How SEO and PPC Can Work Together for Better Results

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Digital Marketing
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Time to read: 3 min, 30 sec

Did you know that organic and paid search can combine to be a power-packed duo?

Many clients ask us: “Do you do Google AdWords?” and “Is it worth it to try pay-per-click?” They’re often surprised that we tell them, yes, and yes, it can be a good option - in the right circumstance. In an article on SearchEngineWatch, Jason Tabeling wrote that his agency saw a 200 percent increase in conversions for times when they had both an organic and a paid keyword on a search engine results page (SERP).

While people can be in either the “organic” camp or the “paid” search camp, most savvy digital marketers realize that there can be benefits to integrating both methods of marketing. As many digital marketers understand well, SEO and PPC can complement each other by providing more visibility for a keyword and providing insights from their respective strategy processes to combine for a more effective campaign.

Organic and search are both good solutions to search engine visibility

Depending on the study you cite, organic search has historically taken the majority of clicks for a given SERP. Organic results are considered, for the most part, to be more trusted, more geared toward the web visitor, and more relevant. For a long time, people have ragged on AdWords and PPC as draining budgets dry and not actually delivering targeted traffic.

While AdWords may not make sense for every brand, it can actually return targeted, interested traffic effectively. For e-commerce sites especially, paid search is a helpful traffic referrer. In 2013 paid search has actually seen an uptick. In a study recently released by MarketLive looking at the first half of 2013, paid search shot up 30 percent for 200 websites surveyed, while organic dropped about 3 percent.

Some people worry that investing in paid search takes away from the benefits and results of organic search investment, but the study by MarketLive indicates that even if paid search is performing well, organic doesn’t necessarily see a huge drop.

How organic and paid search differ

Organic and paid search are different animals. Although both work with keywords, paid search tends to be more call-to-action focused. Users who click tend to be closer to the eventual buying phase, while users who click on organic results may be more interested in gathering information and learning more about products or services. Paid traffic’s value most likely doesn’t vary by position, while organic’s traffic does.

However, the two often work together to achieve good results. Take a look at the search results page for "baby clothes." You'll notice that Carter's shows up for both the paid and organic search results. 

seo-and-ppc-carters

A double whammy! This is an example of the increased visibility that integrating SEO and PPC can bring you. 

Using organic and paid search together

Because the mentality of online searchers tends to be different for paid and organic traffic, marketers can use this to their advantage when integrating the two for SEO campaigns.

Seasonal campaigns or campaigns that need to get quick attention and traffic can both benefit from utilizing PPC as well as organic. Because PPC ads go straight to the first page of Google and catch attention quickly, they tend to be effective for time-sensitive information.

For e-commerce websites advertising products, paid search can benefit SEO because ads typically have high conversion rates (35 percent higher, according to MarketLive). For e-commerce, it slightly higher average orders. In MarketLive’s study in the first six months of 2013, revenue from paid search was 44 percent of total search engine visit revenue, compared to 40 percent in 2012.

When creating SEO campaigns, expertise gleaned from AdWords research and also from SEO analytics can together inform even better SEO strategies than one or the other on their own.  

PPC data can give a clear idea of exactly what kind of ROI and conversion value a keyword will have. SEO data can describe traffic for a given keyword. Together, the two data resources allow you to pick keywords that actually bring in revenue - not just traffic.

Written by Ryan Boog

Ryan Boog

I am the CEO of Happy Dog Web Productions. I look forward to taking web, mobile design and digital marketing to the next level with Happy Dog. Follow Happy Dog at @hdwebpros or me personally at @ryanboog. Are you a fellow Google nut? Add me to your circle.

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