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How to Combine SEO with PPC to Achieve Greater Digital Marketing Success

An Interview with Edward Coram

For this episode of Ecoffee with Experts, Matt Fraser hosted Edward Coram the chief executive of Go Up Ltd. Edward illustrates how to maximize your digital marketing efforts by integrating search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to generate more leads, sales, and brand loyalty. Watch now for some fascinating insights.

Your attribution model should be consistent across PPC, across all of your channels, because otherwise, you’re going to run into the minefields of data sets that are telling you different things.

Edward Coram
Chief executive of Go Up Ltd
Hello everyone. Welcome to this episode of Ecoffee with Experts. I am your host, Matt Fraser. And today on the show I have with me, Edward Coram James. Now Edward is the chief executive of Go Up Ltd, an international agency producing outstanding digital marketing results for its global clientele. He is skilled in all aspects of SEO, including content marketing, SEO copywriting, technical SEO analytics and more. When not wearing his marketing hat and CEO hat, he enjoys spending time with his dogs and surfing. And thanks for coming to the show. It's a pleasure to have you here.

My absolute pleasure.Thank you very much for having me.

Right on. So, who were you as a kid growing up? You've had a very interesting journey so far and so this whole thing of having to have an office in the UK and an office in California. But you know who was Ed, growing up?

That’s such an interesting question. Ed growing up was kind of quite similar to Ed being a grown-up, which is kind of a number of different things. I was brought up in a very privileged background, the kind of privilege largely came from my stepfamily. My parents got divorced when I was younger and my stepfamily is kind of very wonderful, incredible human beings, but that they were kind of upper-class English. And so I was sent to the best boarding schools in the UK, but I was always slightly odd one out. Like in Latin we had this teacher, Mr. Cooper, and he just knew that Latin wasn’t for me. We’re talking, I must have been ten, so I’d sit in the back of a classroom and write poetry, and he’d kind of let me do that while he was teaching around Latin and everyone else was reciting mathematical, that stuff. And so as it was, this kid kind of living in this world of extraordinary privilege, but he never felt really like he fit into that scenario.

Totally. I can relate.

Poetry was my thing. So the house I grew up in, this house called Norton, which for any poetry aficionado out there is one of the great sorts of U.S. poets of all time. And one of his seminal poems was by Norton. He came to our house and trespassed and wrote a poem about it. And when I was about 13, some professors from Stanford University in California just turned up on our doorstep and knocked on the door, I opened it. And I said, Who are you? And she said, I’m Professor Nancy from Stanford. Can I come and look around? And she was with this guy, James Fidelity not the Stanford chap. Then I showed him around and as we got talking, I said, Oh, I write poetry. And I showed her some. And then about a month later, she showed up with a whole bunch of professors from Stanford.

I announced and I'm announcing I was invited.

I don’t know, they had been announced this time, but about four days earlier my mom and I had no idea. There was this lady called Professor Middlebury and then a guy who called Tracy. He’s this incredible chemist, who invented the birth control pill, which is obviously controversial in some places and not in others. They said, listen, you should come to Stanford. And so I was like, well, gosh, okay. And so they said, listen, you will get you a scholarship. And so the next thing I know, I’m flying out to California. A wee lad, he barely left England. Certainly not left Europe for. And I kind of grew this love affair with California and that kind of became a really big defining part of my life. And then when I was 17, that whole thing just started to unravel. So, Kathleen, Professor Nancy was tragically killed when she was in Iran. And then very shortly thereafter, Professor Middlebury died and became terminally ill. And it all kind of started to unravel. And all of a sudden, I kind of spent years building up to this thing of I’m going to Stanford and the Fellowship, and that’s amazing. Then it all just fell apart very quickly. But I didn’t lose my love of California. It only kind of grew. My other great passion was acting and I got into a number of really amazing drama schools both in the UK and the US. The one in the US, kind of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts won out because I wanted to so badly be in California. So I moved to California when I was 18, attended drama school, it was a wonderful, incredible experience. And I was there for four years. Then I moved back to the UK to act and it’s at that point that I kind of fell into digital marketing. Like you were saying to me earlier, before we started recording I finally found this game through a totally sideways channel. So I was a broke actor living in London. A mate of mine from school, called me up one day and he said, come and work with me at some print advertising company, floor space for like 100 bucks a pop. And I did that and it was horrible, and I realized that as good as the magazine was and it was very good, it didn’t work, like X amount of eyeballs and it was so untargeted. For a single sale, you needed X thousand eyeballs on his ad. It was like throwing paint against a wall and selling nonsense to people who really needed it to work. It wasn’t like the kind of big multinational companies that my agency now looks after. It is like carpenters and tradespeople.

