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SEO Saturday: Should I Invest In PPC Ads Or Content Marketing?

This can be a tough question to answer for many business owners and managers. Should you invest more of your money into PPC ads and see results now or should you invest in content marketing and possibly reap the investment for years to come? Which choice is the best one for you? Let’s explore how to arrive at that decision.

If It Ain’t Broke…

First of all, if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it! This holds true for your marketing. If you are running PPC ads with strong ROI, then keep it up. If your organic content is making you a killing, then keep that up. The point is, if you are already doing something and it is successful, keep doing that.

However, don’t forget to experiment with other marketing and advertising to see what works because this will change over time. For instance, you can maintain your PPC advertising campaign, but go ahead and try a small amount of content marketing for one month and measure what effect it has.

Core Differences Between PPC Advertising And Content Marketing

There are two essential differences when it comes to PPC advertising and content marketing, and those two factors are time and guarantees.


Once you stop paying, your ads will stop displaying

PPC advertising has an extremely short life span, once you stop paying, your ads will stop displaying. This means that you have to constantly spend money to keep traffic coming to your site.

On the flip side, content marketing can have a indefinite impact. One post that you write this week could bring your site a substantial amount of traffic for the next several years. Content marketing has a longer shelf life than a PPC ad by a long shot.f


PPC advertising has a sort of guarantee that comes along with it. You will know ahead of time about how much traffic you can generate at what cost. This consistency and ability to know before starting is what comforts a lot of marketers and businesses alike.

Content marketing lacks any gaurantee. You could spend weeks writing what you think is the greatest blog post to ever be written only to find out that not a single person on the internet cares. It could also take weeks for your content to pick up any traction, or it could be months, or years. Costs for content marketing can be all over the place too, do you need a video or an infographic this week? How much does that cost? Oh, this blog post took longer than expected to write, that will be an extra $150! These variables can be a campaign killer for an unorganized marketer or business.

Choosing A Side

Now that we have covered the basic differences between the two types of marketing, we can begin to discuss which marketing method is best for your business or situation. Although it is generally recommended to use a balance of both techniques, some businesses may cater themselves strongly to one side or the other.

Ask yourself the following 5 questions about your marketing campaign goals:

  • Is it time sensitive?
  • Do you have specific sales goals that need to be met?
  • Do you sell your product/service online (no phone call or further action needed)?
  • Does your product have a short buying cycle?
  • Is there enough search volume to sustain your business?

If you answered yes to these 4 questions, PPC advertising is mostly likely your best option. If you answered yes to most of these questions, your answer is most likely yes as well, but I highly recommend talking to a marketing consultant or agency about your situation.

If you answered yes to some, but not all of the above questions, ask yourself these 6 questions to see if content marketing is best suited for you:

  • Are you willing to invest the time?
  • Do you have the basic writing skills?
  • Do you have other ways to promote content?
  • Is branding (and brand recognition) is a major goal of the campaign?
  • Do you need authority to sell your product?
  • Is there a long time between consumer purchases?

If you can answer yes to all of these, content marketing is a great option for you to explore. Content marketing will offer you traffic now and increasingly in the long run, making this marketing method a great option for campaigns that aren’t facing definite short term goals. You will also need another way to promote this content, especially at first before you start getting traffic from the search engines. A few ways to do this are to utilize your social media channels, do some guest blogging, use forums, and you can even use PPC ads!

Sites that need authority to help sell their products or services will generally benefit the most from content marketing. Companies that need authority to sell are companies that tend to charge a premium price for their product. Customers need content to be convinced that your product or service is worth the additional cost.

Products or services with long purchasing cycles tend to experience good results with content marketing as well. This is because these kinds of purchasing decisions are usually made with more research. This means that you need to have a steady supply of onsite content, as well as other online touch points for your potential customers to find you (they won’t do all of their research on just your site).

In conclusion

You should now have a pretty good idea about how to make a decision between PPC advertising and content marketing. It is not always a clear cut decision, and as I mentioned earlier, it is usually best to utilize both for maximum effect. If you are still not sure, ask me on Twitter or on Google+ and I’d be glad to help.

