A common dilemma in digital marketing is the question of SEO vs PPC. Is purchasing SEO on a monthly basis from a marketing company better than pay per click campaigns and vice versa? Ken answers this question and provides a perspective of the two. Covering the importance of urgency and content, he talks about when you can do one from the other and at what circumstances should you employ them. Discover the how’s of optimization and digital marketing.
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SEO vs PPC
I’m going to title this episode SEO Versus PPC. First, a word from our sponsor. I promised a buddy of mine, Robert Riopel, he mentioned that he’s coming out with a book. It’s based on his literally touring the world and speaking from stages in almost every continent. Robert goes back fifteen years, launching some of the biggest stages with some of the biggest speakers in the world. He has shared the stage with pretty much everybody. Robert’s a stud, and when he said he was explaining to me that success leaves a clue, it definitely does. This goes back hundreds of years. Some of the greatest business books talk about how the greatest leaders do leave clues behind and you just find these clues and step in their footsteps.
I told Robert, “When the book comes out and you have a physical book, write me a little script and I’ll read it on my podcast to get some book sales for you.” He wrote it, I tweaked it a little bit but I want to read it as close to what he wrote as possible. “When it comes to achieving success, there are clues all around us that successful people have left and either you notice them or you are clueless to them.” A good friend of mine by the name of Robert Raymond Riopel is about to release his book, Success Left A Clue. The book is the culmination of fifteen years of traveling around the world, inspiring hundreds of thousands of people’s lives with the clues to success. He gathered these clues to success as he was traveling, teaching and listening to some of the greatest teachers and leaders around the world. In his book, he covers six specific steps that will not only let you dream bigger, but they will walk you step by step in bringing those dreams to reality. As a gift to give people a taste of what’s to come, Robert has decided to release a secret chapter before the book comes out. To get access, go to SuccessLeftAClue.com/TodaysGrowth and sign up for it. The chapter is specifically called Clues From Around The World and it goes through four life-changing clues that apply to everybody.Urgency is necessary. Click To Tweet
Knowing Robert and how many people he has coached on almost every continent, I truly recommend that you go to the website and sign up for your access to the secret chapter. Robert is one of the original people going back to when I launched this podcast that I believe has heard every episode, some of them more than once. He has shared this podcast around the world and it could be why this podcast is heard on a regular basis in fourteen countries. Robert, you are awesome. Thank you for being you. You’re a good person.
Let’s go back to this episode. We have the question, “What is better, purchasing SEO, meaning on a monthly basis from a marketing company? Is that a waste of marketing dollars? Is targeted Facebook or pay-per-click campaigns better?” I wish more people would even understand what Paul is saying when they approach us either at Income Store or at our SEO firm, TargetFire, but most people don’t and they just assume.
Let’s start with the definition of SEO. Search engine optimization, the point of it is to get a website or a landing page higher up, i.e. number one on page one of Google, if possible so that it has the credibility of ranking in the search engines and then you don’t have to pay for ads, either Google pay-per-click, Facebook ads, different ads. You can earn the traffic without paying for it. That’s why you go about it. To define it, on-page search engine optimization or on-page SEO means you take the page and you make sure it’s titled properly. It’s tagged and the meta tags are proper. Meaning if you put a picture in, the spiders of Google come in to crawl that page or that picture, they can’t see photos. They’re flat images to them. You have to tag the picture.
Let’s say it’s a picture of me and Robert De Niro. I’m going to tag the picture Robert De Niro, Ken Courtright, the Grammy’s or wherever I met him. That tag or meta tag or description tells Google or the search engines, “That’s a picture of Ken and Robert De Niro.” That’s on-page search engine optimization, but then there’s off-page search engine optimization, which is the strategy of, “What content should we write? What content should us blog on? What content should we do a podcast on? What content should we do a video of? What content should we create and why?” Is there a keyword silo, which you’ll have to defer to some of the other podcasts that take too long to define that, but is there a keyword silo delivered to us from a search engine that says, “You should write on this?”
The first step of off-page SEO, meaning not counting tags, meta tags and titles, is what content should be strategized in a war room to be created? Once the content is created, other off-page SEO would be, what websites or social platforms do we need to target to mention this piece of content and even link back to us? That’s called a link back or a backlink. Back to the social platforms, what social platforms, i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, do we need to get people, real humans spreading the word about this piece of content because it’s a great piece of content? Those are called social signals. Every time a piece of content gets shared, it creates a social signal.
