Can SEO and PPC Work Together?

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One of the most frequent misconceptions in the digital marketing world today is that you only have to pick SEO or PPC as a strategy and stick to it. In reality, SEO and PPC work really well together as a multi-channel marketing strategy and are mutually beneficial. To explore how SEO and PPC work together, let’s first look at the benefits of each as a stand-alone strategy.

The Benefits of SEO

SEO is the classic, tried and true digital marketing strategy that every business should be engaged in on some level. The norm of online interaction has evolved rapidly over its short life, and people are using search engines (especially Google) now more than ever. It’s how they find the information they are looking for, so if you are not actively employing strategies to capitalize on the traffic that can come from an engine like Google, then it’s simply impossible to have a sustainably successful website.

Since Google brings so much traffic and so many people are using it as their primary method to find information, we get access to people at all stages of the marketing/buying funnel. SEO is a fantastic strategy to get new leads/potential sales for your business and is far more effective than something like cold-calling.

Ultimately, if the SEO strategy you’re employing doesn’t use immoral tactics to try to game the system and if it is using sound best practices, the end product becomes a well-constructed website that has a high degree of usability and converts well. Even if you aren’t sold on the concept of SEO, there should be enough value-add to any business to justify doing it on that principle alone.

The Benefits of PPC

PPC advertising also has plenty of ROI potential. The great thing about PPC is that you’re paying Google to appear on their search results page. So without having done any SEO whatsoever, you could theoretically still rank at the top of the page if the bid was right and your ad – landing page combination were good enough.

Beyond that incredible benefit, we also have the ability to exercise some control over the types of traffic that come into our site. By adjusting ad copy, bid amounts, target areas, and more, we can funnel traffic down to only the most qualified leads and make our campaign really work for us. You could even do the opposite and go after a much more broad base of traffic and capture some top-of-the-funnel users.

With the data that you collect from those types of campaigns, you can then use that data to refine your campaign and increase your ROI. There is far more data available to make informed decisions in a PPC strategy as opposed to an SEO strategy. Not only do we have more data, but there are many more options for the way an ad is delivered. With PPC, your ad can be formatted to a user’s specifications – something that is not possible with SEO.

Does SEO Benefit PPC/Does PPC Benefit SEO?

Absolutely. All we have to do to come to this conclusion is to think about the things that can be achieved when combining both strategies. If you have a good SEO strategy in place and you’re ranking well for a number of keywords, but you’re also bidding well on those same keywords you’ll take up more search result real estate. You’ll end up having multiple chances to for a user to click through to your site before they’ve even had a chance to scroll down the page. Ultimately the more real estate you take up on the top of the search engine results, the more you’ll push out your competitors in the online marketplace.

The comprehensive data that is gathered during the PPC process can be applied across other marketing mediums like SEO as well. For example, if you tested a new call to action on an ad and you saw that it brought a 50% increase in sales or leads for you, you can apply that to other parts of your website. You can then reasonably expect to see similar results in organic search too. In this way, you can optimize your conversion rate across both strategies and increase your overall ROI on your marketing efforts.

Last, but certainly not the end of the list of benefits is assisted conversions. People typically will visit your site more than once before converting. For example, they may search on Google and find your site organically, leave and come back the next day by typing your URL directly into their browser. Likewise, someone can click your ad and look around your site, then come back and convert by coming in through organic search or directly to your site or a litany of other combinations.

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There are about 153 different combinations of conversion paths a user can take if you have 5 different marketing channels, maybe that’s SEO (organic), PPC, Direct traffic, Email marketing, and Social Media Marketing.

If you take only 1 of those channels out of the equation – the number of available conversion paths drops by 120, and yes you read that correctly. If you remove PPC or SEO from your marketing mix, the combinations to convert drop from 153 to just 33.

There are far more combinations in reality since these figures only consider users that interact with your site a maximum of 5 times. Mathematically, we can see the implications of not utilizing one of these channels, and thus the importance of capitalizing on all of them.

How to Improve Your Website

We know that running a successful digital marketing campaign can be a little mind-boggling, so if you have questions about your PPC, SEO, or another digital marketing campaign, we are here to help! Fill out our contact form here and one of our digital marketing experts will help you figure out how you can fully maximize your marketing mix!

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