Be sure to let myself and others know how you determine whether to use PPC advertising or Content Marketing in the comments below!

Do you need to talk to someone about managing your PPC campaigns to boost ROI?

What Is A Marketing Persona And Why Would I Need One?

So you have at least heard of a marketing persona by now, but what the hell is it and why on earth would your business need one? I often hear this type of question from my clients at the beginning stages of their project, but not long after that they start to see the full power and usefulness of creating these buyer personas. Even more exciting, they really want to help and offer to make these themselves! Of course I don’t let my clients do all the work and then pay me for it, but the fact that they are getting that excited shows off the greatness these personas can have.

Consumer Targeting History 101

Let’s start with a little bit of history, but not too much. In the past, marketers didn’t have access to their customers and the hoards of data that we do today, so they had to rely on what they could measure. This usually meant age, sex, location, income level, and maybe ethnicity.

Well, as you have probably observed in your life, you can’t really predict a person’s actions very well based on that criteria. Things had to change. With the rise of large data farms, social networks (not much different than a data farm), analytics, and more in depth sociological and consumer studies, we now have way more information about consumer behavior than we ever did before.

So, what can we do with all of this access to consumers and their buying habits? We create marketing personas of course! But wait, what is a marketing persona?

What Is A Marketing Persona?

A marketing persona is essentially a fictional consumer profile based on who your company’s customers really are. We are beyond the days of targeting middle income Latina females between the ages of 30-50 or black men between the ages of 18-24. That was the old way. The new way allows us to dive deeper into who our customers are. We ask questions like what are their goals and values, where do they research before buying, what pain points do they come across during the buying process, and more. HubSpot has written a great post about the kinds of questions you can ask to make these profiles highly useful.

Asking and answering these kinds of questions allow us to really understand who our consumers are so that we can improve our products, buying experience, marketing materials, and web presence in a way that will attract and convert more of the customers we want. You do want more customers and lower customer acquisition costs, don’t you?

Why Do I Need A Marketing Persona?

When we create these marketing personas, we are painting a really clear picture of who our customers are. When we know who our customers are, we can offer them what they want and how they want it. When you offer what your customers want and give it to them the way they want it, you can increase your sales and profits. It is a win-win situation for consumers and marketers alike.

Creating these profiles is extremely useful for marketing. However, as I tell all of my clients, it is much more than that! These profiles should be the backbone of everything your business does. Without customers, you don’t have a business, so don’t overlook the weight these personas carry. Marketing personas should be implemented in everything your business does, including the products/services that you offer, your pricing, marketing, design style, customer service approach, and anything else that your business does.

Great, So Now What?

Awesome, you now understand that marketing personas are fictional consumer profiles based on your real customers. You also know that these profiles extend greatly beyond just your company’s marketing materials and they help form the backbone of your business. Well, now that you have the basics, I highly recomend checking out a marketing persona template so that you can wrap your head around what this might look like when it is finished. Also, feel free to see what others have done as well, some can be very simple while others get very complex and detailed.

Do you need help putting together your marketing personas? Hire an expert marketer to help!
Yelp listings fetcher Google Spreadsheet for local seo

SpreadSheet Sunday: Copy and Paste Yelp Competitor Info With Ease

If you handle local seo or just seo in general, you know that Yelp can be a very powerful tool to help you with competitor research. If you have ever gotten tired of going to each company’s page to get their info, you are in luck. With this new, easy to use spreadsheet you can easily copy and paste any info that you might need from your competition all in one easy place. If you can use yelp and you know how to copy and paste, there is nothing else to learn!

Here are some ideas you can use this spreadsheet for, please add your own ideas to the comments below to let others know.

  • Gathering the names and contact information of local business that compete with your company.
  • Getting a list of competitor URL’s to use for keyword and SEO research.
  • Discovering where you fit into the rankings for certain keywords
  • Discovering the number of reviews your competition has
  • Collecting the names and phone numbers of local businesses that you want to visit on a trip.

Ready to get started? Simply click the button below, make a copy of the Google Spreadsheet (File > Make a copy), and you are all set and ready to go!

Sure, I’ll Check It Out