What Can I Do When PPC Gets Too Expensive?
You hopped on the PPC express years ago because it was a legitimate way to drive traffic to your website and find customers. And it worked.
The trouble is, you weren’t the only business to start integrating targeted ads into your marketing strategy, and now the steadily increasing cost of PPC keywords is threatening to price you out.
When certain keywords suddenly move outside your budget, all hope is not lost. You can still help your target audience find you online with a strong content marketing strategy that incorporates targeted keywords into your owned content. Read on to learn how shifting some of your PPC budget to content marketing can be a cost-effective way to drive more impact.
Why the Cost of Your PPC Keywords Keeps Rising
The cost of PPC keywords is increasing in multiple industries, with some fields feeling the heat more than others.
The cost of your PPC ads depends on a lot of factors. When it comes to Google placement, the price tag is determined by factors including your bid, your website’s quality score, the seasonality of the term, and the level of competition for the term.
Typically, the more broad the keyword, the more popular it will be — and higher demand drives up the price. If you want to keep ranking well on Google Ads for popular key terms in your industry, you’ll have to pony up a lot of cash. For instance, as of this writing, targeting “insurance” means you’re looking at a whopping $54.91 per click. Commonly used terms like “loans,” “mortgage,” and “attorney” aren’t far behind on the price scale.
Over time, the increasing cost of PPC keywords can become prohibitive for a small or mid-sized business, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. You can maintain your PPC budget at the same level, and still boost your efforts by leveraging content marketing.
When you find keywords are becoming too expensive, don’t ditch your PPC efforts — supplement them with content marketing.
Finding a Solution in Content Marketing
When you no longer have a solid business case to increase your PPC budget, content marketing can be the answer — or, more specifically, creative SEO-focused content marketing.
Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. Your SEO efforts will be more successful when wrapped in quality content that meets your audience’s needs; and your quality content will perform better when you incorporate highly searched keywords to bring in more organic traffic.
Best of all? You’re not looking at an extra price tag to start including relevant keywords in the blogs, homepage copy, whitepapers, and other content you already produce.
Of course if you aren’t using content marketing for your business yet, you will need to make an initial investment to get started. The good news is, the long-term ROI for content marketing tends to be much higher than the long-term ROI for paid strategies. This is because a content marketing strategy with strong SEO allows each piece of content to build on those that came before it, contributing to your brand’s overall rankings in search engines.
PPC is a Short-Term Strategy, Content Marketing is a Long-Term Strategy
Where PPC is effective in providing an immediate lift to your traffic, content marketing is an effective ongoing strategy for long-term success.
When you produce one piece of content, you can often re-use it many times over in its lifetime. A report produced with your company’s original data can be repurposed as an in-depth whitepaper, a blog post with key highlights, and a compelling infographic to be shared across social media. An interview with one of your executives can be repurposed as an e-book sharing industry expertise, a shareable graphic illustrating tips and tricks, and a blog post showing off your experienced team. Another reason good content marketing brings a high ROI is that when you incorporate relevant keywords into the content on your website and in your blog posts, those keywords continue working to passively boost your SERPs over time, with no added investment from you.
The folks at Contently believe that SEO will be the biggest driver of content marketing adoption in the coming years. Businesses will need to turn to content marketing to improve their rankings when they can’t afford to keep paying for highly priced PPC keywords. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be too difficult to show the executives at your organization that content marketing is worthwhile.
If you’re trying to win over your boss and earn a healthy content marketing budget, the proof of ROI is in the pudding — or rather, in the statistics. Businesses that use content marketing enjoy conversion rates that are six times higher than companies who don’t. One in ten blog posts sees compounding traffic, meaning the content sees more attention over time. Perhaps most importantly, the first five organic search results yield more than 67% of all search result clicks — far more users are clicking on top organic results (earned through strong content marketing) than paid results (PPC). In fact, a study by Enquisite showed that for every single click on a paid search result, the organic results for the same term generate 8.5 clicks.
How to Measure Your Content Marketing ROI
Of course, the reason many executives stick with a PPC-only strategy is that it offers convenient measurement tools. You can easily see the difference between how much you’ve spent on PPC and how many conversions you’ve gained. Getting executive buy-in for a content marketing strategy often comes down to proving ROI for blog posts, e-books, infographics, and other forms of original content.
There are many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can measure to gauge the success of your content marketing efforts. The most important thing is to choose KPIs that connect to your marketing and overall business goals, and that you can act on through your content strategy. Some of the most common and telling KPIs include: number of content downloads (for an e-book, whitepaper, or other downloadable piece of original content), time spent on webpage (for blog posts and on-site content), and number of inbound leads over time. Remember that content marketing is a long-term strategy, so it’s best to look at these KPIs over the course of six months and longer.
It can also help to assess how your investment in content marketing compares to your investment in PPC. Here’s one way to compare the two:
- Note an initial benchmark by recording how much you currently spend on PPC keywords each month.
- Target those same keywords using SEO-driven content marketing.
- After three to six months, look at the organic keywords you’re ranking for and the amount of monthly organic traffic you’re receiving.
- Compare your current organic ranking and amount of traffic with how much it would have cost to gain the same results using PPC.
Partner with RelationEdge Digital Agency to Leverage PPC and Content Marketing Together
You shouldn’t ditch your PPC campaigns entirely — there is merit to paid marketing strategies. PPC sees results faster than content marketing, which takes a bit longer to ramp up. The best strategy for a business is to combine the two so they each raise each other up. One way to do this is to put budget behind your quality content to boost it in front of more eyes.
If your PPC spending is rising above your comfort zone, and you can no longer justify relying solely on PPC strategies for your top keywords, reach out to RelationEdge Digital Agency. We will help you craft a content marketing strategy that leverages SEO to get your business the visibility you want without the PPC price tag. With a combination of content, SEO and paid strategies together, your online success won’t be held hostage by whether you can afford expensive PPC keywords.
RelationEdge Digital Agency is a full-service digital agency specializing in content marketing, PPC, SEO, digital PR, social media, email, and marketing automation. Get in touch with our expert team if you want to drive more digital traffic to your brand.