Improve SEO with PPC

Which is better – SEO or PPC? We’re often asked this question – and the clear-cut answer is this: there’s no ‘best’ strategy between the two. The truth is that a marketing strategy that incorporates both is the most powerful – and in fact, any concerted effort to improve your organic ranking, isn’t done justice if you completely overlook the boost that can be provided by PPC.

PPC – Empower Your Organic Position with Paid Advertising

Let’s start with two enlightening statistics…

“94% of clicks in the Google results go on the natural, organic results” – Nielsen

“Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords” – Google Economic Impact Report

It’s apparent that there’s compelling evidence to invest in both SEO and PPC, and for more insight into PPC ROI by industry, such as the fact that marketing agencies garner 372% return, and software/SaaS companies achieve 251%, check out Statisa.

Over and above each strategy’s strengths, you should also consider their limitations. While PPC costs money for fast, short term results, SEO demands longer term efforts. Where PPC presents laser precise targeting, SEO can only offer targeting on keywords and terms (and for that, your content creation and web structure must be correct). Finally, where your search position is vulnerable to being shaken and unstuck by Google algorithm updates, PPC can be the reassurance of consistent traffic, come what may.

In any event, all that aside, a further reason to couple the two together is the many ways in which SEO can be boosted by PPC – somewhat of a double whammy of marketing traction. Let’s dive into the details as to how and why this happens…

5 Marketing Hacks for Harnessing the Power of SEO and PPC combined

  1. Treat PPC as a testing ground for SEO


With your AdWords campaign running at full force, you can gain some essential insight to inform your SEO strategy:

  • Which keywords are achieving the most conversions?
  • Which pages and keywords are securing a higher quality score?
  • What are the essential metrics telling you – such as bounce rates, exit rates, and time on page?

Together these help you to ensure your SEO keywords are right (which should be used in the titles, meta descriptions and headings), as well as crafting your web pages to be more effective at converting (you can learn much from pages with low bounce and exit rates, and that have high average time spent).


2. Grab attention, shares and links


Your search ranking relies on your content – content that, when done right, will gain links, traffic and authority. However, to get eyeballs onto your content to achieve all of this, you need visitors to share and link back.

PPC is a fast track route to achieving this, and even better, the targeting PPC provides ensures that it is the right people who see your content (such as industry influencers who, handily enough, could provide plenty of link juice).


3. Use PPC and SEO together to rule SERPs


Gain SERP movement and increase the organic ranking of your pages by running ads for them for the keywords you’ve targeted. Not only can this bolster your organic position, it can also provide for a powerful impression where you hold a position in both the natural results, as well as the paid results.


4. Behold the wonders of social media ad insights


We’ve spoken only of AdWords PPC thus far, yet you shouldn’t overlook what social media is capable of when it comes to PPC. Take Facebook, here you can target your audience by interests, age, browsing history, gender, education, income and much more. This could allow you to then show your ads to 35 year olds, who order a pizza on Saturday evening and watch Netflix (presumably with their 3 children that you also know of). This level of targeting is unparalleled and impossible to achieve with AdWords, and with ever finer targeting should come more and more effective adverts and a better shaped SEO strategy (hey presto, more shares, links and sales).


5. Retarget those who’ve previously visited organically


Retargeting is powerful stuff – presenting your brand name, content or message in front of those who’ve previously read your blog or browsed your store. Retargeting encourages conversion and establishes a brand identity. In fact, (and rather depressingly) a mere 2% of first-time visitors convert, a statistic that should demonstrate retargeting as not only advisable, but essential.

Targeted PPC across mediums such as Facebook or YouTube can provide for the nudge needed, and can be made more effective when focused on visitors who’ve read a very specific, niche piece of content. You can bolster the impact of this by creating eye-catching graphics, video or images such as infographics. You could also consider drawing them back in by offering free content that is not to be missed. For example, if you were an accountant, you could write an eBook on the 10 critical Tax Savers, set to run right before the end of the tax year. In exchange your visitors will provide their email address (which you’ll use for email marketing – pushing them further along the sales funnel).


In every sense, SEO and PPC are perfect partners in crime – from grabbing that first flush of visitors who’ll share your content, to retargeting visitors at the right time. SEO and PPC are the Bonnie and Clyde of the marketing world. Capable of grabbing target market money and running (only without the guns). Together they can boost brand awareness, traffic, links, ranking and conversions. However, as with all PPC campaigns, the need for thorough analysis is critical – testing and re-testing is a non-negotiable for the tweaks that will go on to gain you more bang for your buck.

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