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***UPDATED***How much use is Google pay per click? Is it worth it when using it alongside seo (search engine optimisation)?

If you’re appearing in the natural results, it’s not quite as important to use Google’s PPC but many brands prefer to be both in the natural results and paid for results as they can then guarantee that they’ll be clicked and not their competitors. It’s very much a defensive move

Fadi Shuman, Co-Founder & Ecommerce Director, Pod1 London/New York

Google dominates the search market and you can’t get away from the fact that most people searching for something tend to rely on this search engine to find it and as such it provides the biggest search audience. Pay Per Click ( PPC Marketing) is a great way to drive traffic to your site if managed effectively. When running online marketing campaigns the aim is always to drive quality traffic at the lowest possible acquisition cost.

The main benefits of PPC is that it enables you to target customers who are using keywords to find products similar to yours and get your brand in front of them. It also enables you to achieve good brand visibility quickly and is often used to compliment natural listings to provide comprehensive brand visibility against related product searches. One of the most important aspect with any marketing campaign is to be clear on your objectives and PPC marketing is no exception as this will influence how you structure your campaigns . do you need to communicate your range, your brand, specific hero products, key services messages? It’s also worth noting that faster moving and seasonal lines require a more tactical approach and PPC has the ability to reach customers quickly, unlike SEO which can take time to achieve.

It is worth remembering though that PPC can get quite costly if campaigns are not managed well. Paid search is tactical and as such it does require tight management to ensure that you are achieving your budgeted conversion at the right costs and not just driving unqualified traffic to your site. As such retailers should always try and improve their natural listings as a more cost effective and longer term approach to quality traffic driving and for overall brand awareness. However using PPC and SEO together can have a positive multiplier effect overall as results often show that those brands which have good visibility in both natural and paid listings achieve higher conversions for SEM overall.

Jane Gleadall, Co-founder, Biglight

There are rarely numbers quoted on who looks at paid search and who looks at natural – and this certainly depends on what is being searched. As a guide lets say it 50:50. The trouble with natural search (and the art of getting better results - seo) is that although it is cheaper it is much less scientific. Most businesses put effort into improving their position but only 70% of Google users will look beyond the first page of results. If you are in a competitive market then that’s a lot of retailers chasing very few slots! The benefit of paid search is that it is much more measurable and the results are more tangible – it is however more expensive. This cost exposure can be limited through the tools Google provide and so paid search is where I would start.

Steve Robinson, CEO, MandMDirect.com 

Readers' comments (1)

  • I agree PPC can give good exposure, but costs can escalate without proper management. Also, I've found our conversion rate from a good natural placement is better than that from PPC.

    PPC has it's place, but a good good natural placement (although harder to achieve) is far more valuble.

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