When should I start a PPC campaign?

You can start one at any stage, but it is especially appropriate when launching a new or revamped website. Partly because SEO is unlikely to be very effective from day one and PPC can provide instant results. Many website owners launch straight into SEO and ignore PPC at the outset and then try PPC when SEO doesn’t produce the desired results. This is putting the cart before the horse.

Without an initial trial PPC campaign there is usually no traffic for a new site until SEO is effective, so how do you determine what keywords to base that SEO strategy on? Usually the client will have an idea which keywords work in their industry and a tool like Google’s keyword tool can tell us how many searches the different keywords get and that will form the basis of most SEO campaigns. That’s fine up to a point. But search volume and guesswork is not the real measurement you should be using. The keywords you really want to focus your SEO on are the ones that produce the most sales (or more importantly, the most profit) and at this stage you don’t know what they are going to be. You can’t until you get traffic to your site for those keywords and you track and analyse their effectiveness.

PPC allows you to do this for any keywords. Having then determined which are working best, you have a sound basis for your SEO strategy. There is no other effective way to achieve this.

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