For as long as we’ve been involved in digital marketing (and that’s close to 2 decades), various ever prevalent questions have existed around whether or not there is or should be any connection between PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It’s pretty easy to give a “yes” on this, but we seem to keep getting these questions so we thought it would be good to get a few things down on paper for you all to read and have reference material for when planning your digital marketing efforts. The connections are simple and the benefits are many. So let’s start with:
While the Google Keyword planner and various other keyword research tools are useful for both paid and organic search marketing, only one of those two search channels has the agility and quick-acting nature that allows you to go deeper than simply “how many searches per month” and into conversion territory. Paid search advertising is useful for so many more reasons than just its ability to convert on its own. The level of data it provides on user behaviour is virtually unmatched and the golden goose amongst it all is conversion data.
Organic Search Marketing can take a long time to take effect, so while you can definitely make a few great educated guesses at what to target based on search volume and semantic intent (the intent demonstrated by the keyword itself), knowing which keywords are converting at the highest rate is worth its weight in gold as you can make sure that you’re targeting the right keywords with your organic efforts and not potentially wasting months on terms that don’t end up being worth the time.
Not just that, but the keyword data you get from keyword planner is more accurate when you have a live Google Ads campaign running, as opposed to the more “rounded off” search volume data you get without it.
Testing the waters
If you have new products or services that you want to try offering, SEO is again not the optimal channel through which to try selling them. You don’t want to spend months getting yourself ranking for something only to find that it’s not a popular product. This is a job for paid ads! Sure, you’ll have a bit of outlay and that outlay may end up just showing that the new offering doesn’t work, but trust us, you’ll spend a lot less time and money testing things out with paid media than you would be trying to achieve organic rankings for the same purpose.
But there are also a few not so obvious benefits to utilising Google Advertising to inform your organic optimisation, such as descriptions and titles. One of the core foundations of SEO is consistent and well thought out metadata. This means meta descriptions and titles, as seen here:
As you’d know if you’re running ads campaigns or will see if you do, you can play around with both of these elements in real-time via your campaign to see which work best. Having great titles and descriptions is very important as your click-through rate (the percentage of people who click on your search listing when it’s presented to them) affects your rankings. So the ability to test these for effectiveness is an extremely valuable internet marketing tool to have in the arsenal! You’ll also find if you pay close attention, that as you go along you’ll be given handy little tips here and thereby Google on what they’d prefer to see and while they continue to claim that their ads platform has no influence on organic rankings, it indirectly does in this way as it’s one of the easiest ways to find out what they want from a website.
Re-marketing! Everyone should be doing it. And when it comes to the relationship between paid and organic listings it goes both ways. If your customers find your site via an advertisement they’re not necessarily going to convert on the first visit, so you want to make sure you rank well for your core terms (and at the very least your own brand name) for when they’re searching later. You can also re-market to anyone who’s visited your site, so if they initially found you via organic search but didn’t convert, then you can spend some time following up with them for a period of time of your choosing just to remind them that you’re there and potentially give them that last little push they need to get over the line and convert into business for you.
There are whole blogs to be written around this topic as it pertains to online marketing, but the short and sweet of it is that it’s one of the most important reasons that you can answer yes when asked if PPC and SEO feed into each other!
And that’s it from us for another day. As always if you’d like us to elaborate on anything or would like to explore your digital marketing options more broadly then please feel free to get in touch and you’re welcome to leave a comment below if you’d like to add anything!