Who needed the business.

Yeah, they needed it. So I was sat down saying, yeah, we’re going to get you loads of business. But I think in my heart, even though I wanted the money.

You had to sell the product.

Yeah, exactly. But when you have a job, you do your job. And I did my job to the best of my ability, but I kind of like slowly withering inside. And I felt like I wasn’t conning people. Of course, I was so disenfranchised with print media, a viable advertising platform, so I left that and I went traveling around. And I kind of made this commitment to myself that I would really go back and I would act and I would also, in order to sustain myself as an actor, I would go and I would work in digital marketing. I didn’t know why, but that felt more appropriate. That feels like it might be something you can actually get people with and you can get results. Well, I need to go back to England and I read to be associated with Ritchie. We’re talking 2010 now. So Eric and Ron Fishkin and that. I was reading and I thought, you know what? So that I’m not going to work for someone else, I’m going to work for myself. And so I called out one of my best mates in school and I said, listen, I’ve got this idea and I think that we should open an SEO agency. And he was working for a company called Media Con, which is one of the huge global advertising agencies at a time when I just assumed he took time to jog on. But he didn’t. He said, Yes that sounds like a brilliant idea, which completely took me by surprise. And all of a sudden I had a business partner and a business plan. But neither of us knew how to do this SEO thing that our entire business was based on. So we read the book, we read The Art of SEO, and then we were like, What do we do next? And then at Christmas in London, it gets very cold. This is a particularly cold winter. Oh, yeah. And my boiler was broken and again broke actor, freezing me off.

I kind of like I dealt with it for about seven weeks and I just weathered the storm and I was like, I can’t afford a new boiler, so I’m not going to. And after about seven weeks, I was like, No, ready, you’re cold. You’re going to get sick. And I go to a local plumber and it turned out to actually be quite a big-time company. And I go home after hours. It must have been like 18. And so for whatever reason, the diversion thought through the owner of the company and on his website when I was talking to him, I asked for about 20 seconds. But for whatever reason, it became clear that he was quite senior and company. So well, I can see that his website is basically one giant doorway page, which is an SEO term for a stupid spammy area.

Most of our audience is agency owners, so don't know exactly what you're talking about.

Yeah. And so I saw that as just one John and Literally, he had a website for like London Plumbers, another website for Kensington Commerce, another website for…

Those were EMDs?

Yeah exactly. He probably had a thousand EMDs with duplicate websites on every single one of them. It makes sense he went variations for it, I told him you’re going to get in trouble for this. And he said why and I explained why and then he asked me for a coffee and I was like, okay, fine. And I went for a coffee with him. I explained the problem to him and he said Nice work. Five is six. Yeah, whatever. And that was that sounds like fun.

So he said, he brushed you off and said that this is going to live. He's got another five years to do what he was doing.

Well, yeah, well he said, listen, this strategy has been working last how many years? You’re full of nonsense. I was like, okay. And you know, I was like, Fine. But then literally we’re talking two weeks later, my friend goes and it’s him in school. Okay? We have just been completely annihilated. Like completely annihilated. Your head was probably more than two weeks, is probably like five weeks, but he’s like, we’ve been completely annihilated. What do we do? And I, oh, my God. Okay. And so we literally had to then build the agency better because we weren’t operating and we’d incorporate a few months back. But we had no idea how to start. And all of a sudden we had someone who wants to be our client with a decent budget and a serious problem.

That is such an amazing story, I'm just sitting there going, wow.

It was like and it was really fun and I think the benefit of where we came from because we, you know if we’re talking 2000 and 2012 at this point, so kind of heightened like kinda you know all of these big outs.

Yeah, I remember all that stuff.

