What about Cost per Click Ads?

Aren’t adverts the ultimate paid for link? You wouldn’t be 100% wrong there…

Remember what we learnt in Chapter 1 – the only guaranteed way to have the #1 result on the front page of Google is to pay Google. Same goes for Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and any other search engine you care to mention.

Google, through its search engine at least, only sells two things:

  1. To consumers, it sells answers to questions.
  2. To businesses, it sells the opportunity to be the answer to a question.

Paying for adverts will increase your traffic. End of story. 

Paying for adverts does not, contrary to many a good conspiracy theory, improve your SEO.

Good SEO does reduce the cost of your adverts however, thanks to a little something called The Quality Score.

“Quality score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

That’s as direct from the virtual horse’s mouth as it gets and the key thing to spot there is that it’s not just how good your advert is, but how good your landing page is.

In short, the more relevant your page is to the keyword you are advertising for, the better your quality score will be. 

If you want to know definitively, on a scale of 0-10, how relevant Google thinks your page is to a particular keyword then Quality Score is about as close as you are going to get.

Keep in mind that Quality Score is also affected by how good your advert is – you’re not getting completely behind the wizard’s curtain here. You can at least see the curtain though, and that’s a start.

Is that it? You’re not going to tell me any more about CPC?

Afraid so – this is a book about SEO and the one thing I promised you in Chapter 1 was that everything I suggest in this book would be completely free for you to do. You’ve got to invest some work, some blood-sweat-and-tears time, but not one penny (or cent) down.

Tip: You can even use most of Google Ads for free – sign up but don’t put any money down. You’ll be amazed at how much data you can still access.

One more thing – you can actually get a backlink from Google…

If you search for a business by name, Google will try to “surface” (posh word “show”) a “Google My Business” entry in the sidebar of the search results.

Whilst this isn’t a backlink in the normal sense of the word, it’s a really important thing to make sure you’re in control of and have optimised – if you are a “real world” business then your Google My Business entry is going to be seen by anyone who searches for your business before they see your website. 

Reviews are particularly important here. You could have a website full of great customer testimonials but if your Google My Business rating is poor then you can expect that to have a big impact on the number of click-throughs you will see from search.

Not taking control of your Google My Business listing is like letting some random person put the signs on the outside of your building, design and distribute business cards and fliers you’ve never seen, and then dress your shop window.

It’s not Google’s job to give you the best listing they can – it’s their job to give the most accurate listing they can with the data they have.

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