Why should I pay for google traffic when I already have plenty of organic traffic?
I hear this argument from business owners, marketing managers and even digital media specialists.
If you’re on the organic side then you might argue that the content you’re producing along with site upgrades are increasing your site traffic month over month from search engines. So why would you ever PAY for traffic from search engines?
That’s a pretty strong argument, right?
Once your site is completely optimized (Ha! Optimization never ends..) for search engines, you rank higher on the page and do see more traffic, but you cannot control where this traffic is coming from. If you’ve done your diligence in setting up analytics, you will see where your traffic is coming from and how each source is converting. Good information to know. But, there is little you can do to influence where that traffic comes from. You’re also at the helms of the search engine itself to match the user’s search to your website.
Sure, you have optimized your keywords from Google trends and maybe you A/B tested content to know what messages to use, but you may still rank low for competitive searches and you cannot include enough content to rank for all searches that are relevant to your business. Think about all those searches and what pages of your site they send users to. You can A/B test landing pages with a conversion optimizer like Optimizely, but not for every page. You don’t want to risk your search rankings by making page changes all the time. Stability is important to your organic search.
Now, consider all the investment into your SEO strategy and the return you are seeing. Although the clicks you receive are “free”, the investment to receive those clicks is not. This is a recurring investment as is any successful marketing effort.
So, if you’re already investing to receive these clicks, wouldn’t you want complete control?
When I say complete control, I mean:
- Time of day
- Day of the week
- Mobile vs Desktop
- Zip codes/cities/states
- People who have already visited your site
- People on your email list (valuable prospects, right?)
- People searching for your competitors brand names (Good Idea!)
- Landing pages of any click (sweet!)
- The content in the listing people see on search engines (test different promotions)
- Oh ya, and you can rank at the top of the page for any search (more discussion on the topic to come)
Let’s say you’re a small business offering a service and your market is Columbus, Ohio where you operate. You see online leads coming from several surrounding neighborhoods, but you really want to grow your business in specific neighborhoods. With paid traffic, you can target specific zip codes and control the message in your search engine listing to mention those neighborhoods – making your ads hyper-relevant. You can then send those clicks (prospects!) to a landing page showcasing your service that you provide in that specific neighborhood.
Now, that’s a pretty strong argument, too.
The truth is you need both organic and paid traffic. They work together.
The truth is you need both organic and paid traffic. They work together. Your investment into site upgrades and content will improve your return on paid traffic by lowering costs (through improved quality scores) and increasing conversion rates. Think of paid traffic as a switch to drive users to your site and receive immediate feedback, while SEO changes are a long term investment. Because you can receive immediate feedback, your paid traffic should ultimately direct your SEO strategy.
Set your budget and flip the switch, scale based on conversion rates, market size and your business’s capabilities.
Because you can receive immediate feedback, your paid traffic should ultimately direct your SEO strategy.
What are your experiences with paid and organic traffic? Are you leveraging them together?
I’d love to hear your strategy and input on the topic. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. My company, Go Direct Lead Generation, helps businesses acquire more customers online. If you’re looking for expert online marketers, check out our website at www.godirectleadgen.com.