For the longest time, SEO and PPC have been viewed as two separate entities. Many businesses would have the departments siloed separately, which can result in the two teams competing for funds. That shouldn’t be the case.
It’s rather clear that they are two different channels.
Search engine optimization focuses on increasing organic traffic from search engines. Pay-per-click campaigns generate leads through paid ads. However, both strategies have the same goal—they aim to capture more leads and improve sales.
So why not use SEO and PPC together…it’s only logical, right? You’ll dominate the SERPs, drive more traffic, get more brand visibility, and so on.
The question shouldn’t be whether to use PPC or SEO, but rather how do you combine the two to get the best possible results for your business?
This review will show you how to use each strategy to support the other. You’ll learn about the different types of paid ads you can employ for your business, and the importance of selecting the right attribution model when combining these two marketing techniques.
Why Use SEO and PPC Together?
SEO and PPC are different in various ways, but they can work harmoniously to produce amazing results. Here’s how they’ll benefit your business:
1. Brand Presence
Relying on SEO alone to boost brand visibility is a tall order. That’s because search engine optimization strategies can take months or even years to produce results. Until then, your business will remain buried with the thousands of websites that never make it to the first page of the SERPs. That essentially means that your business won’t be getting any meaningful visibility.
All that changes when you introduce a local PPC campaign to work alongside your SEO efforts. Pay-per-click ads help you bypass the algorithms and appear at the top of the SERPs for specific keywords. So everyone searching for those keywords will come across your ads and, by extension, your brand. That means more visibility for your business.
Combining PPC and SEO allows you to establish your brand’s presence for both the short- and long-term. PPC will help you get the exposure you need right now as SEO works in the background to ensure the results are sustainable.
2. Increase Sales and Generate More Leads
Websites on the first page of the SERPs get 71% of the online traffic, as reported by Moz. In fact, most of this traffic is limited to the top five websites:
A pay-per-click ad takes your store to the very top of search query results. So it’ll be the first thing people see, and this will naturally attract more clicks. Assuming your landing page converts, more clicks mean more leads and, consequently, more sales.
But you’ll still need a robust SEO strategy because not everyone will click on the ads. In fact, a report by Wordstream showed the average click-through rate of PPC Adword ads is around 2%.
Your goal should be to dominate the SERPs as much as possible, and the only way to do that is to have an effective PPC and SEO campaign in place. It takes a lot of effort and investment, but the results are well worth it. In fact, if you do it properly, you will get double exposure on the SERPs. Potential customers will see your ads first thing at the top and then in the organic results.
Something else very interesting about dominating the SERPs is the psychological effect it has on consumers. When potential customers come across your store multiple times on the same page, they’re likely to see your store as reputable and authoritative. That increases the chances of winning their confidence and clicks.
3. Test Keyword and Content
Keyword optimization is crucial for both SEO and PPC campaigns. Your SEO team needs to know which keywords to use to optimize content and boost rankings. Similarly, your ad campaigns can’t be successful if you don’t know which keywords to bid for.
So how do you know which keywords and phrases to target? There are various tools to help you out with this. However, you can’t truly know which keywords work best for your specific business until you put them into action. Using SEO and PPC at the same time provides the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
You could, for instance, run a PPC campaign targeting multiple keywords. Then compare the data of each keyword after a month or so. Which keyword and content generated the most engagements and leads? Pass this information to your SEO team, and they can run campaigns targeting these keywords.
The beauty of using PPC for such tests is it produces results instantly. You can get all the data you need in a matter of weeks.
SEO can also be used for keyword and content testing. However, search engine optimization takes time to produce results, and that’s why most businesses complement it with PPC. But, if your company already has a successful SEO strategy in place, then you should have enough keyword data for your ad campaigns.
Next, let’s look at how you can run each method to support the other.
How to Start an SEO Campaign to Support PPC
SEO is a long game, but it generates valuable insights that can support your PPC efforts in various ways. For instance, once your website’s SEO finally kicks in, you’ll see a massive increase in traffic.
As you probably already know, most leads do not convert during their first visit to a website. You’ll need to interact with a potential customer several times to move them down the marketing funnel until they take the desired action. And that’s where PPC comes in.
SEO provides valuable data on potential customers to whom you can run a retargeting campaign using PPC. Moreover, local SEO techniques like Google My Business listings and optimization can significantly improve the performance of your PPC campaigns.
Listing your business on Google My Business allows you to utilize tools such as ad extensions. The extension allows you to provide more details through your ads. For example, they’ll display customer reviews providing social proof for your business.
How to Start a PPC Campaign to Support SEO
One of the biggest advantages of PPC campaigns is how quickly they generate results. Whether you want more brand visibility, leads, or sales, a pay-per-click ad will deliver the results faster than SEO can. Therefore you can use PPC to get the quick results that your SEO team needs.
