking to buy a product) paid ads get 65% of all clicks. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/07/18/diversify-search-strategy-ppc
What are the disadvantages of PPC?
The disadvantage of PPC for a business is the time needed to maintain such a channel. As well as setting up the channel with the appropriate keywords, research into competitor terms, a strategy for negative keywords and advert writing that complies with PPC guidelines, the channel requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring to ensure your budget is being maximised. Each keyword you bid on has a different value and therefore cost and being able to get the best value for money is key to success. You also need to considering advert timing and placement. For this reason, many people do use an agency who specialise in PPC strategy and execution.
What other considerations are there?
As mentioned, a PPC campaign is only as good as the effort that goes into it and the skill behind the strategy. We always recommend that if businesses are looking to use PPC, that they at least hire a reputable PPC agency with experience to help with the initial set up to ensure long term success. PPC is the highest risk of all three options, but when it’s executed with skill, firm set of goals and a set budget that’s grounded in cost per sale, it can bring fantastic results in a short amount of time, giving you a good boost in revenue. As PPC specialists we can work closely with you to get you the best results and explain the process to you.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It refers to the rankings of websites, whereby all the major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo show websites in order of what the search engine considers most relevant to users. This means a great experience for users (who will continue to use the engine of their choice) and also means that the most deserving, relevant sites are shown first.
How do you get leads from SEO?
SEO leads are hard won but can produce great results. As you can imagine, someone finding your website using a search term means two things, one, that the user is actively looking for something, whether that is a red dress or a place to buy a car locally, and secondly, that the search engine has rated your website as highly relevant and trustworthy for this term. The leads you can expect from SEO are the c licks from tour website using a search engine, which will be visible in your analytics function. You might also go even further and set up a specific landing page you promote on social media, allowing you to pinpoint leads from this channel.
How long will it take to see an ROI from SEO?
This is a hard question! According to a great Forbes article https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2015/02/07/how-long-does-seo-take-to-start-working/&refURL=https://www.google.co.uk/&referrer=https://www.google.co.uk/ you could be looking at 4 – 6 months to see results, but this depends on the content you are creating, the optimisation efforts, and other ranking factors. A new website will have to work harder to see that spike in search traffic that a larger site might see.
What KPI’s can you track using SEO?
There are plenty of KPIS for SEO! We recommend starting with page views, the average time on site and also bounce rate. Page views show popularity, whilst the average time and bounce rate determines how people are engaging with your content. You might also look at the volume of pages per session or revenue (if you have an ecommerce function.)
One great method is to set up Goals in your analytics function so you can get alerted to real time successes and keep a close eye on SEO success!
What are the benefits of SEO?
SEO is cost efficient if you have a smaller budget. Your outlay might be the management of an SEO agency helping you identify your keywords, your content and outreach strategy and also advising you on how to get quick SEO wins! Outside of this, it’s not a paid channel, so it’s a great place to invest your time.
What are the disadvantages of SEO?
As mentioned the disadvantages could be in the time for SEO to take effect, a few months at least before you see impact. On top of that, paid channels may seem more tempting for quick wins, and if you have specific timely marketing promotions. You wouldn’t want to rely on pure SEO.
What other considerations are there?
The main consideration we think is ‘when can you get started?’ SEO is the bread and butter behind success and can help you make money whilst you sleep. Need more than that? We like this quote from Joshua Guerra, CEO of marketing firm BIZCOR “As long as you are focusing on optimal user experience while performing methodical SEO strategies, you will be rewarded with higher positioning and organic traffic.”
SEO is low risk, and whilst it takes time to execute, we would recommend that almost every business starts to tur their attentions to a decent SEO strategy for long term gains.
Why not speak to us today about the best options for you and your sector? We would be happy to share some SEO case studies and other success stories.
Social Media Marketing
What is social media marketing?
Marketing on social media is pretty much a given for businesses and organizations now and most businesses will be on at least one or two channels. If you are still languishing with just a few hundred followers, or little engagement, you do need to up your social media marketing game. By getting the right strategy in place, you can actively reach the people most likely to purchase from you.
According to HubSpot, in 2018, 95% of marketers claim that social media is important to their business, and brand advertising spend on social media was up more than 60% from 2016 to 2017. Now, it’s no wonder the social network industry is considered one of the fastest growing industries in the world. https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics#Social%20Media
How do you get leads from Social Media?
