It’s no longer a question of SEO or PPC … it is SEO and PPC. Search engine marketing (SEM) has come a long stretch. In 2014, Conductor reported organic search accounted for 64% of all site traffic. Paid traffic only generated 6% of traffic.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising have moved ever closer in benefit since then. Fast forward to today and 65% of potential buyers are clicking on paid ads.
But it’s not an either or situation. If you think SEO and PPC are mutually exclusive, you’re losing out to more informed competitors. PPC is one of SEO’s most powerful tools and the same can be said vice versa.
So wait, is PPC part of SEO now? Well, no. Not exactly.
People still trust organic results over paid results, but that difference isn’t as strong as it once was. While 7% of consumers said they viewed PPC ads “poorly” in 2016, that number dwindled to just 1% in 2018.
That means more of your target customers could be opening up, embracing, clicking on, and converting in the PPC campaigns of your competitors—if you aren’t already taking advantage of PPC, it’s time you start.
SEO still offers the strong foundation needed for long-term growth and conversion, keeping it as an indispensable element of your 2021 strategy. But it can take time to see results. PPC and SEO together can take your site so much further so much faster.
How can you make SEO and PPC marketing work together to grow your business? Read on. We’ll take you through the following tips and tricks to help get your website on the right track:
- Use both PPC and SEO to create awareness for your business, fast
- Combining PPC and SEO builds trust fast and helps increase conversion
- Use both to leverage your budget and special events for sustained success
- Use both SEO and PPC to win more local business
- A PPC-SEO strategy can boost your multiple-channel approach
- Be smarter in how you execute PPC and SEO when budgets are tight.
Use both PPC and SEO to create awareness for your business, fast
It is extremely rare to find an organic search case study that shows significant results in less than three months. SEO takes time to build momentum and to start seeing ROI. But opportunity and competition will not wait 6 to 12 months for your SEO campaign to start working.
Use PPC best practices, like Google Ads, to get your name, product or service in front of your people immediately.
Start with targeted PPC ads and conversion-optimized landing pages to increase traffic to your website and hit the top spot on Google (the ads section) for multiple targeted keywords in as little as a day.
Then you can gradually build on your site’s SEO in the background. Instead of waiting on your most converting SEO keywords to guide your PPC campaigns when it’s too late, you can use buyer intent-optimized PPC keywords to create both short- and long-form content for organic (long-term) value.
Can your SEO keywords be used in PPC campaigns? Absolutely. Using the keywords from the campaign you can quantitatively tell is giving you more ROI.
Combining PPC and SEO builds trust fast and helps increase conversion
Using both SEO and PPC best practices in one campaign will increase your visibility in the SERPs.
You may already know this, but:
Building trust leads to conversion optimization. For your target customers to trust you, they need to feel you are familiar with them. So, how do you build that rapport, and fast?
Scoop up more space and text in search results for your targeted keywords.
Because Google ranks paid ads at the top of SERPs and about 46% of searchers can not readily tell the difference between paid and organic results. And more paid ads are squeezing into that space in 2021.
An effective PPC campaign will easily get you in the paid-for space.
Simultaneously, using effective SEO techniques will help you appear in organic results that come right after the paid real estate.
So, you’d be appearing “everywhere”, a powerful technique to make you familiar to your target audience.
For example, Grammarly sure knows how to keep all that SERP real estate to itself—and away from alternative grammar checkers.
But some people have learned to tune out paid ads, only quickly scanning through them before preferring to click on an organic search result.
Does it mean you’d be losing your ad dollars if your target audience only scans your PPC text and then clicks on the unpaid stuff?
With exposure in both sections, your audience can learn to more easily perceive you as a reputable brand that provides quality products and services.
Use both to leverage your budget and special events for sustained success
PPC campaigns on Google, Bing etc work especially well when you are:
- A product-based brand
- Doing a product launch
- Offering a service
- And have an upcoming special event or limited time offer
It is an excellent strategy for speed and conversions.
Effective SEO offers the backbone you need to sustain long-term success even when you don’t have the marketing dollars to sustain a Google Ads approach.
When you launch a PPC campaign and direct more traffic to your website, you are getting your target audience more used to your brand.
When they require a product or service similar to what you provide, they are likely to remember you and check your website organically.
And if you’ve implemented basic SEO best practices and continue to improve them, you are more likely to keep them onboard and less likely to click to a competitor’s site.
