I hear this a lot – which is better, Google AdWords (PPC) or SEO.  The answer is … YES!  As I explained in my recent post & video, most small businesses actually need both of them (and a little more).  Google AdWords is perfect for helping a new small business start getting some immediate in-bound leads, which is the #1 hurdle for a new business.  Well, it turns out that Google will practically give them to you on a silver platter — if you’re willing to pay, of course.  AdWords is a competitive bidding situation where you are basically paying to be listed in top slots on the screen, but your bid is put up against other businesses who also want a chunk of that business, so sometimes your ad will be shown, and sometimes others will be shown in those slots.  Overall, it’s a reliable way for a business to bring in new customers.  You just need to watch your numbers on the cost per click, and making sure you have a well-designed website that is designed to funnel visitors into contacting you.  This is the #1 place where businesses go wrong with AdWords – their website isn’t optimized for conversion.  If you’re going to do AdWords, it really pays (literally) to have your landing pages professionally designed.  Otherwise you may be wondering why you’re spending all that money on AdWords and not getting calls/emails.  The problem may not be PPC, it might be your website.

Now, SEO naturally accompanies PPC, but not in the old-school way of trying to create trillions of backlinks.  Google is now more interested in quality and relevance, as they should be, so as a business your #2 goal is to just focus on growing your online brand through deliberate strategies, and just make sure that “all roads lead back to Rome” so to speak, which is to say that you should be sure to properly leverage SEO onsite optimization and backlink structures to be sure that Google can clearly understand how your content (posts, articles, videos etc.) are related to what people are interested in.  Otherwise you’re just randomly throwing stuff out there and hoping it sticks.  In my mind, with the change in search engines, SEO is about optimizing your brand.  Although it has lots of technical components, from a business point of view you want to think about SEO as a strategy to grow your brand online.  It is a discipline which underlies everything else that you do, because it makes sure that everything is all tied together in a way that optimizes your brand online.  It isn’t about keywords and backlinks and all that.  It’s about getting your name and information about your services out there where people are looking.  It is “search engine optimization”, in the most literal sense of the words, but what I mean by it is a little different that traditional SEO.  It’s not about being clever.  It’s about being above-board and legitimate and trying to share things with people that are relevant.  Do that, and you’ll probably be pleased with the results.

Finally, retargeting.  I’m a big fan of Facebook retargeting (social media marketing), combined with PPC.  The reason is that if you’re going to spend the money on PPC to get them to your website, but maybe they get interrupted or distracted or something pulls them away from their computer, and they don’t end up contacting you, then you spent advertising dollars and got absolutely nothing in return.  What retargeting does is give your website visitor what’s called a pixel which is then used to continue to show them subsequent advertisements, since you know they have been to your website.  I won’t get into how it works, but what’s important to know for a small business is that a retargeting campaign should be used in combination with PPC because you can continue to remarket to those people who visited your website.  It’s not a question of whether to advertise on Google or Facebook.  If you want to bring in the customers, you start with Google AdWords since that’s where most purchasing intent is, and you follow it up with retargeting.  Now, there are other types of retargeting besides just Facebook, but I don’t want to get into that in detail here.  In most cases, Facebook is a great place to start with a local marketing retargeting campaign.

That’s it for the moment.  I just wanted to take a minute and explain a bit further the point and intention behind some of the ideas in my recent video.  By combining Goodle AdWords (PPC), SEO, and social media marketing (retargeting), you can implement a more comprehensive strategy about how you go about bringing in new leads online.

Traditional services for PPC management and SEO, with really anybody that sells them, are going to start at a bare minimum of $200/month each – and often much more.  So as you can see, trying to do both of them, plus social media marketing, is going to quickly be beyond the reach of most new small businesses that may not have the revenue stream yet to support that kind of marketing cost.  That’s why I created a blended service offering that pulls all 3 of them together so almost any small business can get started right away and start getting results while also taking steps to grow their online brand.  Whereas a typical SEO or PPC campaign might target multiple keywords, a small business doesn’t always need that to get started. My service approach is to zero in on one money-making service and start creating immediate results, and then expand to include more keywords and search phrases (topics) as your revenue grows.  Don’t try to be everything to everyone to start with.

I hope this was helpful!