Whether it’s free or with paid ads, social media platforms give you access to huge audiences that you can build and grow your business.
Of course, technically there’s no “free” option. Someone’s time has to be used to post on social platforms, but even a low time investment approach can work wonders if done properly.
You might get leads from paid ads on a platform like Facebook with a ‘buy now’ button, or you might use a different strategy such as posting videos, free webinars or using influencers to provide affiliate links to start to earn revenue. The method you choose will be dependent on what you sell, and who you sell to.
How can a business get started on social media?
Getting your business up and running on social media is all about positioning yourself for success. When we advise on social media strategy, we always start with looking at the gaols you set for yourself and what’s going to work. Each business will have a different set of unique goals, but here are a few to start with:
- Brand Awareness: as you promote your brand, post content regularly and interact with your audience, more people will become familiar with your company and brand name.
- Content Distribution: every social media strategy must have fantastic content to share with the online world. To become known for your content, you must focus on quality and presentation. Having great content gets people to share, and that sharing widens your audience.
- Lead Generation: you can focus your social media effort on creating new leads through engagement using social media profiles. These will need to become your primary lead generators that drive traffic to your website or blog.
- Acquiring Customers: as you raise your brand awareness your content will generate leads. You can then use your social media presence to convert them into prospects and customers.
How long will it take to see an ROI from Social Media?
The ROI you see on social will all depend on how you target the market. If you ran a paid for ad promotion with a. great discount, you could get followers and sales by the boat load in day one! If you choose to focus on building a base of followers you might see a longer burn. The great news is you could set up accounts for your business in minutes!
What KPI’s can you track using Social Media?
When it comes to social media marketing, you want to be sure you aren’t posting without good reason or intent. A great place to start is looking at benchmarks for your sector or at your competitors.
After that, you need to have a daily burndown of success. A great way to do this is to look at
Stats per day, e.g. total clicks stats per post, e.g. average clicks and finally stats per follower, e.g. click rate.
This will give you a good overview of success, without having to wait a week, which will leave you looking in the rear-view mirror constantly.
Buffer give some great advice here on calculating stats per follower, suggesting that you simply “divide your chosen stat by the number of followers. If reach/impression data is available, even better: divide the metric by the number of people who saw the post.”
What are the benefits of Social Media?
Simply, there is money to be made in social media marketing!
Companies with consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than non-social sellers. (SalesForLife).
Big commerce shows when it comes to ecommerce, stores that have at least one social account (Facebook and/or Twitter) have 32% more sales on average than stores that don’t use Facebook and/or Twitter. The great news is that social media isn’t just a B2C game, and B2B businesses can reap the rewards as well.
Consider that research by IDC has found that;
91% of B2B buyers are now active and involved in social media
84% of senior executives use social media to support purchase decisions
75% of B2B buyers are significantly influenced by social media
A study by Google and Millward Brown Digital found that 46% of decision makers are now aged between 18 and 34 years old (up from 27% in 2012), which coincidentally, is the largest social media user demographic. In terms of consumer purchases
What are the disadvantages of Social Media?
Simply, social media takes time and marketing know-how and a long-term commitment.
Considering that the average e-commerce site is publishing 4.55 posts a week on their Facebook page, your competitors are producing content and to be a player, you need to keep up! https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/5-social-stats-for-online-storeowners/
What other considerations are there?
When it comes to social media, all too many businesses do too little on the platforms they have or spread themselves too thin across multiple platforms.
We think the best antidote to this is to have a clear vision of you want to achieve with social media, who you want to attract and what value you are going to bring the user. That’s right – it’s not all about you! Perhaps you will offer exclusive content, offers and deals or ‘sneak peeks ‘of new launches. Take a look at your own social media habits and try and replicate the successful stories you see. By doing this, you ensure you are choosing to work with platforms that best supports your goals.
When your social media marketing strategy is in place, another key consideration is to study the available data about the type of users that use interact with your website, what they are interacting with on your social channels and any changing trends – this way you can focus on the content that attracts the largest number of target audience you want to reach.
Why not get in touch with us today to see if social media marketing is right for you? Depending on your niche and your existing social media success, this could be a very low cost to entry into making more sales online, and you could be up and running with evident growth across the channels in just a few months. Why not speak to us today and see what next steps (or first steps) we would suggest for you when it comes to social media marketing?