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SEO vs. PPC or Both? for Small Businesses & Contractors

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Updated July 1, 2019
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SEO vs. PPC or Both for Small Businesses
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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

Should I be doing Search Engine Optimization or Pay-per-click advertising on Google or Facebook? How do they interplay? Does one help the other? All these questions and more will be answered in this short, but powerful post giving you the lay of the land regarding SEO and PPC for small businesses and contractors.

  • You may think I’m going to advocate for SEO because it’s our primary service offering.
  • You may think I’m going to give vague non-actionable advice
  • You may think this whole post is going to be boring.

How about we go into the EXACT DETAILS for what has gotten extraordinary results for our clients. One client had 3 leads last year from their website, and yesterday morning told me they received 2 qualified leads THAT MORNING, one from PPC + one from SEO, that if both were to close would be worth 120k.

SEO vs. PPC or Both for Small Businesses

The Case for SEO – Build your site into a long-term, powerful marketing “flywheel”.

If your sales funnel was a physical thing, how broad would the top of the funnel be?

For many companies – it would be a little tiny teensy-weensy little top-of-funnel.

Mostly what they received from word-of-mouth and referrals. Now, this can still lead to a 10-million dollar business in a good economy, it’s just not the way I’d want to build it, because it would be slower and less resilient in the case of a recession. I’d want my marketing systems to be robust, and my presence on Google is a huge part of it. Our site got 10 leads this week because:

  • We have heavy-duty content out on the internet that solves our ideal customer’s problems.
  • That content also ‘buoy’s’ the service pages on our site, and makes our site look valuable in Google’s algorithm.
  • We’ve written for other websites and gotten innumerable links back to our site from around the internet.
  • Of course, as a first step – our website is nicely designed, is easy to navigate, tells a compelling story and nudges people to contact us.

Our exact SEO methods that lead to 62.3% more traffic year over year for our clients

  • Create at least 3-4 pieces of content a month that help solve small problems for your clients.
  • Write compelling meta-titles and descriptions based on keyword research (you can do this using Ahrefs or SemRush, and looking at what people are searching and competitors are targeting.)
  • Make sure all thin and duplicate content on your website is de-indexed.
  • Create a system for rhythmically and predictably getting more links from around the web back to your site.
  • Create accountability around reporting on these items, and track year over year traffic and conversions on the site.

 

The Case for PPC – Get Immediate Leads and make testing conversion rate stuff on your site easier.

We also do PPC for ourselves and a good chunk of our clients. We know a marketing system that incorporates both, will be significantly helpful in weathering the up’s and downs of business.

Diversity in business development and lead-generation methods will create a significantly more resilient and predictable funnel and widen the top of the funnel.

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Our exact PPC methods that net 100K+ deals for clients

We’ve found you can get really good results from these three methods combined:

  • Aggressive remarketing (targeting people that have already been on the site) on Facebook and Google ad network
  • Modified Broad Match search targeting – where you use the ‘+’ in front of each keyword you want to be required in a specific search – this allows you to be much more selective, and not burn away your ad budget.
  • Promoting your best content on Facebook to ‘People who like your page and their friends’ and ‘People who have visited the website.’
  • Use the quicker results traffic to test things on your website, add or remove items and get generally quicker feedback from the outside public without the longer term, harder won (but more lasting) results from Search Engine Optimization.

How to use these two together for way more powerful results

Does paying for Google PPC enhance your Google ranking?

Doubtful.

Do you get better results when you are taking up more space on the first page of Google?

Absolutely.

  • Pay attention to your Google maps ranking, and also pay for Google Maps listing ads.
  • Spend time getting good Google reviews, which helps with organic search ranking and helps your PPC ads as well.
  • Occasionally use ‘high intent’ (meaning possible lead or purchase at the end) terms to write content that you can promote with PPC and have a lead form at the end of the content.
  • Use paid ads to promote your best content and videos on Facebook.
  • Use data from PPC to identify terms and content that are working well for click-through-rate and create more content for SEO purposes that way.

 

In short – PPC and SEO are better together, and can create a rich and powerful result for your company.

Maybe you start with SEO, and layer in PPC as you go along and have a hold on what kinds of keywords lead to conversions. Always go for the long-term, abiding thing first and then add the short-term quick results stuff 2nd if you are already super busy.

Vice versa I suppose if you need a quick fix.

Thank you so much for reading, and I wish you the best of luck getting more leads. Let us know if we can help.

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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