This post originally appeared on tBL member Joshua Lyon’s blog Joshua Lyons Marketing Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.
If you are looking to implement a marketing plan to drive traffic to your site, chances are good that you’ve heard the terms PPC and SEO being thrown around in the process. Both SEO and PPC are valuable marketing activities that can help you and your business get the exposure you need, in order to thrive. Many marketing pros will encourage you to take one route or the other, insisting they have no effect on each other. In fact, even Google clarifies on its Ads site that, “running a Google Ads campaign does not help your SEO rankings, despite some myths and claims.” However, there are distinct advantages to using a combination of both types of marketing, even though one is not “directly” tied to the other. Before we uncover those benefits, let’s very briefly look at what each of these terms means.
What is SEO?
SEO, short for search engine optimization, is a marketing practice that uses keywords, backlinks, website content and other specific tactics to raise a website, to appear in the top results on Google and other search engines. It is imperative to use SEO if you want to organically and sustainably broaden your audience. And, while it’s exponentially slower than using PPC, SEO is typically far more cost effective. Also, organic traffic (not traffic from PPC) is where your business will likely receive the majority of its customers.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising. It is also a viable way to increase your business’s exposure. Google Ads is perhaps the most well-known platform to run PPC advertising. It works by allowing your business to run an ad for no up-front costs, charging instead only each time somebody actually clicks on that ad to be redirected to your site. The benefit of this is that, obviously, you don’t pay for the ad unless it’s working. Receiving a click does not, however, guarantee you are attracting the high-quality clientele your business wants and needs. The amount you will be charged per click will vary and the duration of campaigns can run for as short or long as you choose.
The Benefits of Adding PPC to Your Marketing Plan
While SEO works to organically target your market and PPC focuses more on buying your audience, the two do complement one another in various ways. Some of the ways you can expect your PPC advertising to affect your SEO are as follows:
When you put a word or phrase into the Google search box, you will yield a mixture of results. The first three or four of those will be PPC advertisements related to your query. Beneath those are the sites that organically rise to the top of the Google search results. While the majority of traffic to your site will emanate from the latter, your ads (listed at the top of the page) will help potential clients develop brand awareness, which could help you attract them later down the line when they come across your site again. If they’re going to click the organic search results,
Directly related to exposure is interaction. As your exposure broadens, so does the chance that your site will fall into the right hands of other businesses. These businesses may want to interact with you by mentioning your site, linking back to it, or showcasing you on other media or social media platforms.
Running an ad on any of the relevant PPC platforms also has the extra added benefit of allowing you to specifically target your demographic through keywords, location, types of device, and more. Using keywords in SEO marketing does what it can, but it also takes away a lot of your control over which words your site ends up ranking for.
PPC advertising also allows you to add various links back to your site which will engage different people. Organic Google listings, however, only allow the searcher the opportunity to connect to one page on your site.
While putting together an SEO strategy can be done relatively quickly, it will likely be a long while before you start seeing the results from implementing it. PPC, on the other hand, is just as simple to launch and will allow you to start seeing the results almost instantly.
PPC advertisements also allow you to show a picture of your product that will appear on the search results page, as opposed to searchers having to visit your site in order to get a glimpse. Ads with visual components will also show at the top of even the PPC results.
While it may not seem like there are many downfalls to PPC advertising, we want to make sure that we fully disclose all of the possibilities. It’s important to remember that the majority of the traffic driven to your site is going to get there organically. That means that, no matter how much you spend on PPC, you’ll still only add a small number of visitors to your site through its implementation. Typically, this is less than 10%. Running an ad campaign will also require some extra upkeep and close monitoring to ensure that you are yielding results. Also, remember that you may not be grabbing the attention of your ideal client, even though PPC offers you the ability to target your demographic more closely.
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SEO & PPC: A Constructive Relationship
The best way to ensure you make the most of your marketing campaign is to use SEO and PPC in conjunction with one another. Your PPC advertising will complement good SEO practices and the two will work together to drive a healthy mixture of both organic and paid visitors to your site. There are a few practices you will want to consider to help you maintain a proper balance.
For one thing, make use of the Google Analytics acquisition report to verify exactly where the majority of your traffic is coming from. This will help you ensure the ads you are running are actually doing their part to help your business (as opposed to costing you a lot of unnecessary money).
Next, use your PPC and SEO together to help fill the first page of search results with your business. Very few searchers are going to move on to the second page of the Google search results, making it super important for you to be the first name they see… over and over and over again, if possible. The more slots you inhabit on the first page, the more traffic will go to your website (both organically and paid).
Using SEO and PPC in Your Strategy
Research your keywords so that you know which variations will be the most viable to help you move up in rankings (SEO) or convert your ad to clicks (PPC). Opt-out of using keywords that are high cost and have a high-competition rate.
Overall, when used together, SEO and PPC can help bring your business to the next level of success. Don’t be easily swayed to believe that you have to choose one tactic over the other.