Advantages and Disadvantages of Paid Ads for Your Business
Jesse and Sue engage with a listener question about using paid advertisements on Google to expand their reach and get found in new markets. If you’re wondering whether or not there’s a worthwhile return on investment for paid ads, or if organic SEO through an agency is more worthwhile, this episode provides key insights to help you better understand the pros and cons and how to approach this situation for your business.
If you’ve got questions about SEO or digital marketing, reach out to us today and let us know! Whether you’re sending us an email or giving us a call, we’d love to here your questions and hopefully provide insights for you and other listeners.
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What you’ll learn
- Pros and cons of paid ads.
- How organic SEO compares against paid ads on Google.
- Why SEO may provide better return in the long run.
Transcript For Should I Be Using Paid Ads For More Visibility in the Map Pack? – 149;
Jesse Dolan: There is some investment once you get some organic traction, but it continues to build on itself, right, where the paid ads, it’s a faucet that’s either on or off.
Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan here again with Sue Ginsburg. How’s it going, Sue?
Sue Ginsburg: Hello. Really good, thanks.
Jesse Dolan: What are we talking about? Where are we talking from? What’s the topic here today on the episode?
Sue Ginsburg: Okay, today we have a listener question from Pat, the owner of Silver State Pools in the Las Vegas Area. He actually call it in, so I will ask the question, and then Jesse, maybe you can play the recording.
Jesse Dolan: Okay.
Sue Ginsburg: His question is, “Is Google Ads a good thing to add to the marketing mix when you want to increase your ranking?” Great question. Not the only business owner who has that question. Really happy you called it in and we get to talk about it today. Thank you, Pat.
Pat: Hi, Jesse. I own a small business here in Las Vegas, a pool service business. The URL is silverstatepools.com. I’ve only been doing it for about three years and I’m on the map view. I’m number one there. That’s getting me a good amount of business in my area, but I’m not showing up on the list view. I just wondered, do you recommend your clients at some point to start running Google Ads? What would that do for me? Would it be worth the money? I’d like to spread out a little bit from my area and just wondered if there’s a point in the process where you recommend your clients do that. I love the show. Thanks, Jess.
Jesse Dolan: Pat, thanks for calling in. Everybody else, if you’ve got a question, we talk about this all the time, but go down to the bottom, localseotactics.com, click the button for submit a question. You can type it in, or like Pat just did, if you want to call in and leave a voicemail, we’ll play it on the show, send you off a free Intrycks T-shirt, and yeah, you can give a shoutout and get a little mention on the show as well. Plus, we love hearing the actual audio, and I think it for everybody, too, Sue, it lets everybody out there know that people actually do engage with us, right? We’re not making all this up. People will call in, leave voicemails, or submit questions. We’re not manufacturing all of this. Thanks for doing that, Pat. Everybody else, go on out there if you want to do that as well, and like I said, we’ll fire you off a free T-shirt.
Sue Ginsburg: Yes. Much appreciated. Great question and glad that you called it in. Okay, today’s quote of the day, “Content is king, but engagement is queen, and the lady rules the house.” Isn’t that cool?
Jesse Dolan: That is good.
Sue Ginsburg: That quote is from Mari Smith, who is known as or often referred to as “The Queen of Facebook.” She’s considered one of the world’s most foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She’s a Forbes top social media power influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing An Hour a Day. Yes, I realize this question was not about social media or Facebook, but the point about engagement being queen and that’s what rules the house is 100% right and I love that sentiment. That’s why I’m quoting from Mari Smith today.
My favorite stories to share are those where a client tells us they turned off their paid ads because organic was driving so many leads their way and they were getting the ROI on their SEO. We do, of course, have many clients who run paid ads very successfully alongside their SEO. As with many other marketing tools, there’s a time and a place for each one where one shines and the key is knowing which time and place is right for each marketing tool, which, of course, makes it very confusing for anybody who doesn’t do marketing every day all day long, which business owners are not because you have a business to run, and hopefully, you’re not doing that.
We who do keep up on the latest and the greatest marketing tools and how to get your best ROI are attuned to this, in tune to this, and talk to our clients about this all the time. It’s no surprise, then, that online marketing has evolved and continues to evolve very rapidly in this digital age, and if you blink, you may get left behind. That’s one more reason to find and partner with an SEO or digital marketing firm who you know is on top of these things and paying attention for you so that you don’t have to. As you’ve heard us say many, many, many, many times, we count on you to be the expert on your business, and you can count on us to be the SEO experts, and together, we find we get the best ROI. With that, I will popcorn it to Jesse to drop some knowledge on the question of whether paid ads are a good thing to add to your marketing mix to increase your ranking and to expand your locations and when might be the right time in place to add paid ads to your SEO.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think it’s a good question. Like you said, we definitely, as a firm here at Intrycks, are all about SEO and organic. The good thing with organic is it’s kind of like a flywheel, right? As you get some traction, you get some authority within Google. It just continues the contrasting that against paid ads. That’s something you always have to be paying for every single time, every single click to be getting that exposure where organic, yeah, it’s ongoing, SEO’s ongoing, right? I don’t mean to make it sound like you can do some SEO and then stop.