Yeah, but the benefits so Tom and I, my business partner, if we hadn’t been operating pre-pandemic and we are operating kind of mid-pandemic and so we didn’t know how to do SEO in the right way. We knew that was wrong SEO, but it wasn’t on our registry really of how to do it. We just knew what it looked like. And so we were like, okay, well, let’s follow around, Fishkin says. Let’s follow what Eric said. So let’s just see what it is and let’s read the guidelines and let’s do that. And we did that. And very quickly, this guy started to absolutely dominate again, but based upon a solid SEO strategy. Stuff that adds value. And it was all about and some say just adding value, creating amazing content creates a really good user experience like a well-designed website. This is brilliant and he all of a sudden the traffic he kind of lost from these thousands of doorway websites that actually ultimately what targeting like he would have a whole website dedicated to like, Wandsworth Plumbers which would only have like 60 such as a month for it. And the amount of effort going into every single thing was astronomical. We consolidated the whole thing to one awesome website that was actually quite quickly outperforming all of the nonsense of Houston for full. And then he told some of his mates.

And they told some of their mates and they told some of their mates.

Incredibly convenient because, I won’t say the name of the agency but his agency, the SEO agency that was looking after him was doing the same strategy, like a whole bunch of other agencies. And they all got blacklisted at the same time. When we then work that out among our clients. And so when we started doing a really good job for the guy was Charlie. I won’t say the name of his company, but when we did a really good job for them, all of a sudden some of the other clients from his previous agency started calling us up, saying, What are you doing? And so we got our first five clients literally without making any effort to just go those who’ve been murdered by Google just calling us up and go up was born.

That's such an amazing startup story. I have heard lots of stories, but that's so cool. Basically, you know, your clients are an emotion. They love them because they're doing such a bad job in that. I think it's interesting because, you know, EMDs used to work at one time. I know of one marketer who became a millionaire doing paper lead generation for service-based businesses in one year, watching the EMDs that if the EMD Los Angeles plumber didn't exist, he just added a one to the end of it. LosAngelesplumber1.com. And he was building those sites and cloning them for multiple cities across the US in multiple verticals. And he became a millionaire. So, it did work at one time, but as you and I know from our experience, you have to add value for SEO nowadays. You can't get away with thin content pages and rubbish on websites and a crappy user experience where I will say a different word. Crappy user experience is slow-loading websites that look like they were made in 1997. They were tables and columns and all that crap. Now how the game has changed. And, you know, we were I saw amazing how if you really been in the trenches learning SEO and it's, even more, I tip my hat to you that you've built a not only an agency up in in the UK but then expanded into the US like you said one of your companies is located in California because of your love for that that now I see why so it's very exciting. We were talking about how to combine SEO with PPC to achieve greater digital marketing success. Can you tell me a story about how you discovered that or how that came about?

I mean, again, we’re talking very fast. Interaction with SEO. I mean, obviously less than a million lessons you learn every single day. What happens is that that specific question goes up to goes back to day one. Well, if we are approached by this guy who gets nominated by Google, and so the question is, how do we get him his revenue back? And, the obvious answer is, we need to do our thing as SEO, right? That’s how you got all of your traction. So we need to get that firing again. But that’s going to take time. So how do we get it back and to people see, and say, we learned our lesson just because, again, we stumbled upon this. There was this immediate need to get this guy back, the traffic that he’d been getting something on. But then on top of that, you know, the kind of synergies that come along with that, because the case had been talked to, you said you had thousands of EMDs.

Wait a minute, he had a thousand GMBs?

EMD.

Okay, EMD. I thought you said GMB, they Google my business. Did he have a separate GMB for each EMD?

Yes, he had a separate Google My Business, for every single one of those addresses.

That's crazy.

What he’d been doing is he had like virtual offices and makes and all of this in different areas. And so you know, the code that Google sent out to you to your address to verify your local business back in 2011, he was just sending it to anybody and everybody and then just going and collecting it. And he releases all of this pretty much overnight. But so one of the first things that we need to do is work out of this however many EMDs he houses, which are actually what traffic is worth. Going back and asking what was it like not just one such but what is converting for you? And so we set up this PPC campaign and know it was kind of thing started back in to narrow it down over the next couple months, like a huge catchment, every keyword you can possibly imagine, every version of every keyword with every location within this industry and then set up decent conversion tracking on every single one of those market was conversing, and that had its own merits within the PPC sense because you don’t have that much outspend we’re chasing, what keywords. But it also meant that it laid the foundation for us, your strategy and amended our SEO strategy from the moment we started it was laser focused that were actually bringing in those revenues.

And so that I mean, that was that kind of keep as SEO lesson and how those two are completely dependent.

