Why use PPC?

The simple answer is that you would need to use PPC if you haven’t been able to achieve acceptable results using SEO. Perhaps your SEO hasn’t worked (yet) and you are filling in gaps in your online visibility until you achieve acceptable natural results (in some cases you may never manage to achieve this) for some search terms. An example of this is while a local solicitor may be able to achieve natural results for a phrase like ‘solicitor Richmond’ the online competition may be too much for a very high search volume broader search term like ‘solicitor’. They might not want (or be able) to compete UK-wide for this phrase but, using PPC, they could appear for it, restricting the campaign to show their ads only to people within the geographical area they want to target. Of the tens of thousands typing in just ‘solicitor’ a percentage will be within their catchment area and this will be the only way to reach them. This may become even more important with the recent launch of "Google Instant", which means many people searching may not get as far as the longer search terms in future. See a more detailed explanation of Google Instant and how it may affect SEO and PPC here.

Or you may have good natural results but still improve sales by having a second presence on page one of the search results using PPC. This can have two benefits. Firstly it denies a place to one of your competitors if you are occupying it. Occupying two positions on the page also increases the chances of potential clients clicking on one of them and visiting your website, partly just a numbers game, but also seeing your company name twice on the results rather than once can inspire confidence and improve the percentage of your audience that you convert into visitors to your website.

Another reason some companies may use PPC in preference to SEO, is if the search volumes are very low and the cost per click equally low. It may be cheaper to drive traffic this way than to spend time and money on SEO.

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