When approaching natural search (SEO) and paid search (PPC) for the first time, the majority of businesses view SEO and PPC as two separate entities and typically direct their immediate efforts towards SEO. While there may be differences between both, SEO and PPC should actually co-exist, each complementing the other to create one successful search strategy.
Consensus amongst the search community was that PPC should be rolled out first before undertaking SEO work in phase two. The key reason is Pay-Per-Click campaigns are an excellent way to generate keyword and performance data for literally hundreds of keyword variations. This data can then be used to create Keyword Insight Report which can help formulate an SEO strategy to bolster your natural SEO campaigns.
Coming right up to date SEO and PPC have started to converge. What this means is whilst PPC can help show the road map for an SEO strategy with the data it churns out, the work undertaken in setting up and optimising a PPC campaign actually boosts SEO as a by product of the process. To understand why, you need to look at changes in the PPC and SEO best practice guidelines from the major search engines.
In the old days to get your PPC ads to appear pretty much all you needed to do was be the highest bidder. Nowadays merely being a big spender isn’t enough; you need to consider a raft of factors that combine to deliver a high quality score which in turn delivers a cheaper CPC and higher placement.
Some of these best practice PPC ‘ingredients’ overlap with ones that need to be addressed when delivering organic SEO results such as page relevance, quality of landing page and page loading times. Essentially Google rewards relevance, and the work carried out to construct relevance for PPC campaign on your website will help your organic keywords results for your SEO.
Our team notices time and again that our clients organic traffic is substantially boosted as a by-product of our PPC work and this has become more noticeable in the last 12- 18 months as Google aligns the two areas together encouraging businesses to engage in PPC as a first step in creating a digital footprint.
So why are the search engines converging SEO and PPC together and apparently shifting the emphasis to PPC? Publicly the search engines (specifically Google) talk about not being ‘evil’ and providing an even playing field. However behind the scenes and in reality the search engines make no money from businesses engaging in SEO. In the UK it is estimated that last year alone £500m was invested in SEO whilst in the US it was a $2.2 billion industry. None of this money goes to the search engines and they want a share of the pie.
So by shifting the algorithms on a more regular basis under the guise of fairness it causes the shifting SERP’s sands that we have known for years to be more like quick sand. So a business can invest is SEO and finally get to page one just as a new algorithm is released dragging them off page one and back to the foot of the mountain. This uncertainty is designed to encourage more businesses to engage in PPC as a first step on the optimising and digital marketing ladder. Don’t get me wrong SEO is important and dual visibility on organic and paid results is important. However a sensible marketing strategy will be based around PPC as a cornerstone delivering immediate results and lead generation. SEO on the other-hand should be adopted as a secondary medium to long term strategy. Structuring your strategy in this way ensures a worst case scenario drop of your organic traffic wont put your business at risk of closure due to all your eggs being in the wrong basket.
So let’s look in greater detail at 8 different ways that PPC can help drive your SEO.8 ways PPC can drive SEO