I totally agree with you. Like when I was back in offering services to businesses, they wouldn't want to do that. Some of them may come across, they wouldn't want to invest that. And you know why? If you want to know what will work, let's invest in some PPC. Maybe I'm talking to the wrong people because I was like, we need to invest at least three grand. Oh, my God, three grand.That's way too much money. I have three grand. Well, you're the wrong prospect for me. That. But it's just so refreshing to hear someone else validate them because like you, I'm self-taught and I shared my story a little bit off camera and you know. It is the right way to go. Why bother trying to invest a certain amount of money in something that you're not sure about, whether it's even worth it? I'm sure you can do all the keyword rebuild. We both know what you can do as keyword research and all that. Competitive research and all those things. But like, if you really want to know, is this going to make me money? Is this going to convert for me? Is this going to be like moving the needle for my business? The PPC is the perfect medium or channel to test that.

Something that logically, from a purely organic point of view, you can do all of the research you want. You can properly drill down and go down that. You can have a bank of key items that just make absolute logical, perfect sense. And then you build a campaign around them and you get on the first page and they bring in loads of traffic and they’re not converting. And everything on paper makes sense. But then the actual hard reality, when it’s put in front of a consumer, it’s not working for you and not you know, we’ve even though we have a really strong kind of mantra of test on PPC first, we haven’t done that and we’ve regretted it almost every single time. Because the learnings that you get from PPC and you can get those learnings in weeks. PPC can save you a year’s worth of wasted time.

Oh my gosh. It can save you a month or whatever, 30 days or 60 days of PPC research. And not only can it make you money at the same time, but also can save you a year's worth of wasted SEO effort.

100%, when you say you know your time, so you get told this as well. You know, when your client says to you, listen, I don’t want to spend three grand, five grand, ten grand, whatever it is, around 500 quid or bucks. I just want to focus on SEO, but you can spend 100, 200, or $300,000 over the space of a year on one specific kind of sector of SEO-related terms of organic. And I said get it like hit the absolute mountain tops of that and, not convert. And if you could just spend that three grand a month, one on PPC, you would have learned that lesson.

Did you tell him that?

Sometimes people listen and sometimes people don’t hear.

Any of those that don't listen. You know that if it doesn't work, they're going to be pissed off at you as a client or do you just say, I told you so? And well, you do remember when I said this?

Well, look, it is usually when they don’t listen, I don’t want to slag out business owners because entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of every economy. Right. And yeah, part of the thing about being an entrepreneur is that usually, you follow your intuition. I am a successful entrepreneur. The basis is that your intuition is right more than it’s wrong, but that means that there’s going to be the time, and you just have to hope it’s going to be right more than that. And so they will often come to you. It is definitive. No, I’m right. This is what we need to be targeting. And when you have that mindset, it’s really really hard to shake that. And I said a lot of the time that all of the indications are that, yes, that is right. And so it’s really, really hard to kind of put a persuasive counterargument against it because it’s like on paper is your demographic. And to target that demographic, those are the right keywords. And this is your old section website, and this is good looking, and it’s the other topics and got some decent crowd going on there. So yes, fine, but still tests on PPC, and they say, no, I don’t have the time, I don’t want to waste it. And it’s again, it’s not like that logic isn’t right. It is right. It’s just that sometimes the most logical argument doesn’t stand up when you put it to the test. And so it’s not a case of I told you so, it’s just a case of, I suppose that the good thing about that is that they never made that mistake again.

There you go and hopefully, they didn't blame me for it.

They don’t because, you know, you leave a paper trail, and they know you have a personal relationship with them. And whether it’s the business head themselves of CEO or the CMO or whoever, they learn the lesson, and they never make that mistake again. But it also. Every time it’s built confidence in us. Actually, I think they’ve ever come back and said, I wish you had tried hard, obviously, to persuade me. Almost every time they’re like, I wish I’d listen to you the next time they do listen to me, which is quite useful.

So what are some of the ways that you set up tracking, like conversion tracking? I mean, I know. I mean, were you setting up goals for web forms and analytics and tying that too and then setting up conversion tracking through tag manager with Google ads and, you know, measuring the conversions that way? And I'm assuming, call tracking and so on and so forth in order to measure those conversions. And how did you figure out which, like what, I guess the keywords that you were betting on and were there landing pages that you discovered you needed to build as a result of the keyword campaigns from doing a broad target keyword match campaign like that, where you were targeting almost every keyword that was out there. Trying to get as much, trying to catch as many fish keywords as possible.

