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Enhance Online Visibility: SEO & PPC Tactics

29 May
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It's no secret that the marketing world has gone digital. Between influencer marketing, social media ads, guest posts and many other strategies, the majority of marketing today takes place online.

While that is becoming the case—indeed, around $8 out of every $10 spent on marketing today goes toward digital strategies—influencer marketing isn’t the only way to boost your brand’s online presence.1 There are a myriad of other tactics that your organization can use to reach potential customers at the right times, in the right places, with the right messages. Two of the most prominent digital marketing tactics today are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

In this article, we'll dive into these two of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal.

Understanding Online Visibility

Online visibility, or online presence, refers to the amount of attention your brand garners online.2 In other words, how does your brand show up in digital spaces? How many people interact with your brand online?

There are several benefits to having a strong online presence, including:

  • Driving more traffic to your website
  • Boosting your customer acquisition and conversion rates
  • Establishing trust
  • Building your brand’s reputation
  • Connecting with your target audience

Online visibility isn’t the only goal of digital marketing, but it’s an important asset that will support any marketing strategy’s effectiveness. Luckily, there are several ways to boost a brand’s online visibility, most of which can be learned fairly easily.

The Fundamentals of SEO

Search engine optimization first emerged as a digital marketing strategy around 1991.3 In layman’s terms, SEO is the process of improving your digital content to increase your brand’s visibility in the organic search results.4 When someone types a question or phrase into search engines, you want your brand to be one of the first things they see.

Plenty of strategies can help boost a brand’s SEO. These include keyword research and implementation, on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

Keyword Research

One of the simplest ways to optimize your digital content is with keywords. Keywords are the main terms that users are searching and that apply to your brand (e.g., a car dealership's search keywords would likely be along the lines of "car dealership near me," "local car dealership," "best car dealership.") By using the right keywords on your website, in your ads or in your blog content, you can boost your website's visibility to the top of the search engine results pages for a particular query.5

Finding the right keywords can be tricky; you don't want to use terms that aren't relevant to your brand or product. While you want to optimize your site for the most common searches, using only high-traffic, competitive keywords can cause your site to be lost in the shuffle. Keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush can identify potential keywords for each topic and rank them based on traffic, relevance and other factors.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO deals with the elements of your online presence that are within your control.6 That means directly optimizing your landing pages and website content with relevant keywords. This helps search engine algorithms know that your web pages have the answers that users are looking for.

Keywords should be strategically used in:

  • Meta tags: Titles, headers and meta descriptions should be optimized for each page
  • Body: The majority of your on-page content should be keyword-dense but readable

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO improves a website’s search engine rankings without making any changes to the page itself.7 This is done through link building, as well as social media, influencer marketing and other online marketing strategies.

One of the best tactics for boosting your off-page SEO is to create backlinks to your website from authoritative sites in your industry—for example, by guest posting on another site’s blog with a link to your page, or asking an authoritative brand to review your products. Public reviews on social media and other platforms can also support your off-page SEO strategy.

Effective PPC Campaigns

SEO strategies are mainly free yet time-consuming, while PPC advertising is a paid search strategy with targeted ads that deliver faster results. In a PPC campaign, the marketer pays a fee every time someone clicks their ad.8

Platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube support PPC ad campaigns. Although these campaigns are more likely to bring attention to your brand, they don’t necessarily guarantee results. Making the most of your pay-per-click ads requires extensive keyword research, compelling ad copy and the right optimization strategy.

Targeting Relevant Keywords

Like with SEO, a smart PPC campaign starts with keyword research. You’ll have to bid on relevant keywords to boost your page to the top of the search engine queries as a “sponsored” result.9 Each keyword also needs an appropriate match type: either broad match, phrase match or exact match. The match type determines how specific a search should be to lead to your page.

Writing Ad Copy

Copywriting is the next crucial phase of your PPC campaign. Even though PPC will bring your ad to the top of the search engine results, it must be compelling to encourage readers to click.

Engaging ad copy starts with attention-grabbing headers and readable descriptions. Some platforms also allow ad extensions, providing more on-screen space for your ad copy. Copywriters will need to provide clear, concise information in a small amount of space, drawing the audience in to click on the ad and learn more.

A/B Testing and Optimization

A/B testing is a method of testing two potential ads and comparing their performance.10 This can be done at the start of your PPC campaign to determine which headers, graphics and descriptions will result in the most clicks. Once you determine what themes and specific elements resonate with your target audience, you can adjust future campaigns to match.

Even after A/B testing, you should continue monitoring your results to optimize your PPC ads for future campaigns.

Integrating SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC advertising are both vital elements of a successful digital marketing campaign. While SEO is highly budget-friendly and helps optimize organic search results, PPC can achieve more clicks and conversions in a shorter amount of time.

Fortunately, SEO and PPC efforts often work together. SEO data can inform PPC campaigns and vice versa, especially in terms of keyword data. Integrating these efforts leads to increased online visibility and thus, brand visibility. It can also provide more data on your target audience as you track and analyze key metrics for each campaign.

Major brands like Lulus, Verizon and Nike successfully integrate SEO and PPC efforts to remain highly visible online.11 However, these tactics aren’t exclusive to large brands—small businesses can also boost their conversion rates and ROI using a combination of SEO and PPC.

How to Become an Expert in Digital Marketing

Capturing and holding your target audience’s attention online is no small task, and it certainly can't be done alone. It takes ongoing effort and resources to stay highly visible and prove ROI on the marketing team's efforts.

An online marketing education can help brands of all sizes stay ahead of the game. With an Online Master of Science in Marketing from William & Mary, graduates will be significantly more qualified to work as marketing professionals at an agency, independently or in-house with major brands.

If you’re interested in helping businesses achieve greater online visibility, don’t hesitate to pursue your education. Learn more about the advantages of earning your degree online by speaking to an admissions outreach advisor at William & Mary today.