Finally, we want to bolster what’s called author equity, which means who is the signature of that piece of content physically. If you don’t sign a piece of content, it defaults to the admin of the website. Any way you slice it, every time you post a piece of content, you’re building somebody’s author equity, either a personal brand, a name, a sponsor or the admin of the website. The long and short of it is there are definitely a couple of different answers and I’m going to go down two different paths. The first path is much easier to explain. When is pay-per-click or Facebook a better option? When is doing ads, meaning paying up front to entice someone to click something, i.e. pay-per-click or Facebook ads, to directly drive them to a landing page, a page, a blog or podcast? When is that better? There are two specific answers. Number one, when you need to see what people would actually click on so you can then have proof or evidence of what you should write on or create killer content on in the traditional SEO way of just pounding content down the throat of a website like WebMD, which makes over $600 million a year in passive advertising revenue.
WebMD with its hundreds of doctors writing targeted content, they’re not running around trying to build backlinks. They’re the beast of the industry because they have the most content, but they write specific content on specific topics by experts and the world loves that site. However, in the early days, it is possible to presuppose those first three guys that went and led the charge at WebMD. They might have done pay-per-click. Facebook wasn’t around, but they certainly might have tested what to write on with pay-per-click. I have a number of podcasts going back where I talk about testing. It might even be in the first twenty podcasts, where I talk about testing with pay-per-click to determine what to write on for the coming years. The number one reason to use pay-per-click or Facebook ads is to get physical evidence.
Here’s a great example. Let’s say you did ten different pay-per-click phrases and you put a $100 budget on each one. You lifted the lid a month later and you notice, “Three of these phrases got clicked on in the first week and the $100 budget got exhausted. However, these other seven, almost the whole $100 is still there because nobody’s clicking on these phrases.” That tells you right there. You certainly wouldn’t want to write on topics related to those other seven phrases. They’re not relevant to society. People don’t want that information.
However, the other three got pounded on. What I would do is take those three, take each one of them and write it three different ways. Now you’ve got nine new phrases. Do another one-month or one-week test. Of those nine, three of those head and shoulders are going to be clicked on more than anything else. That’s the typical way of life and now you know. These three phrases, we are going to write content on until we’re blue in the face. We’re going to write on the same topic, but it’s going to be in a different way, different format, different titles, but we’re going to beat it bloody until we’re ranking substantially.
The second time that you want to use pay-per-click or Facebook, which we do extensively on a lot of websites, is when urgency is necessary. Let’s say like in Robert’s case, you’re going to move a book. You’ve got a book launch date in six weeks. It would be criminal for Robert not to do Facebook ads, pay-per-click, because the book has to move or build up to a launch date in say six weeks. There’s an urgency there. It would take a proper off-page SEO campaign, four to twelve to eighteen months to substantiate it to pass major competitors in the teaching-coaching space that Robert sits in. That’s the way of the world. Urgency is necessary.
Let’s say you just launched a website and let’s say you even moved into the United States. You’re from Australia and you’re an absolute known entity. You’re the best in landscaping in Australia, but nobody knows you here in the US. What I would do, if you need some landscaping jobs, I wouldn’t do an SEO campaign and wait six to twelve to eighteen months. You’d miss a whole season. What I would do is I would buy pay-per-click and Facebook ads like crazy. Where would I put the Facebook ads? I would put the Facebook ads on other people’s Facebook pages, other company’s Facebook pages where you know the visitors are currently communicating about landscaping. You want to put the proper bait in front of the proper fish.
Number one, I would definitely do that. I would exhaust that like nobody’s business, but then I would do a hardcore pay-per-click campaign. I would probably do twenty different phrases. I would hire a good pay-per-click marketing company. I’ll give them a smaller budget, to begin with, in month one. Then escalate the budget as I show you a little bit of success. We don’t do this so please don’t call us, but a good company will charge you about 10% to 15% of the budget. If your budget’s $1,000, they’ll get about $100 to manage that campaign. Some companies won’t do it without a retainer on top of your budget. If they ask for that, you know that separates them as a phenomenal pay-per-click company. If you have the budget, that’s the way you want to go.
When is SEO better? When is it better to have a $1,000 to $5,000 a month, if not a $10,000 to $20,000 a month SEO campaign on a website or even a landing page? It’s basically split. There are two answers here because there’s on-page SEO. I would not do a large budget. I wouldn’t do any significant budget. I would hire interns to do on-page SEO, but off-page, that’s everything. That’s our whole world. As you know on this podcast, we have close to 900 revenue-generating websites. The majority of them are all off-page SEO. It’s long-term. Every single month we add multiple pieces of content on every site. Every single month we add multiple links back, social signals and author equity because if we do it long enough, one year, two years, three years, we will pass all the competitors in the space eventually.
