Marketers are constantly condemning one and praising the other. More often than not, they argue in favor of SEO.
And why wouldn't they? It's essentially free advertising.
SEO is search engine optimization, or the process of getting your website to rank high in search engines.
When you search for a keyword in Google, you probably only skim the first two pages at most.
You can imagine, then, if your business doesn't rank on the coveted first or second pages, you're going to be in a lot of trouble.
So, what can you do? The usual answer is – fight to get your business up there in the rankings.
This week I'm showing you just how you can do that, despite what other marketers will try to tell you.
I'll also show you the biggest issue with relying on SEO marketing…
Why paid media doesn't necessarily mean expensive media…
And how your entire marketing system can ensure you get paid back tenfold for your efforts…
The Uncertainty of SEO
As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. If you only focus on free marketing, and put in months of effort to hit a number one spot, you'll be sorely disappointed.
Here's why – back in the day, SEO was a huge thing. Pioneers on the internet discovered how to optimize web pages so they would come up high in search rankings.
To achieve this, you could include keywords in everything you wrote – titles of blog posts, copy on your website, tags, etc… The more you got in there, the better chance you had of ranking high for that keyword.
SEO marketers had a multitude of tricks up their sleeves to help you out, and big companies would pay top dollar for these experts to work their magic. This worked well into the 2000s.
However, Google and other search engines eventually got wise to this. They realized these companies weren't necessarily providing quality content, and were “cheating” the system. So Google did everything in their power to squash it.
Guess what happened to the businesses who relied solely on SEO to rank high? They disappeared from the rankings altogether, or were relegated to page 20 where no one ever goes.
In some cases, their businesses folded overnight.
Can you imagine putting all of your time, energy and money into getting a high ranking on a search engine, only to lose everything in one fell swoop?
This ongoing battle continues to this day. Marketers come up with tricks to get high search engine rankings, and Google squashes them with every update they release. Article after article is released about these updates, including Pigeon, Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird.
The fact of the matter is, you cannot rely solely on organic search engine marketing to generate leads. It's too easy to lose all you worked so hard for.
So, what can you do?
Consider Paid Advertising
Paid advertising doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, if it's causing you to go broke you're doing it wrong.
As you may know, I am a fan of testing. Trying out new strategies and techniques and seeing which brings back the best results. This strategy dramatically improves results.
You see, when you do paid advertising right, you can generate a ton of customers all at a profit, and never worry about losing your footing on the search engines.
Now, I know people get a little shaky when they see those paid links on Google or Facebook. They are hesitant to click on them because they know they're ads.
However, they really do work… and you would be remiss not to give them a shot. Because even if you don't like to click on those ads, millions of others do.
Let's say your uncle is trying to find a product under a certain keyword, and an exact match pops up at the top of the search engine. He's probably going to be delighted, right?
That company will potentially get his sale, whereas yours, perhaps not ranking very high in the search results, would miss out.
With paid ads, all of the power is in your hands. If you create a poorly optimized ad, it won't do well. However, if your ad is perfectly targeted, you'll consistently draw in new leads. You can also rest assured that your ad will appear the same way each and every time.
The perceived “downside” of using paid media is having to invest money and take the time to test your ad. You also have to check in now and again to make sure your ad is still engaging your audience.
However, the rewards far outweigh the work and investment you have to put in.
The best news is, it fits perfectly into your all around marketing strategy. If you create powerful content, great lead magnets, and engage your audience, paid advertising is step one for turning leads into a steady stream of new customers. A value you can't beat.
Incorporating Paid Advertising Into Your Marketing Strategy
We've established that relying solely on organic traffic is a dangerous proposition at best. However, you can incorporate elements of modern day SEO positioning into your marketing strategy to maximize the effectiveness of your paid efforts.
You see, modern day SEO marketing is essentially just effective content marketing. Google wants you to provide consistent, quality content your target audience is enjoying. As an Expertpreneur®, that should be easy!
Quality content coupled with effective paid ads will completely transform your business.
Think about it – let's say you put together an ad to show up on Google. It's the top result (in the “sponsored” box) on the search engine. And because you have a great website with quality content, your website also shows up as the organic first slot in the results under your target keyword.
Your prospect clicks on the paid link and it takes them to a landing page designed just for them. It talks all about their fears, frustrations, and problems, or hopes, dreams, and aspirations and shows them exactly how you can help them solve them.
All they have to do is download your free report.
Just like that, you have a qualified lead. However, you're not done with them yet!
You've crafted a compelling email campaign following up with them to ensure they read your report. You also show them a few of your best articles expanding on the topics that matter most to your audience.
Ultimately, they're so enamored with your expertise, personality, and professionalism, they're primed to buy their first inexpensive product. Officially transforming them from a prospect into a customer, and paying you back for your advertising costs!
Even if they stopped there, you'd break even. However, that would be wasted potential.
By continuing to show them your expertise, engaging them on social media, and providing quality content, they'll probably buy more. Maybe they'll even come to a live event!
Suddenly this prospect that cost a few dollars to attract is paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to work with you. Not such a bad return, is it?
All because you took the time to invest in paid advertising, optimize it for success, and continue to hone your lead generation and your marketing system.
The Winning Gamble
Truly, if you're going to gamble on your business, choose the horse that's most likely to win.
You could invest weeks, months, and years into creating organic content and hopefully attain first page ranking. In fact, you may have a good chance of getting up there.
However, at any moment without warning, a Google update could wipe away all of your hard-earned work. Putting you and your business in a terrible position.
So, why risk it? If you knew you would gain x amount of customers for y dollars, wouldn't you go for it? It's all about spending a little to make a lot.
Check out my article on Pay-Per-Click and Pay-Per-View advertising if you want to find out more about the subject. Take this leap, and you could finally create the Easy, Simple, and Lucrative business of your dreams.