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Keyword play-offs

Pay-per-click advertising is a mystical art to most business owners.

Diane Hall


Blocks of wood showing SEO logo

However, we all know the basic function of a search engine…that it tries to match words within websites and other content on the internet with a word or phrase a user types into Google. And that, once matched, the content containing those keywords is pushed towards the top of the search results for the user to act upon.

That’s how SEO works, in a nutshell. Organic SEO, at least.

There is a way to ‘override’ organic search results. Pay-per-click advertising. It takes the same principles as above, but you pay Google et al to show your advert above the organic listings. 

The best thing is: you only pay the relevant search engine when someone sees your advert and acts on it, i.e. when they click through to your website/landing page/other content. Your advert could run/be shown in listings for a year and not cost you anything if no one clicks on it (which isn’t what you want. No click-through may mean no advertising costs, but it means no leads or customers, too!)

PPC doesn’t charge you on the amount of words you use in your advert. It doesn’t judge you on the size of your company (which is a huge plus). It just charges you for the keywords you include. And this is what makes the pricing of PPC differ. Some keywords are more coveted and expensive than others—mainly because they’re typed into the search engine more often, which makes them more valuable.

A keyword phrase such as ‘marketing agency in Doncaster’, whilst it may have a little competition, would not have as many rivals vying for the top spot as ‘marketing agency in the UK’. This makes it a cheaper option, which is why it’s good to niche down or be location-specific if you can.

You also need to consider what people may type into a search engine if they’re looking for what you offer. If a small business or individual is looking to work with a local agency, they will likely type their geographical location into Google; if this is the case, ‘marketing agency Doncaster’ would therefore be a good keyword phrase to pay for.

If, however, you are a large, national agency looking to attract large companies as clients, then it would be worth paying to be at the top spot for the more generic and competitive term ‘marketing agency in the UK’.

Whilst you may think the best outcome is to be in position one on page one of Google’s listings for a specific keyword/phrase, this is not the be all and end all.

It will be more difficult to land the ‘top spot’, and, if you’re on a budget, which most businesses are, it may also drain your funds and limit you to that one phrase. How do you know potential customers in need of your services won’t be typing in ‘SEO providers near me’ or ‘help get me on page one of Google’?

Being top dog on Google also takes more work to remain there, compared to being slightly further down the search results. You need to constantly outspend and out-promote your rival that’s taking up position two, as well as everyone else beneath you. 

If you are on a budget when it comes to your marketing and SEO/PPC practices, consider spending it on a few different keywords and phrases, with the intention of reaching position three or four for these keywords in search results. It’s not a given that prospects will automatically choose the first business listed. There are other things that may sway their actions within the listings, such as your Google My Business profile, social proof/customer reviews, imagery, and your ‘quality score’ (i.e. Google’s perception of you, your keywords and your advert). 

Being in the running for a few different keywords may be the equivalent of casting your net wider, which could result in more leads than if you put all your money and effort against one keyword/phrase alone. It may also cost you less per click to receive each lead than if you aimed for the first position only.

There’s a lot more to keywords, PPC and SEO than the basics in this article. Our point is, it’s not necessarily beneficial to put all of your money and efforts into landing the first result on Google if you could get better returns by lowering your sights towards a position further down the page.

Interested in such results but not quite as enamoured about learning everything to do with PPC and SEO? Why not let Novus create and place your PPC adverts on your behalf? Call 07983 575934 for more information.

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