(Image Source- Hans Splinter, Flickr)
PPC and SEO are very often described as two entirely different marketing strategies for promoting businesses online. The prevailing practice is that if one is not working, let’s try the other. But practically, this is not how it should be taken.
Pay-per-click advertising and Search Engine Optimization can work together without any conflict. On the contrary, an approach to combine both of these together has the potential to prove more beneficial in terms of increasing marketing reach and positively influencing the associated Returns On Investments. Both these channels of marketing complement each other like no others do.
I know you have many questions. If the reasons I am going to give here do not seem to answer your questions, post them in the comment section below this article.
Still with me?
Let me take you straight to the point…
1) Reach, visibility, and the missing gap – Reaching out to the entire target market by using either of the two, PPC or SEO, is practically not possible. The reason is obvious, there may be hundreds of key-phrases that a business would like to be found with. To rank for all these in search engines will definitely be a costly affair. Costly means even if one tries to target almost every keyphrase, it will be difficult to keep the ROI positive. But a combined approach can achieve this effectively.
Assuming that you are already running an SEO campaign for your business, use PPC to target where you are not available organically. Or, if you started with PPC first, start investing in search engine optimization to target phrases which are not proving profitable in your pay-per-click advertising campaigns because of their higher costs.
This way, one will bridge the missing gap created by the other, and the business in question will be able to target its entire potential market efficiently. In short, when a combined approach is used, it increases reach and visibility, and bridges the missing gap efficiently and cost effectively.
2) Share keyword data – The real benefit of running paid and organic campaigns together is to have continuous access to best performing keyword data. The keyword data thus retrieved gives you a comprehensive overview of the traffic your business is getting. Analyzing it properly you can decide which are the areas you need to focus more on? And which are the ones you should sideline?
Such insightful and real data may otherwise not be available to the business.
3) Use best performing ad copies to make organic content strategies – In many cases (not all though), what works in PPC also works in SEO. After observing best performing PPC ads’ results, you can get the idea about where to focus more and where less. You can prioritize and optimize your website pages and organic keywords accordingly. You can get a blog/PR or may be an ebook based on the best performing ads copies and hence you will bale to make your targeting efforts wider and more streamlined.
4) Include e-commerce feeds in AdWords– Google offers better features for e-commerce websites in its advertising platform – AdWords. PPC ads, specifically, shopping campaigns are great ways to get an edge over competition. Why?
Your products are shown above the general listings and with image thumbnails of your products. It gives your ads more visibility and increases their likelihood of being clicked by your potential customers. Such ads can be shown along with rating and reviews extensions to win more confidence of online searchers.
Depending merely on SEO, you miss this opportunity.
5) Use search data for PPC keywords – Before starting a PPC campaign, finding the most relevant set of keywords becomes a vital step. You should know which keywords are being searched more by your potential customers. In the absence of an existing organic search marketing campaign you have to rely on industry trends, benchmarks and but do not get real data.
But if you are already running an organic campaign, you can refer to Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics to research keywords more efficiently and easily.
6) Combat negative PR – Every business has to face this. The reason is obvious that your happy customers do not go to a website to share their experience about how happy they are with your products or services. You need to request them for the same. But if any one of them is not happy, they do not take much time in posting negative reviews. Yes, this is how it happens. It applies to everybody as customers
But as a business owner, you would agree that even a single bad review, comment, etc can have adverse effect on sales of a product or service. The irony is that bad things spread like wild fire in online media and even competitors come forward to take this opportunity to topple you down.
Practically, it happens with almost every business. But there has to be effective way to cope with it.
If you are running SEO and PPC both at the same time, you can cope with negative PR more effectively. Depending on one channel alone may not be that much influential and rapid.
Therefore to me the crux is that using PPC and SEO together gives your search engine marketing both the wings required to fly high. Relying on one is like trying to fly with merely one wing.
A combined approach makes SEM comprehensive, more strategic, and rewarding. However, if you have different views, do share them.