It is often baffling to see experienced webmasters or website owners who use both SEO and paid advertising (PPC), but who never realise they complement each other in so many ways. They are blissfully unaware that by combining both strategies and using some of the data that PPC marketing can generate, they could enhance their SEO and rankings further than they already have.
From the outset, we must appreciate that each business’s ability to implement a PPC campaign will be tempered by the resources they have, not least of which will be their budget. However, even if you only have the means to set up a few small campaigns, you should do so, for the advantages in relation to your SEO which are set out below.
#1 Gaining Visibility for Keywords at The Top of The SERPs
Whenever you do search on Google at the top of the results you will see three of four listings with a little yellow box that has the word ‘Ad’ in it. This indicates that those listings have used PPC to appear there. Apart from the obvious benefit of having a 63% chance of your website link being clicked, being at the top of the paid results can help your organic rankings in the longer run.
Assuming your website is optimised, users who click through will spend time on your site and be clicking through pages, which is seen by Google as a positive. You also gain more authority and trust when you have a paid ad appearing on Google’s results. The goal is to get to the point where you appear at the top of both the organic and paid results. That is when you can really claim to be established.
#2 Use PPC to Test Keywords
If you were going only down the free route with your SEO then testing all your keywords to see which brought you best results and traffic is going to take time and demand a lot of patience. You can speed up this entire process by using PPC to test your keywords, and the merits of the content on your website.
By using a PPC campaign you can determine which keywords have the best click-through rates and the highest numbers of clicks overall. It can also highlight which pages on your website have the best quality score, as well as give you data on users’ actions such as which keywords generate quick exits and high bounce rates.
PPC can also help you to test changes to your content, and to see if a specific piece of content works more quickly, compared to waiting for the traffic coming to your site organically. In other words, it speeds up your entire SEO strategy as you are using PPC traffic to indicate what changes you need to make if the content on a page is not working.
One thing that SEO can’t help you with is retargeting visitors if they did not take any action on your website. Add to this the fact that the average conversion rate for those visiting your website for the first time is around 2% for most sites, and you soon realise that relying on SEO alone means losing out on a lot of potential business
With PPC advertising you can be very selective in who you target the ad towards, both in terms of who sees the ad, and in the way in which the ad copy is written. With finely tuned targeting, itis highly likely that some of the audience who see your PPC ad, will be those who have visited your website before. If you have effective branding, they will recognise it, and be more likely to revisit your website.