It’s a fact; businesses love paid search. You hand over some money and BAM! you have increased traffic to your website. What many businesses don’t consider, however, is their long term plan when it comes to search and how it should fit into their enterprise inbound marketing strategy.
For years, businesses have continued to pour more and more money into their paid search advertising without a second thought or detailed analysis of PPC results. While paid search can be a successful part of a business’s marketing strategy, especially when marketing efforts are first ramping up, it shouldn’t be the biggest trick in your marketing playbook. When paid search becomes your main lead generator and a crucial part of your marketing plan, it is time to re-evaluate your strategy. Here's why:
Managing Paid Search Takes Time and Resources
Any marketing department and marketing budget has its limits when it comes to time and resources. While it might take less time to manage a paid search account than creating content, optimizing it, and promoting it, you don’t have much of anything to show for your time afterward, except for a bill from Google or Bing.
By focusing more of your time and resources on content creation and promotion you are able to to add fresh, valuable content to your website and your sales team will have additional resources and documents to further nurture leads into customers. Once you build a piece of content, it's yours to keep and use forever. It won't expire or end like a paid search campaign does.
Bottom line: don’t devote most of your time and resources on paid search.
Paid Search is an Expense That Doesn’t Provide Equity
Paid search can be very expensive, particularly when your target keywords are highly competitive. One of the best ways I’ve heard paid search and organic search explained is through the concept of renting a house versus owning one.
Paying for keywords is like renting a house or apartment. The more popular the area, the more expensive and harder it is to actually get a lease there. Once you get your apartment, you can use the space as long as you keep paying your landlord. Even after years of rent, you have no ownership of the property and no additional equity to your name. Renting is not your long-term strategy or goal, just a means to get what you want for the short-term. It provides you with a roof over your head until you are able to buy.
Organically showing up for keywords, on the other hand, is like owning a house. You own the space and you have additional equity to your name. It is yours long-term if you continue to provide valuable and relevant content. In organic search - you own your property and it can appreciate and improve over time through outstanding content.
Bottom line: paid search should only be a short term strategy while you improve your organic rankings.
Focus on the Big Picture
When it comes to your enterprise inbound marketing strategy, always remember the big picture and the long-term goal. Paid search can provide value but it should not be considered your ultimate go-to solution for marketing.
Bottom line: always keep the principles of inbound marketing in mind.