When starting a new digital campaign, a lot of companies will ask the question: which should we focus on, SEO or PPC?
The simple answer is that there is no reason to focus on one above the other. SEO and PPC can work in tandem to help you dominate the SERPs for the keywords and phrases that matter the most to your business.
SEO and PPC are very different marketing tactics, but they can work together beautifully. And when you use information from one to inform the other, you’ll find your campaigns are more cohesive.
Let’s explore how SEO and PPC can work together and the steps you can take to bring your campaigns closer together.
How do SEO and PPC work together?
Before we understand how SEO and PPC work together, we first need to know how they work alone. Search engines are there to help us find information.
Search engines use website crawlers to categorise all of the information on the internet, so that when someone submits a query, they know which pages to present and in which order.
SEO involves optimising your website content so that search engines place it as close to the #1 spot as possible. PPC involves paying to appear in the advertising spots at the top of the page.
A brand new website could be receiving traffic from Google after just a few hours thanks to PPC. Securing traffic from search engines could take months, if not years.
PPC is like renting a car. As long as you’re paying the fee, you still have a car to drive. But as soon as you stop paying, the car goes away. SEO is like buying a car. It might take you longer to save, but once you’ve purchased it, you can drive the car whenever you want.
Using PPC to inform SEO campaigns
When you set up your PPC campaigns, you’ll start to get a very good idea about what people are searching for and the terminology they use. This information should inform your SEO campaigns and allow you to create content around the most niche keywords.
PPC also helps to create brand awareness in the SERP, so when a potential customer searches for a term and sees your website in a paid spot and in the #1 position, they’ll see your company as a more trustworthy choice.
PPC is also excellent for targeting local leads. You could create geo-targeted content and hope that it ranks, or you could use a bidding strategy that focuses on searches from the local area.
Using SEO to inform PPC campaigns
The flipside of using PPC and SEO in tandem is that you can also reduce your spend on PPC once you have secured the top spot for a term using SEO tactics. This will allow you to shift budget to other areas, or focus on more competitive keywords.
When the goal is to dominate the first page of the SERP, it doesn’t matter how you get there. There are some instances where you would continue targeted keywords, even after you had secured the top organic search position.
If you competitors are bidding on your brand name, then you would still want to appear in the ad spots. This will help to drive up the price for your competitors and make it even less worthwhile for them to bother.
You might also want to keep running PPC if the wrong page is ranking. If you have a high-converting landing page that gets results, you don’t want the stream of leads to dry up just yet.