Sue, you had a great analogy the other day that I had heard for the first time, it’s kind of like, I think you said when you get your ideal weight, right, if you’re trying to get in shape or lose weight, you don’t just stop whatever got you there, you do turn into more of a maintenance mode, maybe your tactics were a little bit different, but isn’t an ongoing thing then to stay at that spot. The same is true for SEO. There is some investment once you get some organic traction, but it continues to build on itself, right, where the paid ads, it’s a faucet that’s either on or off, and if it’s off, then you’re not getting anything. That’s the good and the bad quickly contrasting the two.
That being said, where paid ads can be advantageous to you is organic usually can take a little bit of time. In some cases, if it’s a quick fix on something, you might get some traction soon than later, other times, maybe it takes weeks or months to truly get the kind of ROI you’re trying to get, wherewith paid ads, you click a few buttons, you tell Google what you want to spend, and create your ads, and then, boom, they can be serving them up instantly, so you can get a quick win with the paid ads. If you’re going to be comparing ROI on cost per lead and things like that, I would say, unless you’re a very well-seasoned professional, or somebody with a lot of history doing the paid ads, the paid ads are probably going to cost you more per lead. But again, that may be worth it because you’re able to turn that on quickly and get some results.
There’s a place for paid ads, and there’s really two spots where you can do paid ads. You can do paid ads within the map pack to show up in those local listings. You can also do just general like Google AdWords to show up at the top of the page for more of the traditional links, right, not part of the map pack.
Hey, everyone. Just a quick message about our free SEO audit tool on localseotactics.com, and we’ll get right back to the show. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, go on out to localseotactics.com/freeseoaudit, or look for the yellow button up in the top-right corner, click that. It’s going to take just a couple seconds. You enter in the page that you want to optimize. You’re looking for the audits to score against. Enter in that page, enter in the keyword you’re looking to get optimized for, and enter in your email address, click the button. It’s going to take a few seconds and then it’s going to send you off a PDF report via email. It’s a great report. It’s going to give you an overall score of vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large, even though it’s auditing this page. That’s going to tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening, too, and give you basically a checklist of some things that you need to show up and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page for that keyword that you’re auditing.
Now, you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors, right, if you want to do a little reverse engineering, see how they’re scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good that you’re not, and some things to improve there. Lots of different ways to use it. Completely free. Again, go on to localseotactics.com/freeseoaudit, or look for the yellow button in the top-right corner of the website.
There is two different portals, two different areas that you can advertise within Google, and do both, right? One thing that I do know, there’s been some interesting situations where if somebody is ranking decently good, even still organically, that they will do paid ads to just be occupying that much more real estate on the page. That can also backfire. I believe we talked about it in a previous episode where people are then clicking on your ad. They see you in the map pack, they see you at the top of organic, and they see your paid ad that’s at the top of the screen, so they’re naturally going to click on that one first, and it could end up costing you a lot of money. I think the best strategy using paid ads is where you aren’t having the current exposure and you’re using that as a crutch, right, or maybe a stop-gap while you’re organic picks up.
Now, to Pat’s question about expanding your territory, right, getting into maybe other map pack zones. The best long-term way to do that, again, is organic. You’re going to want to have multiple locations for your business and multiple Google business profiles, or “GMBs,” as they used to be called, one for each location. Also, if you don’t have multiple locations, but you want your proximity to expand for your current GBP, then you need to work on your authority, some of the EAT, E-A-T-related stuff, and again, just overall entity-building and brand-building to be the best option in town, regardless if you’re two miles or 20 miles away from where the prospect and your clients are searching, so reinforcing on that organic for of the long run is great.
If you have multiple locations, leverage those. If you have a single location, try to build a lot more authority. In some cases, depending on your service and how much revenue it brings in and how profitable it is, you may want to consider opening up a new location, not so much to serve your clients better, or be more efficient where you’re at in relation to their location, but just to be able to drop a GBP in that sector of your city, right? If you’re in the Southwest quadrant and you want to be popping in the Northeast, but you just can’t get that reach because there’s somebody there that’s dominant, maybe it’s 500 bucks a month, maybe it’s 1500 bucks a month, rent some space so you can get a physical location and be legitimate there.
