The relationship between SEO & PPC go hand-in-hand to tie into a complete digital marketing strategy for online businesses. On-site SEO focuses on optimizing your website to serve in the top position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) organically. Whereas, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is an acquisition strategy based on paid bidding to get in front of your audience based on their search term queries.
SEO & PPC are strategies that both improve a company or brand’s bottom line. However, each strategy does not directly affect one another, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize for both. Many businesses focus on either or, but, having a strategy where you incorporate both is always best.
How and Why SEO & PPC Are Similar
Previously, information seekers gathered facts from just text-based search queries, but trends are now shifting toward search experiences. Organic and paid search are now moving towards visual exploration focused on images, sounds, and overall experience which has transitioned more and more into machine learning.
Exploratory information is ever-changing and advancing how humans strategically think. So just like humans, search engines need to become more advanced too.
Google Maps is revolutionizing the way users explore and navigate the world! Artificial Intelligence continues to be a crucial factor in shaping innovative experiences for people globally. Google’s Immersive View is a new feature for search that is emerging to quickly query when you’re on the go and bring it into a visual view. This update would allow users to experience exactly what a place is like in real-time.
Your Google Maps ranking is dependent on your website’s SEO so what displays first on Google Maps? Paid content. To optimize the immersive experience, this comes from both organic and paid strategies.
Shopping is not just about your dollars spent, it’s about browsing and having the ultimate consumer experience while finding the best, most highly-rated brands. Thinking back to just a few short years ago, most shopping took place directly in-store. Now, by simply typing exactly what you’re looking for, you have endless options right at your fingertips!
As displayed below, by searching “black dress”, the results from Google Shopping, Performance Max ads, and organic content are populated.
Search engines are becoming evermore rich and shifting more towards consumer intent. “Black dress” implies “you want to purchase a black dress” meaning, you don’t need to type in “where can I buy a black dress near me”.
Execute On The Same Strategy
Regarding SEO, it’s still important to optimize your alt tags, meta descriptions, title tags, and your Google My Business description for organic search. Now more than ever, it’s harder to make your way up to the top of the SERP page without paid content showing first. Click-through rates (CTRs) are known to be higher in SEO, meaning your CPA will be a lot lower.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
There’s no doubt that SEO is shifting more and more towards user site experience. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start optimizing your website for performance with an updated UX design. And for paid traffic, have you ever thought to yourself that there’s no point in sending a massive amount of paid traffic to an outdated website? And what would happen if you did? High bounce rates, unqualified leads, and a lot of wasted ad spend.
Smart Bidding & Keyword Success
As Google moves more and more towards smart bidding, it takes the guesswork out of bidding and is shifting towards machine learning. This is where you can get granular about targeting specific keywords for both SEO and PPC. If you are targeting the same keywords for both channels, they can’t cannibalize each other. You can target the same keywords. Better yet, if competition is too high for an organic ranking, target via PPC efforts.
A few ways SEO and PPC work together:
- Dominate SERPs and gain impression share on your ideal keywords and search terms both organically and through paid initiatives
- Have an “always turned on” strategy: One of the benefits to SEO, is that it’s always turned on and continues to grow over time - have your PPC strategy work alongside this to create a mutually beneficial relationship with your digital strategy
- Utilizing your remarketing PPC efforts from your organic SEO strategy. Ex - Remarket via digital ads by users who have visited your website organically
An Integrated Approach to Digital Marketing
This is why the relationship between all your marketing channels needs to work seamlessly together.
- Align your target goals and content strategy across all your channels
- Define the user-buying journey
- Create a workflow for all your PPC & organic efforts to work alongside each other
Top 10 Metrics To Monitor For Each
SEO & PPC Working In Synergy
- Higher sessions and more users in Google Analytics
- Bid on highly competitive keywords on PPC instead of targeting organically
- Remarket to users with ads who initially visited your website organically
- Overtake the SERP with your branded campaigns & organic ranking
When To Optimize & When To Pay For Traffic
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What industry are you in?
- What are your goals and objectives?
- What is your budget and your internal resources?
- How competitive are the keywords you want to rank for?
With over 200 ranking factors according to Google’s algorithm, you need to understand the full effort of SEO efforts that include on-site, off-site, authority ranking, and technical aspects to really get your site ranking. However, this is a significantly more cost-effective strategy for businesses. Remember, organic clicks are free.
PPC allows for almost instant results. If you’re shorter on time and have a budget to put behind PPC, this is the way to go. Another drastic benefit to PPC is that users already have the intent to search keywords you are bidding on. But the takeaway from this? When your dollars stop spending, so do your clicks.
Similar, But Different
So, Should You Go Organic Or Paid?
Craft a holistic approach to search marketing and create a fully functioning strategy across all your channels. Utilizing both organic and paid advertising allows you to take up more of the SERP for your own branded content and search terms you’d like to rank for.
If you’re a digital marketer working in the digital media space and you haven’t taken the time to learn basic UX skills, on-site SEO, and primary content marketing, it’s time you start. Overall, it’s about the consumer experience no matter what field of digital marketing you’re in.
SEO + PPC = Successful Digital Marketing