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PB&J, Burger & Fries, SEO & PPC

If I asked you to think about things that go together, you could no doubt name many a well-known pairing. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, salt and pepper, ice cream and chocolate sauce, peanut butter and jelly or a burger and fries could all be on your list. But search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising? Never. Really?

Yes, really.

A New Type of Tradition?

While admittedly not a traditional pairing, SEO and PPC really can—or at least could—go very well together. How so, you ask? Think of these two online marketing activities like a one-two punch if you will. One is more far-reaching but slower to create a return while the other has a more narrow focus with rapid return rates.

SEO is a long-term proposition that generally takes some time—and ongoing massaging—to deliver results. Once you put your SEO wheel in motion, instead of sitting back and just waiting for something to happen, you should take advantage of the virtual immediate results offered from PPC ads.

With little time and capital investment up front, PPC ads offer you a great way of driving traffic to your site. The rapidity with which you see results gives you the ability also to make changes with relative ease as directed by your results.

Combining both short-term and long-term activities into your marketing mix is a wise and powerful strategy. It gives you the ability to be nimble when appropriate yet stay the course on other fronts.

Some of the Best Testing Ground Ever

In addition to garnering you click-thru’s and site traffic, pay-per-click advertising can be considered some of the most effective and affordable keyword research money can buy. You can use these ads to experiment with different combinations of keywords and phrases for associated with different campaigns and landing pages.

As you see which set of information and content generates the best results, you can revise your SEO plans and activities accordingly. It is advised in this process to take advantage of split testing to really maximize your reach and the breadth of your result data.

As you watch the results of your PPC ads, be sure that you also factor in what happens once visitors land on your associated pages. Whether they leave immediately or spend some time on your site (even if they do not convert on that particular visit) can give you a pulse as to how well your landing page content resonated with them based upon what they saw in the PPC ad. The best PPC or SEO effort is one in which the combination of the initial lure and the visited page direct the right or desired actions on the part of the customer.

The Power of Two

It is not often that businesses are given such fertile testing ground at their feet. PPC can be exactly that for you if you are willing to let it be. When you do, you can not only enjoy the benefits of PPC directly but of a more robust and effective search engine optimization strategy. Now that is what I call smart business.