Whether you’re a business or a content creator, it’s all about getting as many eyes as possible on your products, services, and information if you have an online presence.
There are many ways to go about it. You might be a social media pro, sharing everything that goes up on your site immediately and spending time engaging with followers. However, for long-term results and the greatest return on investment, it doesn’t get any better than SEO with PPC marketing to back it up.
The Difference Between SEO and PPC
SEO, or search engine optimisation, involves preparing your site to perform as well as possible on search engines like Google and Bing. It’s nothing too far out of the ordinary – we’d hazard a guess that when you need the answer to a question, you Google it!
SEO is the process of taking a step beyond the content itself and preparing it for maximum exposure. When someone seeks out a product or asks a question relevant to your business, SEO ensures that you appear as prominently as possible on their search engine of choice.
PPC advertising is similar in that it’s all about getting your website in front of potential visitors, but this time you pay for the privilege. High-quality SEO takes time and is organic. In theory, if your website provides the best possible answer to a search query, you’ll take the top spot.
Conversely, PPC allows you to jump the queue. Most search engines, Google included, thrive on advertising revenue. More than 80% of Alphabet’s revenue – Google’s parent company – came from ads in 2020. So, unsurprisingly, ads take precedence in the search results.
If your SEO efforts aren’t enough to boost you to the top spot in the search results, paid ads are precisely the shortcut you need.
How Do SEO and PPC Work Together?
Ultimately, both SEO and PPC are all about getting your website in front of people searching for your products and services. Whether you pay for the top spot or arrive there organically, the goal involves getting people to your site before they find your competition.
While there are similarities between these methods, the differences are what make them stand out. The primary consideration is speed. When you publish content, even with world-class on-page and off-page SEO, it could take weeks or even months to reach the top spot.
With pay per click (PPC) advertising, you can spend your way to the top right away. If you’re willing to spend more than the competition on prime advertising spots in search results, you’ll land there as soon as your campaign goes live.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both methods. Eventually, many businesses decide to combine their SEO and PPC efforts to ensure the broadest possible reach. As a result, they can supplement their online traffic without paying out every time someone comes to their website.
7 Benefits of an Integrated Search Marketing Strategy
Beyond the similarities and differences between SEO and PPC, the end goal remains the same. Website owners want to attract as much traffic as possible to their page. Of course, most would understandably prefer to do so for free, but subsidising your SEO efforts with organic traffic ensures the best of both worlds.
1. Holistic Marketing Approach and Shared Data for Better Results
Even though it does nothing specific to further Google’s ad revenue ambitions, organic traffic thrives. In terms of exposure and online branding, organic search results continue to outpace every other online marketing method.
There are few better feelings than landing at the top of the organic SERPs for high volume, competitive keywords. Of course, paid traffic might qualify as a shortcut, but if you’re cash-rich and time-poor, it’s a great way to rise through the ranks and get your website in front of your target audience.
If you’re unsure of which channel to prioritise, we’d suggest working on both. Paid traffic is great for quick wins and seasonal promotions. However, SEO is more about looking at the bigger picture and the long term. You can utilise both to ensure that your site appears before those who need to see it as dictated by your marketing plan.
In doing both at the same time, you can combine data. For example, your Google Ads campaigns will provide insights into search habits, which ads perform best and what your audience expects to find based on specific search terms.
At the same time, your organic performance will indicate what your audience searches for, the kinds of content they like to engage with and which pages on your site make for optimal conversions.
Together, these methods provide valuable insight into how your audience thinks and what they want to achieve when searching for your products.
2. Increased Visibility in SERPs
Getting your name in front of potential customers ranks among the most challenging tasks in business. If you invest in SEO, you’ll probably need to wait for a few months to see any genuine impact. However, once it works and you sail to the top of the search results, it’ll take an almighty effort to knock you down.
PPC can fill in the gaps. Nobody wants to wait too long for results, and PPC will take you to the top right away, enabling you to cultivate an audience and get your name out there to anyone seeking to buy a product in your sector.
3. Better User Experience Through Landing Page Optimisation
You’ve got access to a raft of data when you combine SEO and PPC. You can see how people arrive on your site and what they do once they’re there.
There will be some people that ask questions. You can answer them on your landing page.
There’ll be pages that people land on through search results that you hadn’t even thought about since publishing them. So spruce them up with sales graphics, email opt-in forms and anything else you consider as a conversion.
4. Reducing Cost per Leads and Cost per Sale
When you combine SEO and PPC, you’ll attract visitors from all angles. But, crucially, if you’ve got your website copy and ads right, they’ll already be in the mood for buying.
Attracting leads through SEO comes at no cost. Doing the same with PPC is more complicated. There’s a difficult balance to strike between the cost of getting people onto your site and the revenue you earn once they’re there.
Get it right and promote a healthy mix, and you’ll have two traffic sources contributing to your Profit & Loss statements, and you can offset the cost of paid traffic against what comes along organically.
5. Increased Brand Awareness
Whether paid or organic, not every visitor to your website needs to result in a conversion. Brand awareness might not directly impact your bottom line, but it’s a crucial component of taking a business to the next level.
An estimated 82% of searchers make their first click on a brand they’re familiar with.
Best of all, getting your brand in front of someone with SEO costs nothing at all – beyond the initial optimisation investment – and if they don’t click, you don’t pay!
6. Better Targeting and Testing
Following on from the increased data collection from a combined SEO and PPC strategy, it’s then down to you to make use of this newfound information.
While not always the case, those that click on ads are ready to buy. People that click on search results want further information.
Find out what people want to know and answer their questions. Position yourself as being more dynamic than selling the ‘best’ of whatever products you deal in. When someone arrives on your site through SEO, you can see not only where they came from but what they were searching for at the time.
Don’t let this data go to waste. SEO and ad campaigns never finish. There’s always room for tweaks and optimisation. Use your newfound data to drive upcoming marketing campaigns and your overall strategy.
Remarketing is an opportunity to showcase your products to people that visited your site once but left without making a purchase. If you’ve got your SEO and PPC right, they arrived on your site with some buyer’s intent.
For whatever reason, they decided against purchasing at the time. You know you’re still there and ready to sell, but remarketing enables you to remind them that this is the case. Given that the technique relies on targeting people that have already visited you at least once, increasing your visitor numbers through a combination of PPC and SEO makes perfect sense.
How to Get Started in Combining Your SEO and PPC Marketing
I’ve told you why to get started with SEO and PPC in unison; now it’s time to take the first steps.
You, your marketing agency or your marketing team probably already have access to a wide range of data on your website’s performance. Combining the two marketing techniques outlined here results in far better data collection; it makes sense to combine them even at this early stage.
Your Google Search Console, which focuses on SEO, works seamlessly with Google Analytics and your Google Ads account if you ask it to. Use data gleaned from other sources to create goals on your Analytics account, enabling better conversion tracking as your visitor numbers increase.
If you want to thrive in search rankings, it’s not enough to create excellent content. Remember, the Google Search spider is essentially a computer, and it won’t read things in the same way as a human does. Nevertheless, it can be responsible for determining where your content ranks.
Google is famously secretive about its ranking factors beyond core updates. As a result, much of SEO is based on trial and error. Fortunately, there are plenty of people out there carrying out the trials – and making plenty of errors!
If you want to rank better, focus on optimising your content and the site itself. Consider factors like loading speeds, internal links and anything else that can prove, beyond a doubt, that your site is the best possible answer to a given search query.
Naturally, improvements made with SEO in mind will reflect in your PPC performance too.
If you’ve never written a search ad before, now might not be the ideal time to start when it’s your money on the line! There’s a reason why professional copywriters exist – they craft ads that showcase products, appeal to searchers with buying intent and encourage clicks through to your site.
Even if you do decide to do everything yourself, Google is on hand to help. I mentioned earlier how advertising makes up a significant proportion of the company’s revenue. So it’s unsurprising to see that they want to help advertisers out.
They’ll provide an optimisation score for your ads and even provide strategic insight for those that want to maximise clicks and conversions.
Take Your SEO and PPC to the Next Level
SEO is powerful, as is PPC. Together, they can make up entire marketing strategies. However, they must be treated with care and professionalism. If you’re thrilled with your website and the only missing ingredient is traffic, check out this Google Ads optimisation checklist for your self-created campaigns.