PPC v SEO - digital marketing blog

Combining the Powers of SEO and PPC to Attain Business Goals

Savan Francis
Savan Francis/August 20, 2019

Few topics have generated more rift between digital marketers than that of SEO VS PPC.  It’s been hotly debated and has seen marketers at loggerheads with each other over hairsplitting details. On the one hand, organic traffic is still the bread and butter of all websites, and for a business to be considered truly successful, it should carry a sustained source of organic traffic to its online platforms. PPC, on the other hand, employs numerous techniques to drive traffic to websites using paid means. Both techniques require different methods and come with unique benefits. While the acquisition of traffic is the goal of both marketing techniques, picking one strategy essentially boils down to personal preference.  

PPC vs SEO screenshot
When formulated and executed effectively, both strategies can work to your advantage. However, what works in a particular situation may not work in a different case. Just as you may experience a drop in organic traffic to your website, you may face difficulty in generating traffic with PPC. The only way to get the best out of both strategies is if you learn about their benefits and limitations 

When is it right to jump on the SEO bandwagon?  

SEO is the traditional process of optimising your on-site and off-page attributes to improve your website’s chances of ranking high in search engine results pages. SEO has featured high on the agenda of every webmaster for years. Search engine reports revealed that organic traffic constitutes over 80% of total traffic. Google is today responsible for over 3.5 billion searches every day. Therefore, SEO campaigns are designed to tap into the google search engine. So, does the ever-growing search data mean that an SEO strategy has the edge over the PPC? 

Well, let’s look at some scenarios where you should consider looking into SEO techniques.   

When you’re planning for the future

In the field of SEO, you can sow the seeds today, nurture and cultivate them over some time, and then reap the organic fruits of your labour later. Yes, performing SEO involves creating a long-term strategy, experimenting with it and sticking to it until you see tangible results. Most of the time, the promised land of the first page may seem so close yet so far away. Be that as it may, once you get there, you can keep optimising and reaping all the benefits of staying on top.   

When you want higher authority for your site 

There’s a reason why high authority websites are seen as an authentic source of information. These websites easily outrank their counterparts in the same niche and become “go-to” source for anyone searching for reliable information. The most effective way to build authority for your website is by earning high-quality backlinks. Of course, this can only be achieved through a carefully planned off-page SEO strategy.   

When you want to raise the value of your website

Let’s think of your website as a real estate property. If you wish to get the desired results for your property, you should raise its value. Just as there are many indicators for the mounting value of a property, you can identify the quality of a website based on factors like traffic, domain authority, page rank and SERP rankings. These processes form an integral part of SEO strategy. 

While you’re at it, please keep in mind that SEO involves developing and promoting your content and that it will undoubtedly cost you a considerable amount of time and money. 

How about just using PPC? 

Google Ads Dashboard
Okay, now that you know the merits of SEO, let’s look at what PPC has in store for you. Pay Per Click (PPC) enables you to appear on the top of result pages in exchange for a fixed price (Bid). You essentially pay every time a user clicks on the keyword optimised sponsored ad. Google AdWords and Facebook are two popular PPC advertising platform. So, when should you invest in PPC marketing? Well, below are some specific scenarios where PPC advertising would be a perfect fit. 

When you need instant results for your business

If there’s anything PPC advertising guarantees, it’s instant results. You will instantly know whether or not your advertising is yielding the results. Once your ad is approved and bid approved, it will appear before the targeted searchers based on its quality score. However, it’s one thing to drive new traffic to a website instantly, but a whole different thing to make them take a profitable action on a conversion optimised landing page.      

When you want to drive relevant traffic to your website 

With PPC you can always reach out the most relevant prospects based on their tastes and interests. Facebook advertising platform, for instance, lets you tap into a diverse range of user data to target the perfect audience. You can narrow down the prospects using metrics like age, gender, education and marital status. Advertising becomes a whole lot easier and effective when you target an audience with improved specificity.   

When you are planning time-bound promotion  

Working on time-bound marketing projects is never easy. When you need to come up with a quick strategy for marketing something, PPC is always the right course of action. If you are trying to promote a special offer that expires in two days, you should invest in PPC. When you are working with clear time constraints, you need a promotion strategy that will instantly drive you relevant traffic.  

When your website isn’t SEO optimised 

Few things can get your website faster into Google’s good book than properly done SEO. A well maintained and SEO-friendly website will always be viewed favourably by Google. It will also ensure that your site remains on top of the search engine results pages. Unfortunately, not all websites are SEO optimised. An under-optimised website will never get a second chance with Google. PPC will be the perfect fit for websites that are poorly optimised and are in need of generating instant traffic.  

When you want to appear in SERP for specific keywords

When you run PPC ads effectively, your ad copy will appear on the first page above all the organic search results. Running PPC campaigns means that your ad will be seen by most users searching for specific products and services. The idea is to beat your competitors to potential clients. The click-through rate of your PPC advertisement is determined by the quality of your copy and the service you’re offering.

SERP Screen
Yes, you will always find people opting for SEO in some circumstances, and PPC in other circumstances. Even you might personally find a personal likeness for one marketing channel over the other. However, it’s important not to pit one against the other. Instead, think about how you can combine both these channels to deliver the right results for your business. The ultimate goal of these two marketing options is to drive traffic to a website. The difference between both strategies lies in the amount of time they take up. And the question of whether or not you should combine these two strategies depends on how much money you’re willing to spend.   

“What most marketers don’t realise is that they can take advantage of both options”.    

When faced with budget limitations, most marketers are forced to take one approach. But if you can set your priorities straight, you can use both strategies to the best of your advantage. Take a good look at some tips to combining SEO and PPC to leverage your business prospects.

Getting the best out of traditional SEO techniques

Long-tail keyword technique may no longer carry the same appeal it used to hold among marketers. Irrespective of your marketing purpose, finding out the long-tail keyword variations is an effective way to spot the negative keywords that do not work for you. For instance, if you filter out negative keywords from your PPC campaign, then those searching for “how to rent property” will end up seeing your ad for “buy our property”. Using the right negative keywords will make sure that PPC will attract the most relevant audience.

Using PPC data to the best effect 

You should take note of the PPC ad copy that converts the most. You can turn it into SEO-friendly content. It’s highly recommended that you place the conversion optimised content in the meta description for your website. You can even convert these ideas into fresh content material for your blog. You can use blogs to generate traffic to your website. 

Using your keyword data effectively

Marketers pull the keyword data from PPC campaigns and incorporate it into their SEO strategy. PPC campaigns offer the most effective means of testing your keywords’ validity. It gives you unique insight into search, behaviour and conversion data. You can use this data to shape your SEO strategy. Even if you are focusing on SEO strategy, and have no plans on investing in PPC at the moment, you can still use the same SEO keywords to run future advertising campaigns. 

Driving visitors back to your website

In the world of SEO, it’s important not to get carried away at first sight of success. Okay, after some concerted efforts, you are starting to see results. The same is true of PPC campaigns where the visitors can easily have a change of heart and leave your website. The users usually leave a website so that they can compare what they just saw with other products and prices elsewhere. Once they see better stuff on other sites, they might never return to your site again. The best way to bring them back is by retargeting them with products that they may like.  

Your takeaway 

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, many marketers still tend to view SEO and PPC as two incompatible options. It’s particularly evident among inexperienced marketers who don’t have a clearly defined goal yet. The best part about running SEO and PPC campaigns is that you get a vast amount of data to inform your marketing strategy. Any new information about user behaviour and interests can be used to reshape marketing strategies in ways you could not imagine before.

As a marketer, it is imperative that you add both techniques in your marketing plan.  

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