Just like The Turtles song and milk and cookies. Peace and love. Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson. Some things are just better together – and now you can add SEO and PPC to this list. But it wasn’t always so… For as long as organic and paid search have been around, they’ve been pitted against each other. While there are many reasons behind their adversarial history, it can mostly be chalked up to competing practitioners in each field marking their respective search territories. Needless to say, this has proven to be a mistake. Because without a doubt, SEO and PPC are more effective together. Thankfully, today’s leading search marketers have finally come to realize that marketing campaigns greatly benefit from a combination of organic and paid search efforts. While these two disciplines were typically isolated from one another in the past, SEO and PPC are now rightfully seen as two sides of the same search coin. Of course, they each have their own distinct advantages.
PPC (paid search) is a cost-effective form of advertising that reaches individuals who have expressed an interest in a specific product or service. PPC campaigns can also be quickly implemented. On the other hand, SEO (organic) continues to be the best means for websites to rank and gain traffic – although doing so takes time.
So what happens when they’re used together as part of a comprehensive search campaign?
A recent study from Nielsen Research sheds some light on this question. According to its findings, when paid search ads were shown beside organic search listings in the SERP (search engine results page), the brand attracted 92% of total clicks, as opposed to just 60% in organic alone. What’s more, when organic listings and paid search ads were shown together, the click through rate (CTR) on the paid ads actually increased.
Another study by Google found that a full 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when those ads are paused. So if you’re only ranking organically, a ton of search traffic is likely slipping away! The reason for this multiplier effect is simple: familiarity breeds trust. When people see a brand listed in both organic and paid search results, they’re likely to find it more credible. And this effect holds true from the top of the search results to the bottom. In fact, Google has found that with a number 1 ranked organic position, paid ads provide 50% incremental clicks. And the contribution of PPC to organic incremental clicks increases even more for listings No. 2 and lower!
5 Ways SEO & PPC Work Together
- Sharing (Keyword Data) Is Caring
- Running both SEO and PPC delivers double the data to analyze. If certain keywords in a paid campaign convert well, it might also be worth to push ranking for organically.
- Dominating SERP Real Estate
- Don’t reduce PPC efforts once you’re organically ranking numero uno for a keyword! Remember, the top three spots on most result pages are paid ads. As discussed above, having your brand name mentioned in both organic and paid results helps establish authority, reliability, and reassurance.
- Leveraging PPC Ad Copy
- Evaluate paid ad copy to make strategic organic content decisions. See what ad copy is working well in PPC campaigns. Use this information for title tags, meta descriptions, and even on page content.
- Utilize Free SEO Tools
- Use organic tools and platforms to determine what keywords drive the most site traffic. Tools, such as Google Webmaster Tools, are great to find keywords that already drive a significant amount of clicks. This is a great place to start when building a PPC campaign.
- Social Media Ad Targeting
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have recently rolled out highly targeted advertising opportunities. The data collected from these social channels uncovers granular insights about your target audience that can help with your overall SEO strategy.
At Rhythm, we’ve long understood the symbiotic relationship between SEO and PPC. That’s why our organic and paid search teams are aligned. Their partnership consistently produces integrated search engine marketing strategies that deliver big results for our clients. Because just like milk and cookies, our search teams (and their ideas) are much better together.