Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click are excellent ways to drive qualified website traffic and boost conversions and sales. These strategies are necessary for passing your message to the right audience and generating traffic, which is critical to your business growth.
While having a high-quality product is vital, you will only get the most if you have effective ways to ensure your content and product reaches the right audience. As a marketer, focus on producing high-quality and relevant content and applying effective strategies to ensure your message reaches your target audience.
While you can get results by using either SEO or PPC independently, combining both strategies can give better results. But what’s the best approach to combine these strategies to benefit from both worlds? This is what we shall look at in this post.
However, before we look at that, let’s first look at how these strategies work.
Table of Contents
Understanding How SEO Works
SEO or search engine optimization involves creating, publishing, and optimizing content online to boost its visibility on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When your content is well-optimized for SEO, it appears on top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for related searches.
For example, if you have a coffee shop, focus your content around related terms people use when searching for coffee products. When done right, this can open opportunities for driving more traffic to your website and create more business opportunities.
Keyword research and proper keyword use form the foundation of SEO. Keywords refer to terms or phrases that people use for queries related to your business. SEO allows markets to rank higher organically for such terms and drive more traffic to their website.
But keyword research is not enough to rank higher on SERPs. You also need to focus on the latest Google algorithms and user experience. Keyword stuffing no longer works in the SEO world, so when inserting keywords in your copy, do it organically; otherwise, it will have the reverse effect.
Since you don’t pay for a top spot in SERPs, SEO is an excellent way to build an online presence for your business. But SEO can be hard to navigate for inexperienced marketers. It’s best to work with a qualified SEO agency like AlchemyLeads, which will handle your SEO efforts to give you a competitive advantage.
How PPC Works
Like SEO, PPC aims to drive more traffic and conversions to a website. The primary difference is that you will be charged any time a user clicks your PPC ad on search engines like Google and Bing and social media platforms like Facebook.
For example, if someone looking for a CBD product comes across your ad and clicks on it, you will be charged.
Check out this article on how to create an effective PPC strategy to boost conversions.
When searchers click your ad, they are directed to your product/service page or your landing page to get more information about what they are looking for and encourage them to take the appropriate action.
Pros and Cons of SEO and PPC
To better understand the difference between SEO and PPC, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
Pros and Cons of SEO
Like other business tools, SEO has pros and cons, as shown below.
- Here are reasons why you should invest in SEO for your business:
- SEO boost visibility: When done right, SEO can help increase your website visibility. By optimizing your business for related terms, search engines will show it when people perform related searches. More visibility means more traffic and an increased conversion rate.
- Boost credibility: A business with higher organic rankings boasts better credibility than a business that relies on ads. This is especially the case for service companies as it helps boost trust.
- SEO doesn’t charge for clicks: To be clear, SEO is not free. You must invest time and money to learn your way around SEO and boost organic rankings. However, unlike PPC, you won’t pay for clicks you attain from your organic rankings.
- Higher click-through rate (CTR): As mentioned, organic rankings come with more credibility and trust. This also means that more searchers will likely click through your content and take action. According to statistics, content on the first result pages has an average click-through rate of 28.5 percent, providing an excellent opportunity for businesses that achieve that spot.
- Better ROI (return on investment): SEO has a higher ROI than paid advertisement and direct mail. The time and money you invest in your SEO will yield a better ROI.
- Long-term results/benefits: Creating high-quality content and optimizing it for SEO requires time and effort, but once done, it can be a source of qualified traffic for a long time. Unless you delete your content or fail to update your content over time, your content will keep ranking and benefit your business for a long time.
Here are the downsides of investing in SEO for your business:
- SEO needs time to give results: Investing in SEO to achieve quick results is not recommended. SEO is a long-term game that requires effort, continuous learning, and patience. It takes time to learn how SEO works, and even after knowing the tactics, it will take time to outdo your competitors and gain the top spot on SERPs. Partner with the right SEO agency and remain persistent, and in the end, you will surpass your competitor rankings and reap the benefits of SEO.
