Written by Viral Solutions
As a business owner, you face many challenges in getting your content to appear in search and attract people to your site. For starters, you’re likely up against bigger, more authoritative sites. On top of that, Google has redesigned its SERPs (search engine results pages) over the years, pushing down organic results to include more paid advertisements. The fact is that SEO can take time to work and is not always a guarantee. However, strictly using PPC (pay-per-click) advertising isn’t a perfect solution, as it’s more of a short-term play and can get expensive. That’s why it’s worth using a combination of SEO and paid search instead of relying on one or the other.
Why You Should Apply Both SEO and Paid Search
By using SEO and paid search together, you can adopt an integrated approach that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Each tactic has pros and cons, as touched on previously. But what that means is that applying both—to varying degrees—can help you get the best of both worlds.
Here’s the thing…
Over the years, there’s been a lot of debate over whether SEO or PPC is best for search marketing purposes. In most cases, experts recommend one or the other depending on a business’s unique needs and goals.
And that’s fair.
However, the search landscape is constantly changing. Google is rolling out algorithm updates in an effort to provide users with the best results possible. And new businesses are entering the market, bidding on the same keywords you’re trying to show up for. All this to say, appearing at the top of the results is becoming increasingly difficult.
So, if you want to boost your rankings, increase your visibility, and bring in more traffic, you need to be strategic. You need to leverage the power of both organic and paid!
Consider the following stats:
- According to a report from BrightEdge Research, 68% of all trackable website traffic can be attributed to organic and paid search.
- More than 8.5 billion searches are conducted on Google per day.
- Approximately 53% of U.S. shoppers use search engine research before making a buying decision.
- The top result in Google’s organic search results has an average CTR (click-through rate) of 27.6%, while a good CTR for a PPC ad is 6-7%.
Plus, even Google recommends focusing on both SEO and PPC for a more well-rounded strategy.
5 Benefits of Using a Combination of SEO and Paid Search
As you may expect, combining these two tactics takes more time and effort than just focusing on one. So, you may not be convinced it’s the way to go. In that case, it makes sense to take a closer look at what you gain by taking an integrated approach using SEO and paid search.
Here are just a few of the benefits…
- You Can Increase Site Traffic.
If you’re looking for a way to fix poor site traffic, applying both SEO and paid search can help. Optimizing your website for visitors and for Google can increase the chances of your pages ranking organically for relevant keywords your audience is searching for. However, it can take between 3 and 6 months to see results from SEO. In the meantime, running PPC ads can bolster your efforts and allow you to bring in immediate traffic.
- You Can Build Brand Awareness Effectively.
To truly be successful, you need to make potential customers aware of who you are, what you offer, and how it benefits them. In short, you need to build brand awareness. And one of the best ways to do that is to put your brand right in front of them.
You can take up more real estate in the SERPs by working on your organic rankings while running paid ads. The more visible you are, the more familiar people will become with your brand.
- You Can Capitalize on Search Intent.
Understanding search intent is essential to doing search marketing properly. When you know the purpose of someone’s search, you can deliver the right type of content based on their query. Moreover, you can use both SEO and paid search to capitalize on the intent and make your page stand out.
For example, if someone has transactional intent, it’s wise to optimize a related product/service page and run paid ads to it. That way, you can improve your chances of searchers seeing it when they’re ready to buy.
- You Can Gain Valuable Insight.
Another great thing about using both SEO and paid search is that each tactic offers valuable insight. When combined, this data becomes even more powerful, as you can apply it to your efforts across the board and further improve your results.
Some examples of information you can collect are as follows:
- Conversion rate
- CTR (click-through rate)
- Bounce rate
- Keyword rankings
- Audience insights
- You Can Improve Your ROI.
Finally, using SEO and paid search can help you improve your search marketing ROI.
First, you can increase visibility and traffic through PPC while working on SEO, so you can still get conversions.
Second, taking this integrated approach allows you to make more informed decisions that yield better results. You can combine the data and research you gather from both sides to ensure you’re using the appropriate language, targeting the right people, and so on.
Third, you can save time and money on content creation by using keywords you’ve tested with PPC as guidance.
Fourth, you can use PPC to advertise to those who found your site through organic search but didn’t convert.
Fifth, optimizing your content for search purposes can also improve your Quality Score and reduce your CPC (cost per click) for ads.
Best Practices for Making SEO and Paid Search Work Together
At this point, you may be wondering how you can make SEO and paid search work together. Where do you even begin? Don’t worry—we have some tips to help you along the way.
Here are some best practices to follow…
- Use PPC for testing.
Use your paid ads as an opportunity to test ad copy, page copy, keywords, and even creatives. Review the results to determine what works and what doesn’t. Then apply those insights to future ads and organic content.
- Promote your content.
One of the benefits of paid traffic is that it allows you to reach a wider audience. So, use PPC to promote your content and put it in front of more people! Along with product/service pages, consider spending part of your ad budget on promoting landing pages. If you have a lead magnet designed to offer value to potential customers, use paid search to drive traffic to the page and increase opt-ins.
(Tip: If you have a non-gated, purely educational piece of content—like a blog—that has been optimized for a strong keyword, you can also employ PPC to bring in traffic, build awareness, and increase your authority.)
- Retarget site visitors.
Even when your SEO efforts pay off and your content is showing up in the SERPs, only some visitors will take the desired action after coming to your site. Use retargeting to ensure you get all of those who have demonstrated an interest in your business. This allows you to show ads to those who have interacted with you, encouraging them to visit again and (hopefully) convert.
- Share your data.
As mentioned above, both SEO and paid search can offer valuable insights. So, to make sure they work together effectively, share the data and apply it to both sides. This is especially important if you have one person doing SEO and another doing ads.
- Target keywords wisely.
Not every keyword relevant to your business and audience will be a good fit for your content—paid or organic. That’s why you need to target keywords wisely. Factor in search volume, competition, intent, and CPC. Keep in mind that the higher the competition, the harder it will be to rank organically and the more expensive it will be to run ads.
Getting the attention of potential customers in search can be difficult. But applying both SEO and paid search can pay off in the long run. It’s a more strategic way to increase your site’s visibility in the SERPs, and it allows you to reap several benefits. So, instead of focusing on one or the other, consider adopting an integrated approach.
Could you use some help taking your search marketing to the next level? Schedule a free consult with Viral Solutions! We can discuss your challenges, your goals, and ways we can provide additional support.
Viral Solutions is a full-service marketing agency committed to helping every client meet their company’s goals and objectives. The agency takes a strategy-first approach to deliver long-term results, executing each customized strategy effectively while ultimately growing the client’s business.