Digital Marketing 12 min read
Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed
Published 30 Sep 2020
In the marketing universe, SEO and pay per click (PPC, also known as “paid media”) are often viewed as two different planets. It’s understandable at first glance since SEO is related to all things organic, and PPC is the result of paying a fee - how could they exist in the same world? SEO and PPC join forces when it comes to one thing: search.
In the Galactic Fed universe, we know that SEO and PPC complement each other in many unknown ways, and, when used strategically, have the power to skyrocket your brand. In this article, you will learn how SEO and PPC can be used more effectively, the benefits of marrying the two, and some real-world examples of how you can improve your search results today.
SEO & PPC: What’s the difference?
Let’s go over a quick refresh and identify the difference between these two fundamental marketing tactics.
SEO: To quote ourselves, “SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization and is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results. The best SEO allows people to search for your product to find it quickly and provide the most appropriate information. (You can check out our full SEO Glossary here.)
PPC: PPC is an internet advertising model where businesses can pay for clicks to their website or landing pages. Depending on the fee, companies can have their products or ads shown with higher priority than others. The PPC model is found on many major platforms. There are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, Apple Search Ads, LinkedIn Ads, just to name a few (And of course, you can check out the full glossary of Paid Media terms here.)
SEO & PPC: Happily Ever After
The most important result of having your SEO and PPC strategies work in harmony is to fulfill both short and long-term goals. With PPC, you can use part of your marketing budget to acquire conversions through paid ads, almost instantly. You can choose who your ads are being shown to and focus on those most likely to purchase through deliberate, strategic means and gain customers quickly.
With SEO, you can slowly grow your online organic presence through backlinks and content strategy. And since SEO results never go away, you can continue to rake in the clicks in an “evergreen” fashion. With both short and long term goals being achieved, it seems odd that we ever thought they weren’t a match made in heaven.
Benefits of SEO & PPC:
Now that we’re on the same (search) page, let’s talk about the benefits of a world where SEO & PPC are playing for the same team.
Increased overall visibility
When it comes to Google Search Ads, SEO and PPC have always had a common goal: rank as high as possible on the search engine results page (SERP). SEO is just that; optimizing your content for the search engine. With SEO, you can target keywords and zero in on having the highest-ranking results.
And of course, with the correct Google Search Ads strategy, you can outbid your competitors and have your ad displayed when sought after. Having presences in both the paid and organic sections of the SERP can influence your brand perception and establish you as a leader in your field.
Having an integrated approach to PPC and SEO can drastically increase the traffic you receive to your site. In the SEO world, several best-practices result in more people finding your page. Things like blog content, keyword optimization, internal links, long-tail keywords, and meta descriptions signal to Google that you’re a page worth displaying high.
PPC also requires some degree of strategy for selecting the right keywords, ad groups, and bidding. The arena of paid ads is usually significantly smaller, with the maximum number of ads Google allows on any SERP is seven. This means every decision needs to be deliberate. The more likely you are to have your ad displayed when someone is searching for it, the more traffic you can expect.
Increased conversions and leads
This benefit results from increased traffic and shows that having PPC and SEO work in conjunction guides the user along from an initial query to making a purchase.
Once they hit the search button and (ideally) see your SERP presence, that will increase the chance they find your page at the right time and visit your site, hopefully making a conversion, whatever that may be.
In SEO, webpages are rewarded for having the correct and most accurate information, and useful content improves the site’s user engagement and overall authority of a brand. Each aspect can affect the others in a domino effect. It’s important to note that you’ll want to have SEO and PPC experts execute the strategy to see these benefits come to fruition. (That’s where we come in.)
More data = better decisions
One of the unsung benefits of having SEO & PPC working together is to provide valuable information and data that can guide your overall marketing strategy.
For example, keywords are at the heart of both SEO and PPC, and having two data pools provides double the insight. You cannot only compare results, but one result can guide the other (we’ll get into that in just a bit). You can identify which SEO & PPC keywords had the highest conversion rate, and adjust your ad copy or content strategy accordingly.