- SEO requires high-quality/consistent content: SEO requires a lot of content to provide excellent results. And not just any content; the content must be relevant and high-quality. Creating killer content requires time and expertise to ensure you get it right.
Pros and Cons of PPC
Like SEO, PPC has pros and cons. They include
- Instant results: Unlike SEO, PPC is a great way to get your business name out there quickly. You can execute a PPC strategy within hours. For example, if you want to run a discount program on your products/services, you can work on your strategy and have your ad in front of your audience within 24 hours.
- Ability to set a budget: PPC allows you to create and stick to your daily budget. Once you have depleted your daily budget, your ad will disappear from the search results. This allows you to stay within your budget to avoid breaking the bank.
- Easy to track: You can easily analyze your PPC strategies to know what’s working and what’s not. Use analytics software to analyze customer behavior when they interact with your page and use the information to improve your future marketing campaigns.
What are the Drawbacks?
- Short shelf life: Unlike SEO, PPC ads disappear when you stop paying for them. That means people who didn’t see them when the ad was up and running won’t have another opportunity to see them.
- Possible bidding wars: Even after successfully bidding on keywords, a competitor can bid up the cost of your coveted keywords, significantly affecting your marketing budget. For example, after realizing that a PPC ad campaign is working, a huge company can overbid those keywords and jeopardize your whole campaign.
How SEO Impact PPC
Below are ways SEO can benefit your PPC campaign:
Boost Conversion Rate
Like SEO, keyword research forms a crucial part of a PPC campaign. You can use SEO to align your ad campaign’s content with your headlines, images, descriptions, etc., to drive organic traffic.
In addition, a combination of an effective digital marketing strategy and PPC can help boost your ROI.
SEO Can Help Boost Brand Value and Trust
Searchers tend to trust organic results over paid ads. With a robust SEO strategy, your brand will become more credible, which will help improve the performance of your PPC campaigns. It will also help boost your brand value and increase conversion from your PPC campaigns.
Better User Experience
User experience is a vital factor in digital marketing today. If your website doesn’t provide a better user experience, Google and other search engines will unlikely show it among the top results. Even if you win the bid for specific keywords for your campaign, users will leave your site if it doesn’t provide a good user experience or takes longer to load.
Good SEO prioritizes good user experience. Combining good SEO practices and PPC lets visitors easily navigate your pages, increasing their chances of revisiting your website.
Better Brand Awareness
While PPC can help boost your website traffic in the shortest time possible, the results are short-lived. Combining SEO and PPC can help achieve long-term results regarding brand awareness.
A robust SEO strategy will help boost your organic rankings and help build brand trust and credibility. Good SEO also means a good user experience, which will help improve the performance of your PPC campaigns.
Minimizes Ad Reliance
Although PPC can be a great way to boost traffic to your site, overreliance can make your marketing budget add up quickly. This can be the case if you bid on highly competitive keywords or compete with businesses with huge marketing budgets.
With a robust SEO strategy, you gain better visibility and boost your organic rankings, which will help reduce the Cost Per Click (CPC) of your PPC campaigns.
Combining both PPC and SEO provides double opportunities to improve visibility in search engines and improve ranking. PPC offers an opportunity for immediate reach and traffic. On the other hand, SEO helps gain organic traffic in the long run.
How to Combine SEO to Boost ROI
Here are ways to make SEO and PPC strategies work together:
The first step to combining PPC and SEO is to identify the keywords your audience uses to search for products/services like yours. Tools to use for keyword research include Google keyword planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc.
When performing keyword research, focus on the user’s intent to identify high-value keywords that can convert. When you target high-value in your PPC and SEO strategies, you will create well-rounded campaigns at a lower cost-per-acquisition.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization refers to a situation where multiple pages in your website target the same queries or keywords in such a way that they become competitors. In the end, this prevents both of the strategies from getting significant results.
