Let’s explore the difference between “Organic Search Engine Optimization” and PPC/Google Adwords Marketing for Your Martial Arts Business.
SEO really starts with how your martial arts business marketing website site was/is built. It must be built with search engine friendly technology. It must be structured with keywords that represent your programs and your location.
After your site is built there are steps taken to make the site relevant to search engines like Google and Bing. One of these elements is called on-site optimization which is the building block of a long-lasting and successful SEO campaign. This is like making sure you pivot and point your toes down when doing a sidekick!
Once the foundation is in place it is a process that never ends because there is not a moment where change is not happening in the SEO game. It is crucial to stay on top of these changes so your school does not get left behind. You also have to consider your competitors. Schools in your area have the same goal as you do… Get ranked! Their efforts will effect yours if you stop working at it.
Because your martial arts business is “Local a “Local SEO” strategy is a must. This strategy takes place “off-site.” It is how your website and school is seen by the “local internet” around you. In order for Google or Bing to consider your website “worthy” of a decent ranking it wants to know how other websites consider it. For this it checks to see how many websites link back yours. One strategy for this is submitting your school’s website to search engines, directories, industry directories, etc. Each one of these submissions adds a “back-link” to your martial arts marketing website
However – these directory “listings” are not maximized unless they are “owner-verified” and they are in sync. For this you must determine the best NAP (business name, address, phone number and website) you want to use. Every detail counts! And you must ensure all your listings are exactly the same. When we run our “48 Point Internet Marketing Inspections” the common mistake we see is problems with listings.
Having a review infrastructure is also important. A review infrastructure is an easy way for your students to review your business on their favorite review sites. Reviews help!
Next… Content Strategy…
When it comes to your organic SEO the question you have to answer is…
“What is our content marketing strategy going to be and how are we going to implement it?”
Your blog plays a key role. But you can also get published on other sites. The better those sites – the more weight a “back-link” from that site will have on your SEO.
Now… PPC. (Pay-Per-Click Marketing)
The king of PPC is Google Adwords. Google Adwords is not a replacement to an organic SEO strategy. PPC is a compliment. With a good PPC campaign and a sufficient budget your website can come up on the first page of Google almost immediately. Not so with SEO where rankings will take longer to achieve, but once achieved and maintained your site will most-likely keep decent ranking. Of course, this depends on many variables. Whereas with Google Adwords once you stop paying for advertising, your site will no longer show up on the first page.
PPC means that you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad. If you have set up your campaign correctly, are targeting the right keywords for what you are offering and sending those clicks to a page on your site that matches your keywords – your ad will have a pretty good chance of converting a prospect into a new student.
The beauty of Google Adwords is that it is easy to set up an account and get your campaign going. Unfortunately this ease is a double edged sword and you risk throwing away money if your campaign is not properly set up. You’ve been warned! I had a new client once ask me to take a look at his Adwords account. He had this set up prior to us working with him. His campaigns were set up all wrong and he was spending $1000 more per month than he had too.
The cardinal rule in PPC is relevance. Your keywords must be relevant to your ad which must be relevant to your landing page. This makes Google happy! Google rewards you by giving you a high quality score. A decent quality score means that you will pay less for the same ad position than your competitor if they have a low quality score. This means that even if you don’t have a huge budget, with all things in place and optimized you can compete against competitors with larger budgets!
With Google Adwords you should at least test out a few different campaigns and collect data for about 120 days. Then, study the data and adjust your strategy.