It depends on what kind of website you’re dealing with. Your background is in car sales, right? And that’s quite interesting.

Could talk about that for an hour, but I guess tying it back to the plumber because the plumber was on you who you did it for. So maybe we should stick to that and just, you know. Well, there he said, were you bidding on all those location-based keywords and building the web, the service area pages to land the mine to convert them?

So we had a dual strategy with him. So one of the things that we did was he had this useless Internal search engine on it, and it was completely pointless because we have this blog and it’s like, Dude, why do you have this internet search engine? But actually, you can learn a huge amount from an internal search engine because you see what people are looking for.

This is true.

And so we had a dual focus in terms of what kind of sections of the website we would build out. One was literally through the data when the internal search engine woke up. This is what people are looking for over and over and over again.

You mean to tell me the internal search engine people, they were searching for things over and over again, multiple searches. So you were tracking that.

So we were tracking that. And so through his Internal search engine, we worked out, if you will. This is actually if you want to know what people are looking for, if you want to know what services people are looking for that you’re offering, but you’re underrepresented or you’re just not offering the effort you should be. And then let’s use your internal search engine for that. And there were a lot of services that we worked out very quickly that his otherwise completely useless part of his website had no right to exist. And you can get insight into, okay, well, why aren’t you doing this? Because you’ve got like here for every single month, it fits squarely within the range of what a plumber should be doing, yet you’re not offering it and said, wow, and persuasion. First of all, this is the data, our ultimate service. And when he agreed that fine, I’m going off the service, and we would then build out. It’s his website specific. Again, create amazing content specifically geared to that function and when you then combine that with the PPC data. So we all while we, first of all, kind of get the concept of this is what people are looking for that you’re not servicing. So we then say syndicate, well, let’s just set up a small PPC campaign to see whether that converts. So we just set up tiny little landing pages on his website, and then some of them didn’t come by. And so I was like, okay, people are looking for search engines. But I think that’s, you know, that’s whatever you want it to move on. But then there were other areas where people were looking for an internal search engine. It was conversing nicely in PPC. And so we then build out this nicely kind of solid section of the website, amazing content, specific.Then that quickly became some of the key drivers of revenue for his entire business. And this had been around for 15 years and had become one of the genuine ones of the kind of leading plumbing companies in London at the time, which is no small thing at all. Within about a year, we had managed to open up these entirely new revenue streams that were laser-focused. Laser-focused that would drive revenue for all our industry of data gleaned from his internal search engine and then fine by PPC. So I guess to answer your question, PPC was an absolutely pivotal part of that strategy because we learned what converted and what didn’t.

That's amazing. What other things have you learned from PPC that has enhanced SEO campaigns? For instance, using PPC for ad copy from minute descriptions? I mean, that sounds pretty. The logical thing to do. But in the reality of it, I mean, does that work?

I would say it works, and it works nicely. So back in, you know, going back to the early days of 2010 and 2012, there is a Genesis piece of software called Ad contractor where you had to factor. Yeah, like this multivariable AB testing thing. So you had your standard AV testing, right? And so you test this side versus this side. This is all stuff, by the way, that responsive charts now kind of just do what I do automatically. We’re talking about 11 years ago when they did, and they didn’t. Yeah. What it would do is you would kind of take all of the different areas of the ad in itself, and you would take the conversion rates of each, and you would put having one, having two, etc., all into ad compacts. And they would say, okay, use this heading then this line of this description. And that’s the Golden Nugget. And so we would then use that data not only to refine our PPC campaigns, we would use that data to write our meta descriptions and even meta titles as well.

That makes so much sense.

Yeah. And that’s going back to the old school. But I said these days with, kind of the how responsive search ads work now you don’t need to use these kinds of third-party platforms like how competitive Google is for you. And, of course, it makes sense, right? If you know whether this ad copy and this ad is working significantly better or not, but this is what it’s converting, and it makes sense to use that as your description. And actually, I would say it’s criminal not to do that.

Totally. I agree with you. And it's so brilliant. You're learning the ad copy that's going to convert your visitors when they search organically.

And, I think the meta description is, in terms of an industry, it is still one of the most undervalued areas of the SEO profession because everyone gets so caught up in what will make you brand purchases, of course. But, you know, clearly, all the stuff is an important part of the answer anyway. And also, what’s the point of a ranking if no one’s going to convert?

