Although SEO and PPC may seem like buzzwords, in the world of digital marketing they are two of the most powerful digital channels, no matter what your business goals and objectives are.
There is often a dialogue of SEO vs PPC, but a holistic digital marketing approach can help you to join up the dots from one channel to another, essentially creating a cohesive and end-to-end experience for your customer journey.
The way in which businesses approach SEO and PPC varies across the board, but how many intertwine the two, and how many actually know the benefits of doing so? Find out how SEO and PPC can work together to boost your online marketing efforts and, in turn, generate more sales and leads.
Why Choose PPC and SEO?
There are so many reasons to integrate PPC and SEO to your marketing mix, especially if your potential customers are using search engines to find products and services like yours.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the top benefits of paid search vs SEO.
Benefits of PPC
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a type of digital marketing where you pay for every click you generate from ads that have been placed on search engines, through bidding on keywords that users are searching on platforms such as Google and Bing.
PPC can help generate increased leads, sales and website traffic as you’re showing your goods and services to people who are actively searching for them. Reaching real people, in real time, Pay Per Click advertising is bigger than ever since the digital shift during the pandemic, with Search ad spending expected to reach $191 billion by 2024.
There are many benefits to incorporating PPC into your digital marketing strategy, such as:
- It’s a cost effective way to reach your audience
- Generates instant traffic, warm leads and sales
- Allows for retargeting to users who are already aware of your brand
- Helps boost your SEO tactics (we’ll get to how later!)
Benefits of SEO
Unlike PPC, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) drives organic traffic to a website by trying to provide the most relevant result for search queries. By providing the best result, search engines like Google are more likely to rank your website organically which, in turn, generates you traffic.
Incorporating SEO into your marketing mix has many benefits for businesses of all sizes. For example:
- Users find organic results more trustworthy than paid results, which boosts brand authority (in a study, between 70 and 80% of users ignore paid results)
- SEO supports your content marketing efforts
- It can be a lucrative channel for local businesses (nearly 46% of Google searches seek local information)
- Although results can take time, rankings can last a very long time once you’ve achieved strong positions
- Potential customers are literally searching for your products or services, which means organic traffic is more likely to convert
How Good PPC Helps SEO (and Vice Versa)
Some of the most powerful search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns combine both a PPC and SEO strategy to achieve maximum SERP visibility.
Although there’s no harm in choosing one or the other depending on your goals (get in touch if you need a hand deciding!), integrating PPC and SEO can produce better results and improve the efficiency of your digital marketing activity.
Here are some of the top benefits of taking an integrated approach to PPC and SEO:
1. Dominate search real estate
For keywords that are converting well within PPC activity, you can also look to rank organically. This means you have the potential to show twice, both with an organic position as well as a PPC ad, giving you both more visibility and an increase in the chances of a user clicking through to your site.
2. Save money through strategic bidding
You can also save money by only bidding on keywords where there is significant competition, as well bidding on keywords for pages that are not already ranking well via organic.
3. Boost brand awareness
PPC puts your business in front of users who are actively searching for your goods or services, which is a type of brand awareness.
As they become aware of your brand via a PPC ad, many customer journeys consist of users returning to websites organically, in turn providing a boost to your brand awareness.
PPC and SEO used together can also help increase brand confidence. Online consumers are a lot more savvy than they were ten years ago, and tend to buy from websites and brands that they trust. If they can see both a PPC ad at the top of SERPs when searching for your brand, as well as an organic listing underneath it, they will be more convinced that you’re a legitimate and trustworthy business.
4. Content and audience insights
PPC insights into audiences help form both an SEO and content strategy. For example, if you’ve been running PPC activity for a while, you should have enough data to decipher whether your brand resonates better with a certain age range, what your audience is most interested in with affinity audiences insights, as well as what they’re already actively researching. Completing this research will also highlight their mindset to buy with In-Market audience insights.
Moreover, when it comes to ad copy, we optimise our campaigns based on a metric called ‘Click Through Rate’ (CTR), which is basically the ratio of impressions to clicks. This tells us how well our ad is resonating with users by how many click through to our site after seeing it. We can then use our best performing ad copy to inform future copy decisions. A/B testing headlines within ad copy can also help provide content for title tags and other meta tagging for your SEO campaigns.
5. Landing page optimisation and A/B testing
Our ability to show an ad depends on whether we win in the ‘auction’, which occurs every time a search is generated and depends on a few things that make up ‘ad rank’.
Ad rank is made up of two things: your keyword quality scores, which involves relevancy, and your bid (the amount you’re willing to pay for a click). If you win the auction (which takes place in a millisecond) then your ad will appear.
Expected CTRs, ad relevance and landing page experience are what determines quality scores, so ensuring that the keywords you are targeting are throughout your landing page at least 2-3 times helps improve your landing page experience score.
This is where landing page optimisation comes in, which is one for the SEO team.
6. Local lead generation
SEO strategies tend to focus on ‘the bigger picture’ of striving to generate rankings for highly searched terms that tend to be more generic, but don’t tend to focus on the locality of a product or service.
This is where PPC can shine, targeting local keywords to help generate more traffic, leads and sales for a specific location. For example, a law firm located in London might look to rank for ‘lawyer in London’. In a PPC campaign, you can target more local areas, such as the borough of Westminster, where there is less competition, but higher intent.
7. Efficient keyword mapping
Every strong SEO strategy starts with a detailed SEO audit which usually involves mapping keywords to specific pages across the site. Once these keywords have been identified and mapped, pages are optimised to improve organic visibility for these terms.
This provides a very strong foundation for PPC activity to begin, as these pages have been optimised for relevance and search intent so they’re much more likely to convert via PPC.
Bottom line: using SEO optimised pages for paid activity is likely to be a more efficient use of budget, as conversion rates will likely be higher.
Both SEO and PPC are essential for any digital marketing strategy but they can be even more effective when used together.
PPC activity can help to support and strengthen SEO strategies in a number of ways, from content inspiration to improving ad quality scores. If you’re not already integrating both channels, then you could be missing out on a host of benefits.
Keen to find out more about how an integrated approach to SEO and PPC can supercharge your digital strategy? Drop us a line today — we’ll be happy to help.