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When PPC Can Outperform Your SEO Strategy

By Swell Media

When most people plan out Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies, it is with a long term goal in mind to garner clicks and conversions, while beating out competitors to capture and maintain top ad spots. We do a lot of that here at Swell. But we also like to think outside the box, and that was exactly what happened when one of our clients, Other Machine Company, had a pretty big press event a few weeks ago; their product had been used in the creation of the world’s best jumping robot. With a cover story coming up in Science Robotics, this was a big deal.



We knew we were working with a quick timeline since we wanted to increase traffic to their website by leveraging this media buzz before it ended. First, we considered monitoring new press to get links to Other Machine Co.’s site, but the articles were (rightfully) more focused on the capabilities of the robot technology rather than how it was made. Then, we thought about tweaking some of the site’s metadata to get certain pages to rank organically in searches for the robot, named SALTO (short for Saltatorial Locomotion on Terrain Obstacles). We planned to write a blog post, but were worried because by the time the blog post was published, indexed, and began ranking in Google, the buzz would have subsided. Then, it dawned on us that we could simply pay for the blog post to rank at the top of Google’s SERPs.

Using a typical PPC strategy, we identified a few SALTO-related keywords and built ads around them that brought visitors to our blog post. Without needing to wait for the blog post to work its way into Google’s index the usual way, we made sure it was where we wanted it to be, right when we wanted it to be there. It’s one of the tenets of our integrated approach here at Swell to have our various services support each other, and this was a great example of how PPC can be used in creative ways to support overall marketing efforts. After all, despite many inbound theories that writing a blog post is all you need to do, that blog post is only valuable if people see it. In this case, we weren’t leaving that up to chance.

Our results were encouraging. Beyond launching the campaign on such a quick timeline, we were able to ensure that Other Machine was featured in the top position on search pages when someone searched for Salto. This is a very exciting time for the world of robotics but also for Other Machine, and we were pleased to be able to highlight their involvement in Salto’s creation. Looking at the metrics, we saw a very strong CTR of 4.94% coupled with a low CPC of $0.89 while in the #1 position on Google. All good signs. Additionally, by aligning Other Machine Co. with the SALTO media buzz, we introduced a large number of new visitors from a related industry to the company, which they may not have known of before this.

While the execution was fairly straightforward once we had the idea planned out, we kept a close eye on the campaign to ensure that it ended as the buzz from Salto’s record-breaking jump subsides. By monitoring our PPC analytics and Google Trends, we were able to curtail the ads as we saw the search volume decrease.

Overall, this micro-campaign taught us a lot about when to think outside the box and how to deliver on those new ideas.

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Swell Media