Michael Pawlicki, MSc Strategic Marketing 2012, co-founder and Ecommerce Manager, Asset.Digital follows up on his blog post Making Best Use of Search Engine Optimisation For Asset Building, by looking at the use of pay for click advertising and the use of social media in helping build the ‘value’ of your business website.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of search engine marketing offered by Google and other search engines. Website owners can purchase ‘clicks’ or search traffic for their sites, and convert some of the additional traffic into sales.
Building digital assets with Pay Per Click
As a standalone product, Pay Per Click (PPC) cannot transform a website into a digital asset. However, it plays a key role in support organic SEO processes. PPC ads can create and boost brand awareness by highlighting your company, and traffic from those display ads can improve your website’s rank over time.
"New websites and web pages can benefit from PPC by achieving an initial surge of traffic, long before before organic traffic starts to build up. PPC can provide valuable analytic data for webmasters and it is an important tool which compensates for the initial lack of traffic"
Potential Problems With Pay Per Click
In essence, PPC is simply a reverse Dutch auction for online traffic. Instead of a dropping price until a buyer is found, there is a steady rise in price for the most in-demand search terms. This means that PPC is a highly competitive battlefield, where money talks and capital investment is king. When it comes to PPC, the only winners are usually the companies who have a unique competitive advantage, or a limitless pool of capital. Price comparison sites also gain an advantage through this type of paid marketing.
Companies with a unique selling point can use PPC to highlight their service or product, and make buyers aware they are the only place to find it. Price comparison sites can edge out individual businesses with their comprehensive service, and they pass on the cost of clicks to the companies that advertise through them. This often leaves very little space in the PPC market for the average company. Companies that depend heavily on PPC tend to be high in liabilities and low in assets on their balance sheet, and this is not ideal for an e-tailer.
Social media is an essential tool for marketing. It can be used for brand promotion and it provides access to a large number of customers for relatively little investment. Social media can also be used for market research, and it provides vast amounts of information about a company’s potential customers. Companies can utilise social media to better understand their target markets, and to cater for their needs.
Building digital assets through social media
Many companies use social media to improve their brand equity. An example of good social media marketing is Etihad Airways, a Middle Eastern airline which markets to Europeans through social platform Facebook. As well as growing brand awareness through regular campaigns, it can attract the attention of its potential audience and drive traffic to the company’s website: traffic which could be converted into sales. Though customers directly seeking flights will still use the search engines, social media customers could be inspired to travel – or to consider Etihad the next time they take a vacation.
A social media campaign cannot directly improve search engine rankings for a company website, but it can enhance ongoing SEO processes. Social traffic can be diverted towards a website through eye-catching, entertaining posts. Search engines such as Google use ‘referral traffic’ – visitors harnessed via social media – as one of many metrics that calculate PageRank and signal a good quality website. Therefore, social media can contribute to the building of digital assets.
Potential Problems With Social Media
An asset is something that belongs to your business. Your web domain and your web content can be valuable assets: they are owned by you, and serve as virtual real estate. Upon this, you can build your business presence. On the other hand, content published to social media does not belong to you. The social media company retains the rights to your content at all times. Though it can benefit your SEO campaign and improve your digital assets, social media can never be a standalone way to build assets.
Business managers need to ensure that when they allocate financial resources for marketing and search optimisation, they are engaging with channels that have a chance to create a positive return. Ultimately, organic search optimisation remain the best way to drive traffic to your site, and it is the only way to ensure your website becomes a digital asset.
Want to transform your own website into a strong asset that works for your business? You can contact Michael Pawlicki: co-founder of the web development company Asset.Digital