commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
I'm in the unfortunately process of having to outsource all our marketing as my other more technical skills are required for our startup. We need to attack both inbound marketing and PPC and I've been narrowing down a list of agencies for each. However it has occurred to me that there may be great synergy in having the same agency work on both sides. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as it will greatly help me in my selection process. Gratitude!
IMHO doing SEO and PPC at the same time is a conflict of interest. SEO is like paying a driving instructor so that you learn how to drive while PPC is like paying for a taxi driver. There is no incentive for the taxi driver to teach you how to drive yourself. The opposite is the case, s/he won't earn money anymore once you can do it.
There are some synergies of course, you need one keyword research you can use for both e.g. Also you can dominate SERPs by organic and paid results at the same time but in the long run you compete against yourself taking SERPs real estate away from organic results etc.
If it's not the same agency handling both, I would recommend that you talk to prospects about working with others. In my experience, it's hugely important for organic to inform paid, and vice versa.
You need to hire one. Dividing it up is a huge mistake. There's a LOT of data that SEO and PPC dig up that can help the other. This is even more true now, in the age of (not provided).
Just make sure you hire an agency that really actually knows how to do both. When presented with potential revenue, a lot of agencies will nod vigorously and say "Sure, we do SEO/PPC!" But the potential for mayhem is pretty high, especially on the SEO side, if they simply outsource it to parts unknown.
We have one client that divides marketing duties amongst 4 other agencies... it's an absolute nightmare to manage.
I would advise to look for a company which can do both SEO and PPC under one house. I would also ask to see recent case studies where they have used both SEO and PPC to drive results for clients. I use to work in the biggest PPC company in Australia where we dealt with high spend clients, we also sold SEO to these clients as part of a combined service. In today's market it is more important than ever to share data and compare findings with PPC and SEO.
I agree with the above responses. For us, we see a PPC campaign as an opportunity to uncover very useful and powerful data that could benefit an organic campaign. Definitely look for an agency that can confidently handle both.
A lot of inbound/SEO agencies won't go after PPC clients but will recommend PPC as part of an overall campaign umbrella.
Big ad agencies have no problem doing this, and very regularly do very large media buys, organic SEO, design, print, etc all under one roof.
If I were on your shoes, I'd find a company that can manage both. The data from SEO and PPC provide valuable insight that can support each.
Also consider just what you mean by PPC. PPC doesn't have to just mean Adwords - it can involve Display, the GDN, retargeting, remarketing, prospecting, social media advertisement and so on. If you're interested in any of those, make sure you make any prospective agency aware. All to often you'll find people thinking PPC ends with Adwords - it doesn't.
I don't really like bundling the costs of both into one agency because you don't *usually* get better service on both fronts that way. I would take a hard look at which of these channels you think are going to drive your business more, and then I would think creatively about how to reduce the cost and effort of the other.
Definitely think finding an agency that offers both in an integrated strategy can be much more beneficial. The benefit is the ability to leverage each others data to make sure all opportunities are tested and not missed. You might find that SEO keyword research provided some insight into keyword markets that PPC didn't think of exploring. You may find the opposite in other cases. Testing comes into play as well as PPC can test the value of users coming through a specific keyword before you spend resources on optimizing for that keyword organically. In other instances, there may have been a time when you ranked #1 for a keyword you are considering bidding on and that traffic/conversion data might be useful to know before you allocate budget to target that keyword.Lastly, there is a lot you can do with optimizing overall marketing spend in these areas by integrating and collaborating. Consider where you rank organically well and where keywords are too costly to pay for given their return. You can shift budget towards less costly keywords if you can drive traffic organically at a lower cost. If your branded terms don't have competitors bidding on them, you may want to consider removing ads so that all searchers shift their clicks into your organic listing (assuming you are #1).These are the types of valuable things I've come to find from making the two work together and it has always provided better returns given the proper analysis and testing.
As long as both firms communicate there should be no problem hiring both. Make sure you do your homework because now you have two parties not one who can derail your project.
Rather than having two firms communicate with each other, I'd go for only one firm who can do both tasks as most of the members suggested above.
That way you can avoid any "he said she said" dramas and the process becomes more seamless.