What's going to be number one if nobody clicks on your result?

This is a fundamental part of our mobile strategy, and we will not be able to get that data without PPC. And, obviously, that’s a little bit of a kind of friction between the current accounts of your meta descriptions. But it’s quite simple to find that out. Oh, absolutely. So the answer is yes. It’s, I would say, fundamental to be using the kind of cross synchronicity between the data that you are getting from your ads and then putting that into action, not just your matter descriptions, as you say. But I would go further than that. And I would say putting that into your title tags and putting it into the ad copies.

Of your website, your headline.

Yeah, put it in your headline because you are getting all this data. Why if you know it works? Use it as your heading one.

Absolutely. It's brilliant. What about attribution, though, for instance? And I'll set this up. For instance, I don't mean to sound. Nobody has taught me what I'm about to tell you. I've thought about myself and looked at other marketers like Ryan Davis who do it. So, for instance, running ad campaigns on dedicated pages such as website.com forward site landing, LP, forward slashes London plumber in our best London plumber. And then you have your organic page, which could be no website dot com forward slash. Either London plumber direct or service area if you're doing multiple locations or it's large London plumber if you want to do that. So was that a way where you like? Cause I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to drive the same paint at traffic unless you're using ATMs. But isn't it better to segment your traffic that way and have different landing pages from PPC versus SEO? So, because you're always going to be doing split testing on a landing page for PPC, you don't want it to change on your SEO page. So is that something that you did? And or else could you tell me what your strategy was for attribution, for segmentation, for keeping the two channels separate so, you know, which was working and which wasn't?

As we said earlier, marketing in and of itself is big in itself. And it’s a complicated one. And it’s one to keep that wrong the whole time. I mean, think we’ve just had a client, and actually, this is unusual, who we’ve onboarded recently who has different attribution modeling set up for AdWords to Google Analytics. And so it means that every time they have been looking at their AdWords campaign, they’ve been getting different figures from what they’ve been looking at. And with analytics, which was fatal brain fog. So the first week of the campaign, we tried so.

The previous agency didn't do attribution modeling correctly. Its attribution stop was incorrect. That's what I'm hearing and that's not surprising to me.

That’s exactly right. In terms of how we did it with so, my take is that your attribution modeling should be consistent across PPC, SEO, and all of your channels because otherwise, you’re going to run into the minefield of data sets about telling you different things. And based on that, I generally, and I think some agencies generally go with the mantra that you should be your SEO landing pages, PPC landing pages. Okay, fair enough. It could be your social media landing pages as well. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take learnings from PPC again. So with me set out, I’m going to do this like set up landing pages specifically geared towards a PPC audience for that we that’s not a long term strategy. That’s a learning strategy to make sure we should be building out this section of the website for our organic search. And yes, of course, but use is going through the website because if we ignore it, something is working nicely to see that is broadly catered to through the main kind of principle hierarchy of the site. Then the incorporation is the main principle hierarchy of a site. Because why wouldn’t you if it’s great? Yeah, that’s well, and so it’s a nice quick way to learn through PPC. What content should you be building out through your site.

Then you can also use UTM parameters in your PPC campaigns, which you probably are doing so, figure out if the traffic is paid or if it's organic, and then you can look at the channel. So yeah, I can see my concern was always like, well, what if I'm doing AB tests and I'm driving traffic to the page and switching these things? But, there are ways around that.

It’s like floodlight tags, and all of that stuff which is of course said like brilliant, crucial and critical and also of dissertation that we have for the next six years.

Yeah, exactly. So this can be done with like smaller budgets as well. Have you done this with a small budget and like what's the smallest budget? If you don't mind me asking. So here's what I'm trying to get at. And if a company wanted to start doing this or agencies wanted to suggest starting doing this with their clients, what is the smallest PPC ad budget they should think about, or is it dependent upon the market in the search time?

