Why You Need to Stop Viewing SEO and PPC as Two Separate Strategies

Jen Saunders

PPC and SEO are the two most commonly used digital marketing services. From mom and pop shops that focus on converting local traffic, to large corporations investing in a plan to expand their global reach, pay-per-click and search engine optimization play big roles in attracting new and repeat business.

The problem is that most organizations approach PPC and SEO as completely foreign strategies. Remember, your ultimate goal is not to rank your website for various keywords or get people to click on your ads. You have your high-revenue target, and SEO and PPC are deployed to convert web traffic into sales. So while pay-per-click and search engine optimization may be very different, they are still two sides to the same coin: search.

One of the best ways to understand the value in coordinating PPC and SEO strategies is to look at the thought process behind digital marketing growth stacks and identify its synergistic strands. Marketers know how to align these two components to give them greater value than the sum of their independent mechanisms.  This article is for those who might be investing on one of these two services but not both; it is intended to show brands and organizations how much more they can get out of their marketing investment by aligning SEO and PPC to work together to draw more traffic that converts to sales.

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PPC and SEO Work Together to Increase Your Visibility

This is clearly the most obvious benefit. When running SEO and PPC efforts together you can profit from the added exposure in the SERPs. When able to dominate both organic and paid search results, traffic to your site will increase and give people the impression you are a well established in your space. When organizations are able to do this they subsequently promote  trust signals, and with that comes more traffic likely to make a purchase.

Shared Keyword Data Empowers Optimization

Simply put, running a PPC campaign alongside an SEO one gives you double the data to analyze, and double the insight to make room for improvements. You will want to notice which PPC and organic keywords bring the highest conversion rate. Also look at context in the ad, and compare it to the contextual elements of the ranking pages associated with each keyword. This shared data will enable your overall strategy to undergo added optimization.

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Your Organic Content Strategy and Best Performing Ad Copy

Content that works well for SEO generally performs nicely for PPC. When you are able to determine which PPC ads have the best conversion, you can use the takeaways to optimize your web page content, tags and meta descriptions. Furthermore, using PPC ads to test page attributes offers fast results letting marketers know what works, and what doesn’t work.

SEO and PPC Fight Negative PR

It happens; from time to time someone will say something negative about your company or products. When this happens combining SEO and PPC efforts can be the ace in your back pocket at damage control. Again, it all comes down to visibility. Organizations can guide conversations when SEO and PPC dictate results for certain search results. Here is a perfect example: in 2010 after the oil spill BP paid for PPC ads linked to the keyword “oil spill”. When people clicked on the ad they were taken to a landing page on BP’s site about the cleanup effort. They also worked with top SEO services to run an aggressive campaign to organically rank their content on the oil spill cleanup. Combining PPC and SEO allows brands to tell their side of the story before people can be easily influenced by negative PR. Both marketing arms help organizations reach top visibility with organic and paid results, thus minimizing the chance their buyers might become jaded by reading unsavory content.

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SEO and PPC can Work to Improve Social Media Visibility

Social media’s landscape is going through rapid changes, and one of these shifting channels resides in targeted advertising opportunities. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn can post ads to specific buyer groups. When organizations work with the best paid media agencies, they can run a number of ad campaigns targeting precise buyer groups. For example, campaigns can run to 25 year old men in Miami who are interested in scuba diving and deep sea fishing. This may be a small group, but because it is precise it garners the potential for higher conversion rates. As for SEO, data uncovered from these precise campaigns can unearth granular details about target audiences that can help improve organic search strategies.

SEO Data can Improve PPC

Some paid ads get more clicks and convert better than others. Understanding an audience allows paid media experts to craft headlines, descriptions lines, CTAs and landing pages that resonate with the right target audience. SEO data can help uncover fine details about what buyers like, and what doesn’t resonate. Each web page should have its keywords and contextual points for semantic search. Take a look at which pages have the longest session duration, lowest bounce rate, and conversion (if applicable). Also notice the title tag and meta description. When you are able to identify all the key performance points, try implementing these into your under-performing paid ads. You can also run multiple ads with slight variations to detect prime optimization opportunities.

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SEO and PPC are a Match Made in Heaven

If you are currently investing in one of these marketing strategies but not the other, you are missing out on attracting more customers, controlling your brand’s reputation, and having data to help optimize your overall marketing strategy. SEO and PPC are two key components to an aggressive growth marketing stack, so even if you aren’t investing in marketing automation simply adding PPC to your SEO investment can garner some pretty incredible results that come from robust, customized growth tactics. If you contact a growth marketing agency for a free consultation you can learn if combining SEO and PPC is your best solution to achieving your growth goals, or learn if there is another option that best suits your needs.

Did You Learn Something New?

If you found value in discovering how SEO and PPC work together, we think you will love our FREE guide on growth marketing stacks. You can download this gift below and discover if combining SEO and PPC is right for you, or is a full growth stack is more appropriate for achieving your goals. If you have ideas we would love to hear about them! Give us a call and let’s talk shop!
Download The WEBITMD Growth Stack.

About
Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.