PPC Pay-per-click essentially refers to Google AdWords. Although Yahoo and Microsoft both have version of this marketing technique, AdWords is KING. Google AdWords allows for quick and easy search engine marketing. You create a short message, this gets displayed on a search engine results page with all the other results and, theoretically, you get “clicks”… visitors to your site. You pay for each click pay - per - click got it?

SEO Search engine optimization is the art of making a web site “friendly” to the search engines. This involves adding “behind-the-scenes” code, structuring the content in specific ways or creating hyperlinks to/from particular pages to make the collection of pages comprising the web site more “valuable” to the robots that rank each page of content on the Internet.

SMM Social Media Marketing (or Social Marketing) is the latest addition to the world of online marketing but is, in many ways, the easiest to understand. Social marketing can be simply described as “online word of mouth”. Wherever you find a relevant conversation about your niche/product or service, you join the conversation. Don’t let the simple definition fool you however, this easier said than done. There is even more of an art to social marketing. That said, the question most people have is how do these 3 pillars of online marketing fit together? As the title suggests, start with PPC.

Why Start With PPC?To answer this question, let me ask you a series of questions… Try to answer these with quick direct answers.

1. What is your web site’s (blog’s) purpose?

2. What are you selling? (which will fund the hours you will spend working on your web site)

3. What do you tell your visitors to get them to buy?

The first question is easy, right? In fact, some, if not most, of you reading this post have been blogging or online marketing for a while and assumed the purpose of you blog was to sell your product(s). Sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it anymore. The purpose of any website, especially a blog, should be to create a rapport with potential clients, customer and buyers. So, question #2, was it simple to answer? Probably, but is your offer (what you are selling) actually, well… selling? If not, then it may be time to sell something else. If you are like most bloggers, you are working for free. And, when someone asks you why you work for free, you say something like “because I enjoy giving, I enjoy sharing, I love my niche, I have a passion for…”. if that is true, that’s great! But my experience with online marketing clients tells me that you would be thrilled to make sales too and will stop “sharing” pretty quickly if you don’t. I am guessing that question #3 is almost impossible for you to answer. I know this because, without some serious research, it is. There is no way to know what words (in text, audio or video format) will persuade your visitors to buy. You may be in tune with your niche but your frequency might be very different than the majority. Finding the “message that makes money” requires testing & tracking.

Good News…There is a simple and cheap way to find the (almost) perfect answer to all 3 questions above… It is called PPC. With a few simple pay-per-click campaigns you can learn enough about your potential visitors to foster a quick rapport, create an offer/product they actually want, and compile the words they want you to use to sell it to them.

Bad News Most people will completely ignore this advice because a good PPC campaign will cost $20 - 50 and some thinking. 99% will plow ahead with this foundational step and “hope” to figure out what their market wants later. I know this because I did it too, and now my clients do it. We all naturally think everyone else is like us. We assume we know what people want and how they want it but this is simply not true, trust me.

What To Do First
Regardless of whether you have a blog that is brand new or months, even years old, you probably need to begin the process of identifying & creating strong relationships with your buyers. In Part II you’ll get a sneak peek into a PPC campaign I recently conducted to see if, where and how much interest there is in a product I’m developing. This info is unique in that what I discovered basically showed that there is NOT significant interest to move forward and that my product needed to be adjusted. It is a screen capture video inside my AdWords account with tips and pointers on how to conduct a quick, cheap and easy PPC “research” campaign. Now, you may be wondering when the SEO and SMM stuff is coming… I assure you, we will get to that but, more importantly, the next article builds on the this PPC “research” campaign and explains how to get your customers to teach you the message that would mesmerize the wallets from their pockets

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