It’s a question that’s asked frequently but seldom is there a simple answer. The popular response seems to be going line by line through your goals, budget, and needs. But, there’s a different approach, possibly the best approach, that gets overlooked a majority of the time.
Let’s take a look at how SEO and PPC (paid ads on Google) work together, affect one another, and how these two can be combined to improve your website and deliver better results.
Using PPC & SEO together, optimize your marketing campaign results.
Search engine optimization improves your organic reach and traffic, while PPC, also known as SEM or search engine marketing comes along with a laser-sharp approach to targeting your market. Both are good on their own, but together they can be great.
Before we start talking about just how great this pair is together, let’s take a minute to point out what makes them different.
PPC, or pay per click, is a marketing model in which advertisers pay a predetermined cost per click amount every time that one of their ads is clicked on. To put it simply, PPC is a method of buying visits to your site rather than earning them through organic methods alone.
With the PPC model for search marketing, advertisers place bids on keywords that they think are going to be high performers for their brand and direct those targeted keywords to a specific landing page. Advertisers can then tweak their PPC campaign based on the performance of the keywords in the search engine results – they can push highly converting keywords and pull back on ones that are not performing well.
The plus side of using PPC ads in your marketing mix is that this channel typically produces great results, and you only pay for the clicks you receive. You don’t pay if your keyword strategy isn’t generating any interest, so you’re not blowing the marketing budget on an inefficient strategy.
The downside of a paid search campaign is a mixture of competitiveness and cost. There aren’t many unique businesses out there and most of us are constantly strategizing on how to keep a leg up on the competition. Running a PPC campaign is a great way of doing this, except your competitors, are thinking the exact same thing.
This means that there’s some serious competition for high performing, in-demand keywords. Competition usually means a higher cost, but it isn’t always the highest bid that wins the gold in the keyword battle.
For example, Google uses a complex system of analyzing your bid and an assigned quality score for your ad together. On one hand, this is great because the top dollar doesn’t always win. On the other hand, it makes the process even more difficult to understand.
PPC is great for generating traffic to your site, but it has a few areas of weakness for many small businesses, which is why partnering it with SEO to fill in those gaps is such a great strategy.
Slow and Steady SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the art of increasing traffic and awareness of your brand through organic search results. The mutual goals of traffic and awareness are achieved by implementing search engine friendly components. In other words, implement things that are known to make Google happy.
Where PPC is all about keywords, SEO is about keywords and more. A myriad of factors plays into a search engine’s algorithm for determining a brand’s rank. For example, keyword use is important, but so is UX design and mobile optimization.
The benefit of SEO is that it’s less expensive. The only expense is the time you invest in developing and implementing a winning strategy. There are not any pay per click costs and bidding. SEO is also more effective at increasing awareness of your brand because the search results aren’t as targeted as they are with PPC.
The downside of SEO is that it’s a slow process and usually takes a few months to start seeing results.
While those results might remain steady, there’s a lot of time involved in waiting, analyzing and testing.
Have you noticed that with both PPC and SEO that one’s strengths are the other one’s weaknesses? It’s no wonder they fit together so perfectly.
Leveraging PPC Performance to Develop a Stronger SEO Strategy
One of the best things about PPC is the insight that you can get from campaign analytics. And, while most brands would agree that SEO is an effective, low-cost way to expand their reach, the problem is developing a strong strategy when keyword success is cryptic at best.
Getting SEO right the first time is like finding a needle in a haystack. Chances are you’re going to spend a ton of time tweaking and revising your strategy.
But, your PPC data and audience insights already contain the golden keys to marketing your business with SEO. Using PPC analytics, you get a better understanding of what SEO keywords will be the most powerful, provide the most stability and lead directly to conversions.
Do you have employees? If you do, then you know that each person on your team has strong points or skill areas where they contribute more than others. This is why you hire people for different positions and assign separate responsibilities. But, could your business run efficiently without each team member? Probably not. They’re each valuable and have a reason for being there. PPC and SEO are equally important in the same way. Each contributes something vital, but unique to your digital marketing success.
Let’s start by looking at PPC. Your PPC strategy has one goal, and that’s to dominate search engine results so that high-quality leads find their way to you. Domination is crucial for conversions.
Next, we have SEO. SEO is more of a quiet worker bee. It isn’t bold and in your face. Instead, it subtly provides validity and reputation for your brand.
What happens when you land on the front page of the search engine results (e.g. Google) and you have a solid reputation to go with it? Marketing magic.
Combining PPC and SEO allows you to get the most out of every dollar of your marketing budget. For example, certain high performing keywords might work great with an SEO strategy, but once translated to PPC, you might find that the ROI just isn’t worth the bid investment. So, you scale back on PPC and boost your SEO with keyword optimization.
On the other hand, you might find that some of your high performing SEO keywords aren’t as popular for PPC and are less competitive, but very effective for your brand. PPC and SEO are the perfect compliments for getting the most out of your marketing budget.
Are you ready to combine the best of both worlds in your digital marketing strategy? We’re here to help you leverage both PPC and SEO for success. Contact Direction, Inc and let us be the search engine marketing agency that gets you results.