Google to SMBs: Don’t rely on PPC, use Search, Social and PR for Top Results

SMBs that have wanted to improve results through online marketing have often turned to Google and AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

There is no question that shrewdly planned PPC campaigns generate results and hard ROI.
However, the growing popularity of this method means that there is more competition for the keywords; the most coveted ones get more bids, which increases costs, and makes it harder to earn a return on PPC search engine marketing campaigns.

The New York Times wrote about this in its Small Business column: Small Players Seek an Alternative to the Expense of PPC..
It discussed the rise of SEO, i.e. a technique that improves organic search results to drive traffic, and social media marketing.

Of the latter, the article explained how many SMBs are jumping into blogging – and some are using platforms such as HubSpot to improve results.
Ironically, Google is an investor in HubSpot, funny, because, as the article says:

Even though Google is one of its investors, HubSpot cut back on its own
pay-per-click expenditures after realizing that organic searches were
accounting for 60 percent more traffic than paid searches. “Most of our
paid efforts shifted to platforms like LinkedIn, where we could target
for the right kinds of job titles in line with our target customer
profiles,” said Dan Slagen, who is in charge of advertising at HubSpot.

The story also quoted Google as recommending multiple strategies, anchored by relevance to customers, and that span social media and PR.

Google does not dispute the accounts of owners like Mr. Udell [someone who scaled back PPC spending]. A Google
spokesman released a statement saying that small businesses can compete
by making their ads more relevant to consumers and that they should use
multiple strategies to pursue customers: “search, social media, earned
media and more.”

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