You could, for instance, use PPC to build brand awareness quickly. Potential customers will get familiarized with your brand making it easier for them to interact with your business organically.
PPC can also enrich your SEO keyword data. A single PPC campaign can generate lots of data on customer search habits. You can then use this data to improve your website’s SEO to drive more traffic.
Let’s say, for instance, you are running Google Ads for your Salon. Two weeks in, you start noticing that the keyword “hair salon” is performing much better in terms of clicks and CPC than something like “hairdresser.” Yet your website keeps on mentioning “hairdresser” and nothing about “hair salon.”
Such data will help your SEO team adjust your website to cover all the traffic you lose by not mentioning “hair salon.”
Type of Paid Ad Campaigns You Might Run
There are various types of paid ads out there. Below are two strategies for paid ad campaigns that can actually produce meaningful results for your business:
1. Direct Sales
As the name suggests, direct sales ads are all about selling a product or service. That means that ads are aimed at consumers towards the end of the customer journey and ready to make a purchase:
Under direct sales, you can run remarketing ads targeting the website visitors who visit your sales page and fail to take the desired action.
PPC campaigns on branded terms are also a great option here. They’ll help you crowd the SERPs, thereby increasing clicks. Targeting branded terms also helps to counter any competitors who could be creeping into your market.
Many businesses bid on the branded terms of their competitors. So if you are not careful, your competition could bid on your brand terms and steal a significant portion of your traffic and sales. That happens a lot to hotels where companies like Booking or Agoda bid on branded terms for a specific hotel.
2. Lead Capture
Up to 92% of website visitors aren’t ready to make a purchase during their first visit. Most of them are merely curious to learn more about a company, product, or service. Therefore, trying to sell a product to such visitors is usually a waste of resources.
That’s why a lead capture campaign is important. It helps you capture consumers who are still in the early stages of the buyers’ journey. You can then use their information to retarget them later on and move them down your sales funnel.
The basic idea behind a lead capture ad is to get the lead’s contact details. It could be an email address or their phone number. To get this information, you may have to incentivize the consumer.
If, for instance, you have a small interior designing business, you can target a lead with a free ebook or guide on something like “Tips On Choosing The Right Color Palette For Your Home.” Most leads will freely trade their contact details for such a guide. So you’ll get the contact information you want, and they’ll acquire the resources they need. Win-win.
The marketing agency, King Kong, takes this approach, for example. If you visit their site, you will get retargeting ads sending you to the following landing page.
Instead of trying to directly sell to the customer, they send them to a landing page that they created with a website builder where they give away a free resource. It’s a smart move that helps warm a lead before a pitch.
The Importance of Attribution When Tracking Results
Running marketing campaigns across different channels does come with a few challenges. One of them is identifying the channel that was responsible for a conversion.
Did the customer buy your product after encountering your local service ads or the organic search results? Getting the answer to this question is beneficial.
Attribution provides valuable insights into how the various marketing channels are performing. It shows you which channel has the biggest impact. With this information at hand, you can refine your marketing strategy to prioritize the best-performing channels.
There are several types of attribution models that you could use here. These include First Interaction, Last Interaction, Last Non-Direct Click, Linear Attribution, Time Decay, and Position-Based attribution.
It’s imperative that you understand how each model works and its implications. For instance, both first and last interaction models credit a single channel for a conversion:
Source: Search Engine Land
The first interaction credits the first channel the buyer interacted with, while the last interaction credits the last channel before a conversion. While this makes the models very easy to implement and evaluate, it also oversimplifies a buyer’s interaction with your marketing channels. The last interaction model, for example, ignores all the touchpoints that occurred prior to the conversion.
To avoid such issues, it’s advisable to use more than one model. That will make the attribution process a bit more complex, but you will get a holistic picture of how all your marketing channels are performing.
Let’s do a quick recap, shall we? In this article, I shared four main things. First, I showed you why you need to use PPC and SEO together. Then I explained how the two complement each other to boost brand awareness, increase sales and leads, and facilitate keyword testing.
Next, I took you through practical examples on how you can use each strategy to support the other. We saw that SEO could generate leads that you can retarget through PPC. On the other hand, PPC enriches your SEO keyword data and delivers quick results that are hard to achieve with SEO.
We then looked at the two types of paid ads you can run, direct sales and lead capture. Finally, I gave you three reasons why you’ll need attribution when tracking the results of this multi-channel marketing strategy.
To sum it up, your local business needs SEO as much as it needs PPC. The benefits you’ll harness by integrating the two are far greater than anything you can achieve using just one of them. So, sit down with your marketing team and develop an effective strategy on how to run the two techniques together.