In most digital marketing companies, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns are handled separately. Some online businesses even perceive them as alternatives to one another, with digital marketing managers choosing to invest in either SEO or PPC marketing campaigns at a time. This is a mistake. SEO and PPC strategies should go hand in hand for realizing a website’s full potential in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Here in this post, we will discuss how SEO and PPC specialists can combine their strategies and work together to achieve business goals.
Does PPC Affect SEO, or does SEO Affect PPC?
Well, technically, SEO and PPC do not affect each other. Having said that, merely increasing your PPC advertising budget will not help your web pages rank higher up in SERPs and better rankings will not affect how your PPC ads perform.
But, there are ways SEO and PPC specialists can work together to increase the overall effectiveness of an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaign.
SEO & PPC Professionals Can Together Improve Search Engine Presence
With PPC advertising, you can have your web pages appear at the top of the search results. In this case, your ad will be the first thing searchers will notice.
When combined with SEO efforts, you can have a PPC ad at the top and organic listings below.
This way, your brand can dominate the SERPs and gain better exposure for a target keyword.
Your website will stand a better chance of getting those valuable clicks if your website appears frequently in the search results.
Consumers are also more likely to perceive your brand as a trusted provider of goods or services.
When both organic listings and PPC ads dominate search engine results, PPC ads will most likely acquire visitors that SEO missed. But, dropping/pausing PPC ads does not mean that SEO will be able to make up for the loss of visitors.
According to a study titled “Incremental Clicks Impact of Search Advertising,” published by the Google AI Blog, a whopping 89% traffic missed due to a paused PPC ad will not be acquired by organic listings. You can find the full text of this study here.
SEO and PPC Specialists Can Help Each Other Improve Campaign Effectiveness
SEO efforts take time to yield results. PPC advertising campaigns, on the other hand, produce immediate results.
If you have been optimizing your website for the search for at least a few months, your SEO team will have keyword data that can help the PPC team achieve better outcomes.
However, if your SEO team has just begun optimizing a website for search, the PPC team can help identify keywords that have proven to generate maximum returns.
The keyword information and insights from PPC campaigns can help SEOs uncover various terms or search queries that users are using in order to find a certain product, service, or company. The SEO team can also learn about page-titles, meta-descriptions, and content that can help achieve maximum possible click-through-rate and conversion rate.
Some of the most common metrics that SEO and PPC professionals can examine together to identify keywords that can drive sales are:
- The organic conversion rate
- The PPC conversion rate
- The click-through-rate (CTC)
- Bounce rates
- Time spent on the website
- Keyword rankings and organic traffic
Put simply, SEO professionals can make necessary adjustments to their campaigns on the basis of PPC data and vice-versa. Experienced SEO marketers use this strategy to increase the overall effectiveness of their SEM campaigns.
SEO and PPC Specialists Can Implement Remarketing Campaigns
If your website is ranking fairly well due to an ongoing SEO campaign, it’s likely that it is receiving a significant number of visitors.
But, these visitors do not always convert when they land on your website. These ‘potential leads’ will take a while before they make up their mind to buy your products or services.
A PPC advertising specialist can retarget these visitors. The next time they are searching for something similar, they will learn about your website once again. A second visit to the website helps improve brand recall and fosters trust.
For instance, if 10,000 people bounced off your web page after clicking on organic search listings for a certain search query, your next PPC campaign can focus on encouraging previous visitors to come back and complete the desired action.
Fight Negative PR
There are occasions when you may find negative reviews and articles/blogs critical of your company’s operations, management products, services, etc. start ranking high up in SERPs. This can hurt your company’s prospects.
United efforts on part of SEO and PPC campaign teams can help with damage control on such occasions.
With both SEO and PPC, you are in a much better position to steer the conversation around a topic in a direction that supports your narrative.
BP Plc in 2010 focused on search terms related to ‘oil spill’ during the Gulf oil spill to counter the negative PR. Their PPC ads as well as SEO efforts lead visitors, searching for information on the oil spill to content that described BP Plc’s cleanup efforts.
This is just one example of how SEO and PPC teams can work together to tell a brand’s story when there is a crisis.
Digital Marketing Leaders Should Create an Environment that Encourages Sharing
The decision-makers should make sure SEO and PPC teams meet at least once every month to share valuable data and insights with each other. Depending upon the scale of a digital marketing campaign, such meetings can take place more frequently.
SEO and PPC specialists can together analyze the performance in terms of key metrics such as sales orders, revenues, website traffic, etc. and review lessons gathered or the tests conducted in the past month.
This post has been about SEM but it is equally important to have other digital marketing teams onboard. Someone running Facebook PPC ads, for instance, can provide valuable insights on how to improve the effectiveness of PPC ads on Google or gather raw data on visitors for retargeting via different channels.