Many digital marketers are inclined to believe that search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are mountains and valleys apart from one another. But in reality, they are two sides of the same coin.
The ultimate goal of both strategies is optimizing for search engines and obtaining traffic – the difference lies in the method. SEO is aimed at generating organic traffic and leads, while PPC uses paid tactics to get top rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Focusing on only one or the other exclusively will not yield the best results. Why? Organic traffic is the long-term goal, but it requires months or years to strengthen your roots organically unless you’re a notable influencer or renowned company.
PPC, on the other hand, acts well in driving paid traffic to your landing page, making it easy to acquire a high click-through rate (CTR) if your website isn’t optimized enough or convertible.
Here’s how you can work on utilizing strategies with both simultaneously to lift your SEO with the help of PPC.
Keywords are irreplaceable elements of both SEO and PPC strategies. While it isn’t necessarily best to blindly copy and paste the same keywords for both, it is recommended to analyze how certain keywords are performing for each and optimize accordingly.
If a certain keyword is performing significantly well in your PPC ads, then it is worth looking into how this keyword can potentially fit into your meta descriptions, titles or other aspects of your onsite SEO. Targeting and ranking well for a handful of keywords is better than spreading out and not receiving particularly any valuable results from either.
Keywords, keywords, keywords… they’re important enough to earn yet another point. The competition for ranking on the first page of SERPs spans globally, with millions of websites fighting for the same goal.
If you’re late in the game, you’ll find websites and businesses that have established their roots using highly relevant keywords that are difficult to compete against. These hard-to-reach keywords can be best leveraged through PPC.
By targeting keywords in your PPC campaigns that are nearly impossible to rank for organically, you’ll gain great visibility and tap into your target audience in less time.
You can examine your competitors’ ads and keywords to expand your SEO keyword list. When creating content, you’re driving traffic to your website and potential leads that eventually become customers. So it’s crucial to analyze the keywords with which your competitors’ ads appear.
Whenever your competitors spend large amounts of money to appear Google, you should be the one to check their keywords, which you can do by using SEO tools. As you know, the best way to attract your target audience is through paid advertising.
User behavior metrics improve when visitors click through the highly relevant ad and get what they seek on your website. Such visits send positive signals to search robots because they will lead to lower bounce rates (or percentage of people leaving your website after viewing the first page) and longer session durations. Thus, paid targeted traffic often boosts organic search rankings.
As you may know, the PPC click-through rate indicates the number of clicks your PPC ads get. Its formula is the number of total clicks divided by the total impressions (percentage of people who saw your ad). It is used to determine that a higher number of people have clicked your ad and found them relevant and helpful – naturally, the higher your CTR, the better.
Sometimes you spend a lot of money on PPC and get low conversions. This may occur when you choose high cost-per-click (CPC) keywords that are searched by people who won’t become customers. So, you can optimize your top-of-funnel content considering high-cost keywords, which can result in converting leads into customers.
For example, by using Google Ads, you can find the list of search terms people use that lead to your ad being viewed and clicked on. Also, you can see keywords that lead to the highest click-through rates and conversion rates. If those clicks have no success in converting people, chances are visitors aren’t ready to become your customers. You can use the data and insights of these keywords to optimize your top-of-funnel content and make the visitors return and later on convert into customers.
But how will this improve SEO? One thing is clear: A high click-through rate drives more traffic to your website, which means that even if it doesn’t improve ranking, it will definitely boost traffic volume. Also, by testing a paid ad first, you can understand better how the CTR will be impacted if you change your website’s page title and meta description. And later, by using that data, you can update your page’s optimization strategy more wisely and effectively.
PPC gives you the upper hand in choosing who your ads specifically reach, which isn’t the case with organic SEO.
With SEO, you’re in the dark regarding what target audiences you attract until you analyze through metrics. Even in this case, you cannot control who lands on your pages. With PPC, however, you can filter anything from age to location, which immediately helps in attracting leads from your target audience. It is thanks to this that PPC makes for efficient short-term traffic generation and can drive leads and conversions within hours after campaigns launch if done correctly.
How does this impact your SEO? You’re ensuring a steady flow of location-specific or interest-specific visitors to your website who will interact with your content.
If using PPC for data analysis is all you get out of it, many can agree that is still a huge advantage! At the end of the day, paid traffic is still valuable traffic. Over a month, you can analyze what keywords best performed across either channel, what your CTR looks like, conversions based on demographics and much more. This gives you a better idea of what to change in your future PPC campaigns and strategy changes that can be implemented in your SEO efforts.
Tip: Notice patterns and adapt to changes quickly. For example, if you notice you are ranking for a pricey keyword on PPC that isn’t generating as much traffic as you intended, continue working for this keyword, but instead, transfer it to your SEO strategy. After all, organic traffic does not cost you money based on clicks. It’s all about finding the harmonious balance between the two.
You may be following the best PPC practices that you or other specialists can recommend and still not achieve stellar results. Why is this so? Sometimes, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact preferences of your target audience. Your product or service may be exactly what they are looking for, but out of their personal preference, they may not like clicking on ads and only prefer websites that come up organically.
The opposite scenario may apply: They prefer organic results to paid results.
The solution here is to invest resources in strengthening both to ensure your position among any chance that comes your way of generating valuable traffic, whether it’s paid or organic.
The quality of the content on your pages is what essentially drives consumers closer to or farther from the business.
In cases of both paid and organic traffic, many businesses lose potential clients because the content is not significant or optimized well enough to meet the interests of the reader.
The viewer clicks on your link to get the specific information they anticipated while reading the title of the post. If the content is not on par with their expectations, you’ll lose a potential conversion. If you don’t optimize content that ties to your SEO or PPC efforts, you won’t be satisfied with any of the results.
Dominating branded search is an underrated method for improving both your PPC and SEO efforts simultaneously.
Dominating SERPs with branded results entails ranking high with branded keywords to ensure your links are what comes up first when these keywords are used in search.
For example, when you look up a specific business, you want all of their official credentials to show up on the first page: website, social media and so on. If these links are lower down on the page or not on the first page at all, you will gain more traffic to your paid ads instead. Traffic to your PPC campaigns sounds good until you remember that you essentially pay for each person who clicks on your campaign.
Why spend money on clicks that can organically be obtained instead? With this method, you’re increasing your branded SEO alongside stretching out your PPC budget to include more clicks in the long run. What first sounds like a strategy targeted mainly at SEO will actually do wonders for your PPC, as well.
Now that you know all the PPC tips to boost your SEO, apply them to your marketing strategy and get better results.