When most businesses think about using their blogs to drive new traffic to their sites, they focus on search engine optimization, otherwise known as “SEO.” There’s no doubt that when done well, such campaigns can be successful.
However, those businesses that want to truly leverage their blogs into profits know that relying on organic search traffic isn’t enough to get the traffic they need. The fact is, paid advertising is often a necessity when you want to make more money. A pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign that is tied to your blog can actually be even more successful than a campaign that leads to a home page. Let’s take a look at the different ways that PPC can bring in some cash for your business.
PPC Ads on Your Blog
Most bloggers are familiar with the idea of PPC ads being placed on their site. As a publisher, you can sign up for an AdSense account from Google, or join another advertising network, which will place ads on your site based on keywords. When visitors click on these ads from your site, you get paid. Simple, right? For part-time bloggers who don’t have enough traffic yet to manage their own advertising programs, a free service like AdSense makes a lot of sense. The main drawback, of course, is limited control over the advertisements that appear on the blog, and the payouts aren’t always that impressive, but a popular blog can make some decent money this way.
However, placing ads on your site shouldn’t be the beginning and end of your PPC campaigns.
PPC Campaigns to Drive Traffic
Whenever you launch a PPC campaign, the first step is selecting keywords to bid on. Typically, you choose the keywords that are most closely related to your site and your SEO strategy. But what if there is a lot of competition for those keywords? What if they don’t tell the whole story about what your business does or what you have to offer?
That’s where your blog comes in. While bidding on the most popular keywords for your site can drive traffic, it can also get expensive, and may not even be leading to conversions. And even if your PPC CPA is within your target, it may not be optimized for profit. It may sound counterintuitive, but higher bids on less popular keywords may actually be a better strategy for increasing profit.
So where does your blog fit in? By using blog posts that expand upon your products and services, you can develop PPC campaigns that focus on specific keywords that may not be a part of your overall SEO strategy or other PPC campaigns. For example, consider this scenario:
You own an insurance agency in the Boston area. You offer multiple types of insurance, including home, auto, life, and health. However, one of your areas of expertise is actually renter’s insurance, and you work with a lot of college students to help them protect their possessions.
You develop a blog post (or series of posts) explaining why young people need renter’s insurance, your experience in this area, and then you direct traffic from the keywords “Boston renter’s insurance” to that specific post. Users will not only get the information that were specifically looking for (and be able to get in touch with you right away from that post if they so choose), but it will be more compelling than if you just included a bullet point about renter’s insurance in a list of services.
Using blog posts as part of your PPC advertising strategy also has an effect on your SEO and can help with your Google Quality score, since people who land on a specific page related to their search are more likely to stick around. The better your Quality Score, the less you pay per click and the higher your profits.
The most important thing to remember when using PPC ads to drive blog traffic is the intent and expectations of the user. The idea is to turn your blog post into a landing page that is specifically related to the search terms; otherwise, you might as well send people to your home page. As you develop your blog posts and select keywords, think carefully about what people are actually looking for and what they want from you, and give it to them. When you do, you’ll see an increase in conversions, lower advertising costs, and ultimately, higher profits from your blog.