That can have an ROI, even though it maybe sounds outlandish, or out of the budget, depending on where you’re at, that may be something that’s feasible. Don’t overlook that. It doesn’t mean you have to have a duplicate office staffed exactly the same, just some form of a business location there that you can operate out of, or receive mail from at least, right, at the very least, to get that verified. That’s on the organic side to widen your reach.
But yeah, to Pat’s point, can you use paid ads to tap into other markets or expand your reach and your current market? For sure. When you do paid ads, you can pick pretty granularly where you want to show up, who you want to be shown to. Again, do you want to show up for people that are searching for that product or service in that city, meaning “flower delivery Minneapolis” was their search term, or do you want to target people that are searching for flower delivery with the search originating from Minneapolis, as an example? You can kind of pick and choose, and yeah, you can use that to, to drive some traffic and generate some leads hopefully from those areas.
But again, as soon as you stop paying for that, you’re not going to get that anymore, so I think as strategy of you using both, if it’s in the cards for you is something that can be done, but as you know, Sue, and as you led off, we’re always hesitant to recommend or really promote any strategy that isn’t involving some level of organic because that is really for the long run what’s going to stick for you and be the most efficient, right, give you the best economy. Hopefully that answers your question, Pat.
Sue Ginsburg: That’s great. I’ll add, I don’t know if I’m the exception or the norm, but when I search something and the results come up, I never click on the paid ads, I always start looking underneath them because I figure that’s really who Google thinks will be able to help me, not who’s paying to show up, because like you just said, Jesse, sometimes the ones who are paying show up, and then I figure I’m just saving them money.
Jesse Dolan: Right. I think it’s the more knowledgeable you are about a topic it feels, and I think for us, Sue, being that we are marketers and search engine optimizers, we have that curse of knowledge knowing that these are paid ads, and anytime, Dick and Harry can just put an ad and be there, whereas the regular consumer, maybe they have more faith in those, right? We may be slanted on that, but even still, to your point, you know people that are showing up naturally have some kind of reputation, or some kind of authority, and that just shows to where that organic is a much more sustainable long term and should give you better ROI and a lower cost per lead than the paid ads. Your competitors, right, or people can just mistakenly click. Every time somebody clicks on your ad, it costs you, right?
Sue Ginsburg: Right.
Jesse Dolan: There’s tools out there to kind of help mitigate that a little bit, but at the end of the day, yeah, that budget can skyrocket. That is something I forgot to mention earlier, too. I was talking about, unless you’re really a professional or have a good history of doing this, there can be a steep learning curve for those paid ads. Don’t be mistaken. Google wants your money, right? They have a ton of money, and the bulk of it comes from paid ads, right? That’s really what catapulted them into success once they figured out how to monetize search with paid ads, so they want to take your money. They’re not going to make the portal something that’s extremely budget-friendly for you. You can control your budget and get granular, but if you don’t know how to pick and choose and get the best ROI on that, you can blow through a large amount of money fairly quick in those ads, so just be warned about that, too.
Sue Ginsburg: Also, best to work with somebody who knows what they’re doing and can work within your budget instead of you having to wonder, “Oh, do I have to log in and check? Am I at my budget? Is it giving me results?” That can be really tiresome.
Jesse Dolan: Right.
Sue Ginsburg: Anything else, Jesse?
Jesse Dolan: No, I think that’s about it. They have a place, but I would just never go into a paid ad situation without first making sure my organic has a good plan and is in progress.
Sue Ginsburg: Well, and I also love that what you said about Pat mentioned that he wanted to expand is reach, not necessarily open an office in another place, but attract more people from further away, and I love what you said about adding location pages, or finessing your GBP, excuse me, to do that because that’s another way to do it. It’s another way. Okay, quote of the day applied to this topic, “Content is king, but engagement is queen, and the lady rules the house.” Thank you, Mari Smith, social media master.
Jesse Dolan: She is, too, by the way, I got to mention this earlier, if anybody out there wants to check out somebody that’s super smart and has a lot of good things to say, yeah, it may be on the more social side, she’s worth checking out. Check her out on Facebook, follow her, and grab some insights. She knows what she’s talking about.
Sue Ginsburg: Yeah, I like that. I like it. Thank you, Pat, for your question. Hope that this is helpful to you and congratulations having a business for three years during a pandemic, although Las Vegas year-round, probably people want pools. Good for you and continued success as you reach further and further outside your area and get more and more people who want pools further away.
Jesse Dolan: All right, Sue, thanks for helping share this question and providing all the insight like you usually do. Hope everybody out there got some value out of this. If you want to reach out to us, feel free, go to localseotactics.com. Submit a question, you’ll find that link at the bottom, click on it. You can type it in with our form or you’ll see a phone number where you can call it and leave a voicemail just like Pat did and we’ll play it on the air, fire you off a free T-shirt, and get you on the show. All right, hopefully everybody enjoyed that. We’ll catch you on the next episode. Take care.
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