What if it takes nine years? After nine years, the internet’s not going anywhere for the history of eternity. As long as we keep adding content, we will stay ahead of the competition, i.e. WebMD. It is physically impossible for WebMD to get passed by a competitor. It can’t physically happen. As long as they continually write, they have more content in more densely-packed verticals, meaning keyword silos than any other medical site. They’re so far ahead because every few years they add more writers. It’s purely a numbers game. When SEO is better is when you have a budget, you have patience, meaning you don’t need urgency.
Now I want to spin this to a different way to speak on the topic. Here’s the best answer. You do both. If you have a website, I don’t care if it’s a landing page, I don’t care if it’s a massive website that’s been around fifteen years. If tomorrow you have the money or the time and you know Facebook and pay-per-click to begin campaigns, I would definitely recommend digging into the first twenty or so podcasts. I would go to 63 to 73 and use my image on KenCourtright.com. Click on Books. Under the books tab of KenCourtright.com, there’s a little button on the bottom right that says Presentations. Find the image that has the rocket ship. It’s an infographic giving the bullets and the importance of ten different podcasts in a row. Print out that image. Get it printed in color and stick it up on a corkboard until your company has found a way either to do it through interns for free or hire it out to hit every one of those nuggets. There are about 60 nuggets in those ten podcasts of how to grow a website. About a third of them involve off page SEO.SEO is better when you have a budget and urgency. Click To Tweet
Dig into the first twenty. Somewhere in there, I talk specifically of keyword silos. Most of my podcasts are only ten minutes so you can quickly find that. Fast forward through them until you find those nuggets. Definitely, once you have a solid foundation of a keyword silo, then you’ve got to go to the mid-60s and the early 70s and nail those marketing things. Those are the nuggets we’re doing on 3,100 regular clients and 800 revenue-generating websites that we get half the revenue on. Since we get half the revenue, they have to work. That’s how we meet our payroll and profit. You are hearing the techniques that are being applied, not theory.
Let’s go to the best answer. Why not do Facebook and pay-per-click to launch a website and learn? Let’s say your site’s been around ten years, twenty years. That’s even the more reason to re-launch. Have you ever heard of a grand reopening in a restaurant? My dad had a restaurant for 27 years. On year 23, he had a grand reopening. Why? The bottom line is one-third of all the people driving by every four years are brand new. Not everybody knows your stuff. The more important reason to have a grand reopening on a website if you don’t realize how stale the site is and you certainly don’t realize how stale your information is. Not until you pound Google Alerts with the top 50 phrases in your keyword silo, you don’t realize how much you don’t know about your industry.
If you don’t understand that, the top 50 results from keyword silo, put into Google Alerts, feed your brain every day. If you don’t know what that one means, it’s in the first twenty podcasts. Those first twenty or 30 were the critical pieces that we scripted out for this podcast of all the stuff we’re doing on a regular basis. The answer is you do Facebook and pay-per-click first to launch and learn, but then you add great content, a link-building campaign. You can use interns for all of this. A social signal campaign, you definitely need interns to help you with your social signal campaign because they got to be under 25 years old to even have a clue how to do it. I’m 47, I never touched it. That’s why I’m not even allowed into our office because they’re all in their young 20s and I’ll try to change what they’re doing. That would not be a good thing.
You want to understand and embrace author equity. Author equity is important. Author equity is why Kerri and I are flying out to LA just to get interviewed by Dean Cain. Remember the guy who played Superman on TV? Why? It’s because we have to continually build author equity. How do you do that? You surround yourself with other established brands that have author equity online so that eventually you can get the interview transcribed and in both podcasts, video form and written. We’ll be able to link back from Dean Cain’s website, building that equity from Dean Cain to Ken and Kerri Courtright.
Finally, you get the author equity established. You start passing your competition. You gain traffic and real business. Once you’re at the top, you pretty much no longer need the Facebook or the pay-per-click campaign. Pretty long podcast, I don’t usually go for twenty minutes. We can thank Robert Riopel because it probably took me two minutes to fumble through his script that he wrote. I do urge you to get that free chapter. Honestly, I’m looking forward to it because Robert’s a beast in the industry. He knows what he’s doing. When he opens his mouth, I’m taking notes. I am truly looking forward to it. This is episode 219, SEO Versus PPC. I hope this helps. Take care.