The complementary nature of PPC and SEO has been known for some time, but few seem to go beyond the basics in explaining the benefits and mechanics of running both concurrently.
Still, many seem to mistakenly believe that PPC and organic search are mutually exclusive, competing elements of a company’s online marketing efforts.
A holistic marketing plan will always include both PPC and SEO, as well as some email marketing, social media, and some other promotional levers besides.
Whereas email marketing software may allow some savvy clients to run their own email marketing campaigns, SEO and PPC are usually best handled by specialist contractors.
Some view SEO and PPC as fighting for a company’s marketing spend, but this is the result of a skewed point of view. Because PPC produces a clear, measurable ROI, it’s easy to trim away PPC campaigns with a negative return and focus on developing positive returns that can be used to feed even more funds into PPC.
Organic search ROI is also measurable, though the tools require more knowledge to use accurately than PPC. Proper use of analytics tools, accompanied by corresponding site data, will yield highly accurate reports detailing what SEO efforts have made a positive impact and what efforts have harmed the site’s rankings.
One of the most prominent ways SEO and PPC can aid one another is through the use of collected data.
When a site is targeting the same keyword phrase through SEO and PPC, it can use the data gathered from both to analyze conversion rates, allowing the keywords to be focused and optimized for one overall strategy.
Also, measuring effective PPC keywords and their resulting landing pages can aid in the optimization of the rest of the website.
Because PPC campaign data can be gained quickly and results can be seen immediately, modifying title tags, meta descriptions and content on PPC landing pages can provide an accurate, quick testing ground for SEO efforts.
Operating PPC campaigns on social media networks can be a great boon to SEO efforts. Platforms like Facebook allow advertisers to focus on very specific demographics, targeting location, age, interests and any data set that users share with the network.
Companies can test various ad campaigns for their target demographics without worrying about their data being muddled by bleed over.
Using the data collected from targeted ad campaigns to uncover specific, previously unknown data regarding potential customers, businesses can refine their SEO strategy, tweaking it to yield higher conversion rates.
Google has been experimenting with adding sections of text from landing pages to PPC ads, an act that would even more closely integrate Google’s PPC platform and SEO efforts.
If this becomes a permanent change, the traditional SEO tactic of optimizing landing page meta descriptions and content will receive further importance due to its impact on PPC campaigns.
Further, Google allows product pages to be linked with PPC ads, providing a direct link to a product page within the PPC ad, increasing the importance of proper SEO mechanics on landing pages specifically and the site as a whole.