One of the best ways to do that is to create converting blog content that addresses the buyer persona’s intent.
With time, you can then choose to reduce your PPC budget and let the accelerating SEO machine you’ve set up do its job.
As more people stick around, your site’s bounce rate decreases, a great ranking signal Google uses to know your site offers quality content and to rank it even higher up in the SERPs where more potential customers can find you at no extra cost to you and even more easily.
Use both SEO and PPC to win more local business
Take out your phone.
Make a “near me” search.
What do you see?
Something like that?
That’s the power of Google My Business (GMB). Pure local SEO power.
But in 2020, don’t be surprised to find ads above the GMB listings.
Your target audience now uses a mobile device to browse the web rather than a desktop computer. With a smaller screen, you can expect them to be more exposed to the ads and GMB than on organic results.
Yet, the average internet user’s attention span is just about 4 to 8 seconds long before they click away. Or on what’s showing up—probably your competitors’ ads or GMB listing.
But by optimizing your GMB business profile, you reap some organic local SEO traffic—both online and in-store.
If you want, and like discussed before, you can keep more of that space for your business by using converting PPC ad text and an unpaid GMB profile to see more conversions.
A PPC-SEO strategy can boost your multi-channel approach
SEO marketing tactics work best on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, and increasingly, YouTube. But not nearly as well when you need to take advantage of your social media presence and engagement.
Using PPC, a search engine marketing (SEM) tactic, can help you close the gap between your social channels and your SEO optimized assets such as your website or blog.
Social media ads can be hyper-targeted, too. For example, it is possible to target people of a certain age from Facebook’s user profile data.
You can also use retargeting marketing to display highly-personalized ads to people who’ve recently visited specific pages or offers on your website. That way, you can leverage past SEO efforts to encourage potential buyers to continue to purchase or sign up for an item they checked before.
Combining SEO and PPC to be stronger during a downturn
With people spending more time online than ever before, the importance of digitizing your business has skyrocketed. One thing we know for certain, turning your ad or marketing budgets off is not an option. Adapting to the current reality, while being smart about spend should be the #1 priority. As you continue to make the transition online, there are a lot of learnings available to help plan for success in the future.
Applying your understanding of combining SEO and PPC in a budget smart way will help set you up for success as the situation continues to improve.
It’s best to start by taking a look at your PPC Keywords. As mentioned above, it is best to have both high ranking organic results and use paid ads to take up more real estate on Google and search engines. When you have less budget to work with, it is critical to take a look at both your organic and paid results in tandem.
To save budget, reduce bids on ads for keywords that you already have a high organic result for to then start investing in keywords with less competition at a smaller ad price with high monthly volumes.
It’s also hugely beneficial to leverage the power of having a good, convincing landing page. This applies for both SEO and PPC. In order to do this, one would need to run landing page tests using multiple different variants. Ideally, a landing page should be conversion focused and have a more educational formatted piece of content available that should rank organically. This makes sense, as even if a user clicks on your PPC ad, visits your landing page and exits, you will still rank for informational content once that user searches for a specific guide in the topic they are interested in. Doing this, your brand will be on the visitors radar ensuring that they get accustomed to your tone of voice and messaging. This is a textbook example of SEO and PPC working together.
Another way to continue to act smartly when budgets are tight is to tweak pages to make a bigger impact on organic sales. How? By measuring the proportion of clicks you’re receiving relative to the impressions you get for different keywords by measuring organic click through rate (CTR). The purpose of doing this is to identify the areas where you can increase your CTR to get more people “clicking through” to your high performing pages.
Search for keywords that have a low organic ranking and work this into key elements that make up the search engine listings such as page titles and meta descriptions.
By applying strategies that make the most out of SEO and PPC when times are tough, as well as when they’re good, you’re sure to achieve long term success and understanding for your audiences. Consider applying a surround-sound marketing strategy that encompasses both SEO and PPC in order to reap the maximum benefits and bang for your buck.
By combining SEO and PPC, you can attract more targeted traffic to your website.
Creating and using a PPC-SEO strategy can help you strike both short-term gains and long-term value. And you can use both at the same time to boost growth when you know what you are doing.
Feel like it’s a lot of work? We’re here for you. Get in touch with one of our experts, we can help you attract more business and stay ahead of your competition.