That’s so interesting because this is such a complicated answer, identity, and I have to answer this broad, okay, PPC budgets run in tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Right. Okay. The contracts that we look after said, we’ve got a couple of times paying like £300 a month, you know, 500 bucks a month. And when we do that again, we’re doing that because we are trying to learn something like this specific differentiator. And so we will sometimes get dating back, harking back to what we talked about earlier, testing PPC first, we can do that maybe with 300 or 400 bucks a month. I will run a little PPC test. We will run it over two months. We’ll see. It’s like, you know, it’ll cost them five or 600 bucks, and then if it is, we’ll go to Quintin or Maceo, if it’s, and all will scrap it and whatever. So I can see how that is. Even if someone’s paying you, like tens of thousands of dollars a month on an SEO campaign, you can still save him a fortune by just throwing 300 bucks a month, over two months into PPC and learning the hard lessons that way when it.

Right now, it's just I know of so many SEOs. To be frank, they turn their noses up a PPC and kind of like, I have talked to thousands of marketers. But like. In the Facebook group. They treat PPC like it's an enemy. All they do is SEO, they do not know how much you're missing out on by not doing PPC.

I mean, it’s not just missing out on the amount of money of that kind of money that they’re wasting because they test the principle, and it’s fertile like a laser-focused, training ground where they can test their theory before they eat. This is a terrible analogy, and I’ve never used it before. So it’s not particularly robust. But, like COVID vaccines, you start with however many hundreds of different potential vaccines. And we live this story we’ve lived in the last two years where, you know, however many vaccines we need. That was the Johnson-Johnson one. That was AstraZeneca, this and the other. And slowly, slowly, the kind of field narrowed down to all of a sudden you’re left with like three or four leading vaccines. Yet, all of a sudden gets a global distribution now had said, instead of kind of narrowing it down like that, just don’t quit on one vaccine and not what we do will be completely screwed. I mean, I thought the analogy of I’ve never used that before but is the stakes and much, much lower, of course, with SEO and PPC. And you can see. All of these different vaccines made so much sense on paper, and the science worked. And yet you put them through two trials, and you throw $1,000,000,000 on it, which doesn’t work. And it’s like a rat. And it is again the same with PPC and SEO. It’s like, you have this your SEO theory, it works amazingly on paper. It looks perfect, and it looks robust. You throw the kitchen sink at it, and it doesn’t work. And you can learn that within weeks instead.

You got me thinking that there are some campaigns that I want to launch for SEO that I don't know if they're going to work. Can you tell a story about a time when the PC data showed you it wasn't worth it?

Yeah, totally. So I probably can’t say the client’s name, but.

Oh, no. Just in general terms, motors or whatever they want to say.

So it’s an international clothing brand. Very high-end clothing focusing on men’s clothing. And it was a particular style of jacket. And they say this was pure testing. So they didn’t have to have this kind of jacket. It didn’t even exist or didn’t exist. It didn’t exist. And it was supposed to be something that they were going to launch the next season and so we kind of said this wasn’t just a case of PPC influencing our SEO. This was PPC and SEO influencing their entire brand strategy for their next season’s collection. This season, it creates this collection, and we just caught wind of it, incidentally, because it was already going to be created. It’s just that we were going through the SEO strategy for the upcoming year. Amazing genius on this day, this mysterious mistake. And we said, okay, how do you know that the consumer’s going to like this? And they said because our competitors are doing it. So of course. And we’ve got, SEO being the leading brand in this meeting about it. And we kind of managed to persuade them to do just that. And then we say, that’s when it’s preorder?

We kind of put up a priority thing. They had the designs already. So we said, okay. And so we put out landing pages about six different landing pages for preorders. Some were jackets, some shoes, shirts. Put it all live and we did SEO. And the conversion, the conversion that we were looking for was people clicking on preorder and putting in the details and the shoes, the right words and actually trading a shot there. Right. Well, it’s actually training one’s a hankie like a handkerchief, but it’s not actually true. Another but this was that like thing that they were most excited about was this jacket. It was kind of a kind of bomber jacket type thing. And our suspicion was that it wouldn’t work on the basis that these guys, that kind of what they were known for were much more classic and that was the whole point. They wanted to go for something much edgier.

It wasn't their brand, wasn't it? It was a brand market fit.

It’s not a brand. And anyway, we set up this whole thing and we put PPC. They didn’t have a single conversion. Not a single, A lot of people clicked on it but they go to the actual page, but not a single person, click the preorder button and they sell that because of it.

Otherwise, they were going to go ahead with the product and they were going to go ahead with an SEO campaign.