Understanding the benefits of a holistic approach to SEO and PPC sounds excellent, but what are some everyday use cases where you can see them working together in action? Let’s take a look:
PPC helps recover missed search engine clicks
Let’s envision a world where your SEO strategy is executed seamlessly, and you’re ranking on the first page for a keyword that you’re also targeting with PPC. Time to pause the paid ads, right? Wrong. A recent study at Google discovered that when ads were halted for a specific keyword, 89% (!!!) of generated traffic from those ads were not replaced by the same organic rankings.
Although SEO and PPC aim to provide you with the same benefits (see above), the way they go about executing this is not the same. Keeping your PPC strategy for the exact keywords you rank for in SEO will ensure that you’re receiving traffic from those seeking your brand out, and can provide otherwise missed business.
Use PPC remarketing to reach those who found your site via organic search
Take it from us; we know the wonders that come from the right SEO. If you’re doing things correctly, that means you see a steady flow of traffic to your website, and hopefully, that means dollars. We know some users can take a while before hitting that purchase/subscribe/download button.
You can supplement your SEO implementation by optimizing your PPC efforts through remarketing. Remarketing is a common advertising strategy that allows you to advertise to users who have previously interacted with your website, app, or products.
Users will find your site via your SEO best practices. Then like a passing of a metaphoric marketing baton, you can use PPC retargeting to advertise to them at a later date, increasing the likelihood of a conversion.
Use well-performing PPC ad copy to guide SEO content strategy
One of the best ways you can use SEO and PPC together daily is by testing out which keywords perform in your PPC ads and applying them to your overall SEO content strategy.
Since the results from your PPC campaigns are almost immediate, you can use analytics to see which keywords and ad copy had the highest conversion and which didn’t resonate. You can also use PPC as a testing tool for specific SEO keywords you want to use, without having to commit to a long term SEO strategy.
It’s an ideal way to test for keywords or phrases you want to rank for and adjust accordingly. You can take this one step further and incorporate high performing PPC keywords into your meta descriptions and headlines, then watch the organic results roll in.
Combat negative PR
We touched on it at the top of the article, but the visibility achieved by ranking in both SEO and PPC categories can have hugely beneficial implications. Let’s break it down: we all know brands can receive a negative review from time to time, and having SEO and PPC working in your favor is excellent damage control.
For example, BP Oil had a well-publicized oil spill in 2010, and it made headlines around the world. Following the disaster, BP began ranking for “oil spill” and “BP oil spill” and other associated keywords. Through combined SEO and PPC efforts, the top-ranking page for these keywords directed the user to a landing page with BP’s action plan to make things right. This was a great way to focus their audience’s attention on the solution, not the problem.
Harness the power of social media
Of course, the power of PPC and Paid Media is not specific to Google Search only. Social media is an ever-growing beast in and of itself, and we all know how specifically targeted ads can be on popular platforms like Facebook or Instagram. And with their own paid media models, you can set your product to be shown to a 32-year-old female who loves to knit cat sweaters in Boise, Idaho. (Yes, that specific.) You can use your findings from your social media PPC results and apply them to your SEO tactics.
The targeted ads provide data about who your customers are, where they live, what they like, and how they spend their time. This information can drive your next blog series or case study, where you can effectively incorporate your SEO keywords.
Another benefit of being visible and ranking high with PPC and SEO is the growth of your social media following. Since more traffic will be coming through, it’s likely a percentage of that will choose to follow your journey through your social media platforms.
Examining the benefits and real-world application indicate that SEO and PPC working much better together, not apart. Pairing these two strategies is an effective way to achieve both the short and long-term goals of your business.
We can finally, with confidence, end the age-old battle of which is better: SEO or PPC. The answer is both. What people once viewed as an “SEO vs. PPC” is now SEO and PPC. Tapping into these powerful marketing tools separately can have excellent results, but combining them can take your brand to the next level.
Unsure how to get started? Galactic Fed is filled with experts in SEO and PPC, and we know how to integrate the two and help launch your business. Contact us, and let’s get started.
Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed