If you’re a math wiz, the word “integration” may bring you back to the days of your high school calculus class (and also bring back memories of prom, college applications and a time when summer vacation was two months). If you’re a writer (like me), you hear the word “integration” and probably think about two different things being blended together.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are two very different types of marketing tactics and many people, mistakenly, believe they are at odds with each other. When you are planning your next local online marketing campaign, don’t think of SEO vs. PPC; rather think of how to integrate the two and your campaign will start out strong from day one.
If you are like many other local businesses, you most likely already focus on building SEO into your everyday digital marketing efforts. By integrating PPC, you can take your efforts to the next level quickly. Research shows that PPC advertising has a positive impact on organic click-through-rates for most businesses.
To help you banish the myth of SEO vs. PPC, we have listed out five reasons why you should consider integrating PPC advertising into your ongoing SEO efforts. Not only will PPC help you boost website traffic, but it will also help you increase sales and bring more customers through your door by running more effective marketing campaigns.
- 5 ways PPC helps SEO
- How PPC marketing aids organic search
- Why SEO plays into a PPC strategy
- Get started with PPC
5 ways PPC helps SEO
1. You only pay when someone clicks
By definition, you only have to pay for a PPC ad (pay-per-click) when someone clicks on it and visits your website.
PPC is very different from traditional advertising platforms (such as newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, etc.) because you only pay for the ad when someone engages with it. While traditional advertising companies will show you in-depth research reports about the impact advertisers have with their audience, you will never be 100% sure that your ad was worth the investment if you’re unable to track engagement.
If you don’t have the luxury of an unlimited marketing budget (we can all dream, right?) to spend on platforms that may or may not bring you ROI, PPC is a good way for you to supplement your existing SEO efforts and only pay when someone takes a direct action with your ad.
2. You control the costs
PPC allows you to set a budget (similar to ads on social networks) by week, month or day, so you have direct control over how much you are spending on ads.
For those who are worried about seeing a $10,000 charge on their credit card from PPC ads that were wildly successful, fear not. Limit your budget in the beginning (or always) and you’ll be able to test the waters before diving in — and be able to sleep at night.
3. Target customers by time and place
Want to target people in a specific are at a specific time of day with a specific ad? With PPC, you can do just that!
PPC allows location targeting and delivery options (so you aren’t reaching New Yorkers at 2:00 am, when you’re a plumber in Washington State). Deliver your message to your target customer at the prime time.
4. Automatic results
Going back to SEO vs. PPC, the one thing PPC does better than SEO is getting results quickly.
While SEO builds over time (and is crucial to your online marketing success), if you start a PPC campaign on Wednesday morning, you’ll start seeing results by Wednesday afternoon.
5. Boost other marketing channels
You may already know the keywords that are performing well for your website’s SEO and, therefore, would like to use in your PPC ads. However, PPC can also help you identify keywords that you can add into your SEO strategy. Google’s Keyword Planner is a helpful tool that you can use to identify keywords for your PPC campaigns, as well as finding new keywords that your site should be optimizing for.
How PPC marketing aids organic search
One of the fastest and smartest ways to maximize your search marketing efforts is to keep your SEO and PPC marketing on the same page (in more than one way).
Organic traffic through SEO is more valuable than PPC traffic, meaning that the keywords you rank for (vs. pay for) will bring more traffic to your website. However, the strength of your organic traffic is dependent on where you rank on a search engine.
It is important to keep in mind that organic SEO isn’t free — it takes a lot of time and effort to rank for specific keywords. For newer or less established websites, it will take time to build authority so that you can rank for keywords that will land you on the first page.
During this initial waiting phase, you can immediately boost your traffic with PPC ads and then reduce your PPC ads as your SEO takes off. The more PPC traffic you get, the more authority your website gets and vice versa, the more authority your website gets the higher up it moves in rankings.
A great way to access the data that shows the contributions of organic and PPC is through Google Analytics (GA) multi-channel funnels report. By using conversion paths, this report can show you where your conversions are coming from (organic traffic or PPC traffic).
Why SEO plays into a PPC strategy
You already know that your SEO keywords can be a good jumping point for the creation of your PPC strategy, the opposite also holds true: just as PPC can help boost your organic search, your SEO can boost your PPC.
PPC and SEO are all about website authority and website traffic, and Google is all about providing its users with the best option. Google does this by looking at your website authority for specific keywords and ranking you in search accordingly. On the flip side, for PPC, Google ranks the effectiveness of your ad according to your website authority for a specific keyword.
By optimizing your website and then diving into PPC, you build the groundwork through SEO but get the workers moving with PPC.
For example, a new real estate company in Kissimmee, Florida would want to optimize their website with terms such as “real estate in Kissimmee,” “buying a house in Kissimmee,” etc. Once the website is optimized for SEO (instead of just waiting for more traffic to begin coming in and authority to be built) they can start using PPC to drive traffic. Since the website is already optimized for keywords, Google will push the ads using those keywords front and center. Meaning, while the organic search result may be sitting on page two, the PPC ad can be sitting at the top of page one.
You have the ability to grow your website traffic for specific keywords by supplementing your efforts with PPC advertising, once your reach your goal of a higher ranking you can either continue the ads or end the campaign and move onto another keyword.
Get started with PPC
Does PPC sound like the next best step in your digital marketing strategy?
If you’re ready to dive in, here are a few additional details to consider before you start:
Learn the details
While PPC can be a great supplementary tool to your organic search efforts, it takes time to understand all the details. Just like when you first started out with SEO, PPC can also be as much of a challenge. While you may understand the theory behind it, PPC takes skill and strategy to be effective.
If you choose to work with an agency on your PPC, you will learn the ins and outs, as well as how PPC can impact your overall business objectives.
Understand the relationships
Whether you hand off PPC to an agency or do it yourself, keep in mind that this should not be the only tactic in your strategy (and hopefully this article has shown that to you).
Just as your SEO will affect your PPC, your PPC will affect your SEO. Make sure you’re seeing the ROI you expect and are not overspending on a keyword when you rank #1 for it.
Determine your investment
While you can make PPC a one-and-done deal, it won’t be an effective part of your marketing strategy unless you are actively involved in its management.
By staying on top of keyword fluctuation, you can continually boost your SEO through PPC, but you have to keep an eye on it. Just like your directories need to be updated with changes, your PPC ads will as well (they’ll just be changes in connection to SEO rankings vs. an address in directories).
The best way to secure that friendly handshake between SEO and PPC (and eliminate the myth of SEO vs. PPC) is to make each tactic work harder by employing the other. Always incorporate the information you learn from SEO and PPC into the other and soon you’ll have an efficient machine firing from all cylinders.
Begin integrating your organic SEO and PPC efforts today by getting started with Google AdWords. Collect and collaborate the data from both channels to increase your sales through digital marketing.