3 Reasons Why PPC & SEO work Better Together
Working in digital marketing in the past few years, I have seen some clients running their SEO & PPC channels as two completely separate channels, needing two separate strategies. To them, there was no reason why the two channels’ strategies should be integrated. In some cases, the people working within these channels, never really spoke to each other about their approach or their findings.
I agree that there are differences between the two: PPC yields faster results while SEO enjoys longer term success. However, creating an informed plan for these two channels can actually drive high quality traffic to your business, all the while increasing your ROI. In this article, I have identified the top 3 reasons why PPC & SEO work better together and how your business could benefit from their synergy.
SERP Real Estate
The ability to be more visible across the SERPs over your competitors for key terms is of great benefit for any business. This not only pushes your competitors off the page, but it can also give your business more credibility appearing side by side on the first page for that term. This is of course as long as your page titles, meta descriptions and ad copy are optimised for those choice search terms.
Arguably more importantly, having both your PPC ad and organic listing working together on the SERPs can increase your conversion rate and ROI. PPC can actually pick up where your organic listing may be lacking in position on the SERPs.
A study conducted by Google in 2012 showed that 82% of PPC ad clicks were incremental when the associated organic result ranked between the 2 and 4 position in the SERPs and 96% of clicks were incremental when the organic result was 5 or below.
You can see the success of these two channels working together in your Top Conversion Path report under Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics (as show below).
This report can be filtered by creating a Conversion Segment and including the MCF Channel Grouping Paid Search & Organic Search.
For more advice on creating custom Conversion Segments, please read this Google article.
A few years back I believed creating PPC landing pages was necessary in order to increase conversion rate for a brand. In recent years, I’ve moved further away from this strategy for the following reasons- these pages take time to create; they take up resource and at times: a graphic designer would be needed and several other incurring additional costs.
PPC & SEO should be working together here, rather than separately. Much like PPC landing pages, organic pages also need to convert, so then why create a different strategy for each channel when the goals are the same?
Creating a page that is optimised for conversion and has SEO value, will eliminate the need to create additional pages that arguably have no value at all. Ideally, you want to create a well optimised page that will meet all of your intended goals. It also means you have additional content pages that are achieving conversion successes. Clear CTAs, strong messaging and keyword targeting on your landing pages will give you your value and increase your conversion rate.
Of course, there are businesses that see the benefit of having a separate PPC landing page, particularly retailers, but this doesn’t have to be the case. The best way to find out if this works for your business, is to run an A/B split test and using the results of the test to make the best decision for you marketing strategy.
Both channels require keyword research in order to identify search volumes in which to target important user search terms. We also know that the Google Keyword Planner isn’t always the most accurate in giving us all of the possible keyword ideas.
SEO and PPC working together can really help to identify keywords and even trends that can be used for optimisation in both channels. Using the following can help gather this data:
Search Query Reports - every PPC’er knows how important a search query report is in order to identify user search queries the Google Adwords Keyword Planner may have missed. This can also be used in identifying keywords that can be used to also rank organically.
Google Webmaster Tools - an important tool in identifying search queries used to bring visitors to your website, but also these will help PPC’ers identify important keywords that can be used for paid search.
In conclusion, it is important to have a balance when it comes to SEO & PPC, many people invest more time in their paid search due to the fast results, while not spending much time on the SEO side of things. They are equally important and having them work in synergy can only benefit your business.