Almost 50.3% of all searches performed on Google are abandoned without clicking on any result. This shows that people are looking for information that they just can’t find. Regardless of how advanced Google’s algorithms are, there is a lot that still needs to be done. For the most part, it falls on search engine optimizers and marketers to ensure that they’re covering as much ground as they can.
The growing need for online marketing brings about a series of unanswered questions. So far, the debate of organic and paid marketing has raged with newcomers still wondering whether they need to invest time, money or both. However, before we dwell on the matter, let’s take a brief look at what both strategies, i.e. PPC and SEO entail.
What is SEO?
SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization – a practice that involves optimizing keywords against relevant search queries on search engines like Google. To put it simply, SEO is the practice of organically establishing a credible, trustworthy and authoritative identity in a particular niche to get your website ranked on top of search engine result pages (SERPs).
The word ‘organically’ refers to a strategy that doesn’t involve paying search engines a sum of money to promote your website on top of the SERPs. Instead, you have to slowly work your way from a nobody in any industry to a genuinely trusted and verified authority.
The process of SEO entails researching keywords, generating unique content, getting backlinks and social links to ultimately generate traffic. Since competition has grown, especially in the past year, it’s incredibly difficult to say exactly how long a new website can take to organically rank on top for any given keyword.
What is PPC?
PPC is short for Pay Per Click. It is a strategy that’s quite commonly referred to as paid marketing campaigns. Compared to SEO, PPC is the practice of paying search engines to show your website on top of the SERPs for any keyword. Since there are competitors willing to pay as well, paid marketing, therefore, works on a bidding principle, with the highest bidder getting the top spot.
Before, there were limited spaces in the SERPs for PPC ads. Now, almost 7 ad results appear on top of every search result, followed by the top organically ranking result, which, in turn, is followed by a People Also Ask section.
As one can assume, PPC gives advertisers a comparative advantage. With platforms such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Ads, one can have a huge collection of useful data to work with. Not only can you view specific details about where your traffic is coming from, but you can also view their behaviour on your site. You can view individual sessions and how different parts of your website and its content performed with regards to engagement, conversion and lead generation.
PPC campaigns particularly helpful for websites that are looking to:
- Generate leads
- Generate awareness (branding)
- Generate sales
Now that we have an idea of what PPC and SEO are, let’s take a look at what they can accomplish when used together:
How PPC and SEO Strategies Work Best Together?
In Terms of Keyword Research
Both SEO and PPC share a common base unit, i.e. keywords. Everything in the online market revolves around keywords and how you optimize your content against them. From the initial steps of researching keywords to becoming a credible go-to authority for everything related to these keywords is a long process.
Basically, you choose a few keywords that your target audience is likely to search. Then, you optimize your website’s content and overall layout to make it a good source of information for the searched keyword.
Since organic and paid marketing strategies heavily rely on keyword research, it’s vital that we get authentic and reliable contemporary data to work with.
This is something PPC and SEO strategies can help each other with, provided that they’re both incorporated in your digital marketing venture. PPC, although costly, can get you immediate results and that too from a specifically designed campaign. Platforms like Google Ads offer you a versatile targeting mechanism that can go as specific as recent purchases, shifts in interests, change in marital or professional statuses, etc.
By running various campaigns with different keywords, PPC can garner much-needed details about what works better. SEO, on the other hand, practices can take much more time to provide enough results to consider whether a selected collection of keywords is working.
In Terms of Traffic
Both PPC and SEO work for improving the traffic of a website.
As per a study, almost 89% of traffic that had been generated via PPC was nowhere to be found as soon as the ads were turned off, even when the organic result topped the SERPs. This shows that pausing PPC campaigns can immediately cause the site’s traffic to drop significantly, regardless of where your site ranks organically.
On the other hand, using PPC can deliver you traffic, again, regardless of where your site ranks organically. Even if you’re not appearing on the first page, your paid campaign ad will. This will help your site garner the traffic and attention that it deserves. This is why some people are of the view that even organic marketing requires boosts from PPC from time to time.
Another undeniable advantage that PPC and SEO provide you when incorporated together is the ability to remarket. Remarketing is a type of PPC that involves targeting visitors that have previously shown an interest in your website/product/service.
By ranking organically on top using SEO, you can make sure that new visitors are spending time on your website browsing through your products. It’s common for people to leave at this point without completing any transactions. This is where you use the data from your organic strategy and features of PPC targeting mechanisms to target these visitors. Since you know they are interested, specifically targeting them will sporadically increase your chances of getting a sale or conversion.
In Terms of Ranking
There are no direct links between PPC and website rankings. As per the rules, the market is still free, meaning all newcomers are going to have a fair chance. However, once you’re in and start observing, you’ll find certain indirect advantages that paid marketers get.
For a clearer picture, let’s consider this:
We know that a new page indexed by Google for any keyword will appear in the pages farthest from the first. It might not even appear in any of the SERPs initially at the time of publishing. Incorporating PPC in this regard can help the same webpage to appear on the top of the first page.
Obviously, this will help you get traffic and depending upon your page layout and content, your site’s analytics will get important data to work with. Even Google will be able to judge your site’s performance and determine whether it deserves to come up in the rankings.
Statistics such as average page session duration, audience behaviour, bounce rate, etc. are integral in determining whether a site should be ranked higher. If you’re limiting yourself strictly to organic strategies, you will have to wait a while before this data becomes anything to work with.
While Google appreciates and encourages organic optimization and organically ranking websites, it’s not always great for the new entrant. With billions of websites being made every day and millions of indexing requests received by Google, we can assume that we won’t get the attention that we want. This is why PPC and SEO work great together.
In Terms of Exposure and Promotion
It’s a rule of thumb that all exposure is good exposure. With a few exceptions such as bad reviews, you can bet that the more places your brand appears in, the more audiences you’ll attract. In fact, PPC and SEO can work together to redirect traffic from pages with bad reviews about your brand. There is a lot of potential in using PPC to help and boost your SEO objectives.
A lifestyle blog that’s struggling to rank in various niches can run PPC campaigns to find out which niches are easy for it to attract audiences. Similarly, the possibilities are endless when you combine short term immediate results and use them in long-term strategies, as is the case with PPC and SEO.
Additionally, you will hold a substantial monopoly by dominating the Featured Snippet as well as the top ad slot. From a user’s perspective, you’re the only one who’s got the best information and is willing to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. Since Featured Snippets are immediate answers that don’t necessarily compel users to click on your site, your ad can serve as a call to action.
So, we’ve learned that combined, PPC and SEO are formidable strategies to dominate SERPs and take a huge chunk of traffic. However, it’s important to use design and incorporate effective strategies if you want exceptional results.
For help with the incorporation of SEO and PPC and other commendable digital marketing services, contact Zoom Digital. You’ll find our experts to be skilled, efficient, creative and dependable when it comes to providing top-tier services and customer support. Using their expertise and experience, they will design the best PPC and SEO campaigns for your business.