In PPC, cannibalization means that several ad sets target exact keywords. On the other hand, cannibalization in SEO means more than one page on your website appears in the SERPs for the same queries.
There are various types of cannibalization in marketing, including keyword overlap, geo overlap, and paid and SEO overlap. Since this article is about combining SEO and PPC, let’s look at how to avoid keyword overlap in SEO and PPC.
Paid vs. organic overlap happens when your ads appear for keywords you already rank for and compete for traffic. When this happens, search results may include competing landing pages which lowers the conversion rate.
But how can you avoid PPC and SEO cannibalization?
The first step to avoid PPC and SEO cannibalization is to identify a list of PPC terms that generate clicks but no conversions within a specific timeframe. Once you identify these terms, group them according to search queries. Next, you need to filter keywords with ads. This process is not necessary if you select terms from your PPC campaigns.
Another tactic is determining the amount of traffic you get from your query terms. Check your landing page to determine the amount of organic traffic and whether it is increasing. Next, test individual keywords to determine the amount of traffic from the ranking URL and the performance of your PPC campaigns.
Monitor and Adjust Your Strategies
Like other forms of marketing, monitor and adjust your PPC and SEO strategies to get the best from both worlds. Test different approaches to your SEO and PPC strategies and make the necessary changes depending on what works for your business.
Tools like Google Analytics can help track the performance of your campaigns and measure Return on Investment (ROI). You can also use A/B testing to analyze and compare the performance of different keyword variations, landing pages, and ad copy.
Claim Expensive Keywords through SEO
Bidding on expensive keywords can quickly add up your marketing costs. However, since these are high-value keywords, you don’t need to ignore them entirely. Instead, claim those keywords through organic SEO. In other words, claim high-value PPC keywords via SEO to minimize your PPC cost but still benefit from them.
Optimize Your Landing Pages to Boost Conversions
Searchers land on your product/service page or landing page when they click your ad. As such, ensure your landing page is well-optimized for better conversions. Ensure your landing page contains high-quality and relevant content, is user-friendly, and has a solid call to action.
Preserve Your PPC Ranking with SEO
PPC and SEO help boost your online visibility and conversions. While they are two different things, you can use one to complement the other. For example, you can preserve the ranking using your SEO strategy since PPC rankings disappear forever when the ads are turned off. But how?
By working to rank for successful PPC keywords using SEO strategy. This way, when you discontinue your PPC ads, you can still benefit from those keywords through your SEO strategy.
Use SEO Data to Improve PPC and Vice Versa
You can use SEO data to enhance your PPC campaigns and vice versa. Many factors impact the performance of your PPC and SEO strategies, including the quality of the content and user experience.
To boost the performance of your SEO strategy, use PPC data to optimize your content and relevance. On the other hand, SEO provide great insights to help improve the quality of your ads and decrease their cost.
Support Your PPC Strategy with Technical SEO
Like site speed, technical SEO optimizations can impact your PPC performance. These optimizations are critical for a robust SEO strategy and can help boost the performance of your campaign.
But these technical practices are not just good for SEO—they can also impact your PPC. As mentioned earlier, users will likely land on your landing pages when they click your ad. If your web pages load slowly, visitors will likely leave your page and head elsewhere. Use technical SEO optimizations to ensure users who click your ad can stick around.
Combining PPC and SEO—Conclusion
As you can see, there are many ways combining SEO and PPC can help boost your business ROI. Both strategies help improve your website visibility, target a larger audience, and increase conversions.
SEO and PPC enhance each other to ensure that both strategies give excellent results. Regularly monitor and adjust your strategies to see what works best for your business.
If you have any questions or need help combining PPC and SEO, Alchemy Leads can help. Our Google Analytics and AdWords Certified managers, alongside our SEO experts, have extensive knowledge of PPC and SEO and are committed to ensuring your business achieves your marketing goals.