They were going to go ahead with the product, they were going to go with us. So we lost a bunch of revenue because they were going to go crazy with us. We probably shorted us like lost maybe £80,000 worth of work because they were going to Boston as a major clutch for this particular product for a while. But ultimately, we gave them the right information and probably by spending like £400, which is again about $600, they save themselves about 80,000 times just an SEO alone, let alone the production costs of this bracket that was never going to sell across all stores they have internationally. And so you’re literally talking $100,000. They saved themselves without, you think well over $1,000,000. If you take into account the SEO costs, the production costs, their distribution costs, everything well over a million bucks on.

That's an amazing story.

Ultimately, yes, we lost probably 80 grands worth of revenue from that, but we got a serious amount of goodwill from them and best of luck on so.

That's amazing. Hey, it is there any other ways businesses can use PPC data to improve their SEO strategy that we haven't mentioned that come to the top of your mind?

Oh, my God. I mean, yeah, I’m sure that there are a million ways that they can use us off the top of my head. I mean, to be honest with you, I think we’ve come to a basis and yeah.

I just thought maybe there's one more thing that might come to your mind, a golden nugget or maybe an inspirational idea that maybe has come to your mind that you're like, Oh yeah, there's just one more. Just try to squeeze a little bit more value out of you.

I’m sure that there will be those if the conversation goes on. Similarly, though, those are the headlines and anything else is just like subtle refinement where you’re kind of constantly checking back the SEO data versus the PPC data.

When you get the pages ranked? Do you continue to do both PPC and SEO?

Okay. So firstly, it depends entirely on the time. I would say that most clients have both SEO and PPC budget. So mostly do both. Not all of them. I say most, we may be talking 55% versus 45% who don’t. Again, we try to persuade them to test, as you see, before they go quids in. And the ones who engage in kind of long term multifaceted PPC campaigns, we will still try to do small PPC campaigns to make sure that we’re really kind of getting that we’re on the money, we’re on to something before we roll it out on a major SEO step.Okay. So firstly, it depends entirely on the time. I would say that most clients have both SEO and PPC budget. So mostly do both. Not all of them. I say most, we may be talking 55% versus 45% who don’t. Again, we try to persuade them to test, as you see, before they go quids in. And the ones who engage in kind of long term multifaceted PPC campaigns, we will still try to do small PPC campaigns to make sure that we’re really kind of getting that we’re on the money, we’re on to something before we roll it out on a major SEO step.

Well, that makes sense. What's one big takeaway you want listeners to get from this episode?

Oh, my gosh. I guess just, you can have a hunch. And hunches are good, and you should always go with your hunches. But the beauty about what we do. It is that you have the bigger picture and the small picture ,and I would say PPC paints the small picture. And then you roll it out on the big picture. You roll it out on the canvas. Why would you ignore this machine, this mechanism that gives you these most incredible, detailed, pinpoint insights? Why would you ignore that? Because ultimately, that’s what helps you paint your masterpiece. And there’s also revenue for your clients. It will get its market to the best version. So if you can say, listen, I mean, that story of the clothing brand like by, you know probably less than $1,000 saving them $1 million, and it’s easy, and the take home could be oh where you screwed yourself out of a major SEO campaign. But actually, the reality is we bought major brand loyalty from them. The increased spending with us every year because we make sure that we don’t waste our money. And ultimately, if you can be the kind of agency that doesn’t just see a major budget and think, let’s just throw paint against the wall, see what sticks, let’s make sure that we are spending their money wisely. That’s the best return on investment for your clients. And that’s how you build long-term clients who keep increasing spending with you because they trust you. Because you’re the idea that when no other agency does, and by the way, you need to know that most agencies don’t do that all as well.

I will not talk too much on camera, but yeah I've seen things.

So yeah, we all have.

Anyway, how can listeners connect with you online?

So I check out my LinkedIn quite regularly, and I check my email very regularly, I’ll say that because I like receiving emails, I find it interesting they would say that that’s kind of the main thing. We touch on earlier the L.A. office. So I told the background story because that’s ultimately when we decided we needed an American office. Then it’s because of my background there. So California, very often in London as well. So people want to hit me up, and I love meeting people. I find it fascinating to talk to other people in our industry because it increases your knowledge base right by practical experience and being able to help by hearing the stories of other people and implementing them.

Thank you so much for being here. It's been a pleasure having you, and thanks for telling our audience how they connect with you. And I hope you'll come back and we can discuss some other things.

That’s my absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Thank you very much. Have a great day.

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