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Getting Organic and Paid Search to Play Well Together

In the current economic conditions, marketing budgets must be leveraged in the most effective and streamlined way possible. Although internet marketing budgets have continued to grow as traditional marketing has experienced cuts, this need for increased effectiveness is still applicable to online initiatives.

Search engine marketing (SEM), composed of SEO (search engine optimization) and paid search/pay-per-click (PPC), amongst other tactics, is one of the strongest and most effective ways of reaching a targeted, qualified audience. Properly executed SEO initiatives can, over weeks and months, improve a site’s rank for strategically important keywords. However, paid search campaigns can be used to increase a site’s visibility for keywords that SEO has not had enough time to affect and for keywords that SEO would be hard-pressed to be successful for, such as broad industry terms and competitor names.

When deciding which keywords to target via paid search and/or SEO, it is important to understand the site in question’s current organic rank for each keyword. While a paid search campaign can consist of any keywords that are relevant to the site and the brand, it is important not to cannibalize your SEO efforts. Brand-specific keywords will usually yield high results within the organic returns, so it may not be necessary to bid on those words in pay-per-click campaigns. Instead, budgets can be better allocated to more generic/general keywords, which usually require a higher cost per click (CPC). Being able to bid more on the generic/general terms will increase ranks, build brand awareness and capture a new audience that may not have been aware of the brand. Additionally, both SEO and paid search can be used to target long-tail keywords, highly specific phrases usually comprised of multiple terms, though PPC will generate more immediate visibility.

In short, know your current strengths within organic returns, and focus paid search campaigns on the keywords whose ranks could be improved upon. For more information regarding internet marketing and traditional marketing, visit Domus’ website.

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