When should you use a targeted PPC campaign and how does SEO fit into the equation? This is arguably one of the most important questions that needs to be addressed if you hope to leverage the full power of your digital marketing capabilities. Still, it seems as if online advertising has begun to represent a virtual “alphabet soup” of acronyms, abbreviations and seemingly unrelated phrases.
You might be surprised to learn that while there are many differences between SEO and a pay-per-click strategy, these two tools can also work in synergy with one another to produce some extraordinary results. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each before examining how they can be used together.
What Does a PPC Campaign Entail?
As the name suggests, a pay-per-click campaign enables businesses to pay for online advertisements that are placed throughout various relevant websites. Assuming that a visitor clicks on one of these ads, the advertiser will pay a small fee. The main intention behind any PPC strategy is to drive quality inbound traffic back to a website; ultimately resulting in a higher number of conversions.
Although some may be hesitant to adopt this approach due to limited funds, studies have shown that every dollar devoted towards a platform such as Google AdWords will generate a two-dollar return. So, it is clear to see that PPC is a powerful tool within your arsenal. Here are some other benefits to appreciate:
- PPC campaigns will generate a massive amount of online exposure.
- PPC can help boost search engine rankings.
- This is a very cost-effective approach to reach a wide audience.
- These ads are not affected by algorithmic changes.
Still, there are some pitfalls to be aware of including:
- PPC campaigns must be monitored on a regular basis.
- It may take time to develop the right strategy.
- Costs can add up if the ads themselves are not addressing the right audience.
- PPC is a keyword-dependant approach (we will examine this more a bit later).
So, we can see that a well-formatted PPC campaign can help to take your marketing goals to the next level and beyond. Let us now look at SEO in order to better appreciate where to begin.
Search Engine Optimization: A Tried and Tested Approach
The principle of search engine optimization (SEO) has existed since the halcyon days of the Internet. Simply stated, SEO involves using a handful of strategies to ensure that your website will rank higher within a search engine results page (SERP) such as Google or Bing. While many believe that SEO is primarily associated with keywords, there is much more than initially meets the eye. Here are some other metrics which SEO considers:
- HTML coding
- Using the right headings
- Creating informative content that is able to engage with the reader in question
- Analytics and reporting
- Creating mobile-friendly web pages
- Embedding quality inbound and outbound links
Of course, some of these strategies are slightly more technical than others. This is why many website owners will outsource their unique requirements to a third-party SEO agency. It is nonetheless a fact that the bottom line of any SEO campaign is to improve your overall search visibility.
Adopting the proper SEO approach can provide you with numerous advantages including:
- A much higher return on investment (ROI).
- You will be able to resonate with the average reader.
- SEO can be used to drive inbound traffic.
- Outbound links will provide your site with an authoritative edge.
- You can analyze the SEO trends of competitors to better appreciate where you may be headed.
The only possible drawbacks include:
- Proper campaigns will often require professional assistance.
- There are numerous metrics to monitor.
- It can sometimes be difficult to interpret discrete analytics.
- Keywords and key phrases will naturally need to be updated from time to time.
This brings us to the next section of the article. We have now taken a closer look at how a PPC campaign functions and why SEO is important. Is it possible to integrate these two seemingly disparate elements? Can they be used to develop a well-rounded approach? The answers to these questions may very well surprise you.
SEO and PPC: A Host of Benefits Beneath a Single Roof
Let’s first analyze the relationship between pay-per-click campaigns and SEO strategies. Believe it or not, many analysts believe that both of these concepts are two sides of the same coin.
In some ways, PPC is simply one facet of search engine optimization. After all, any approach to PPC involves creating more interest and inbound traffic. So, how can each be used to compliment the other?
Perhaps the most obvious way in which they are related involves the fact that any PPC strategy will be influenced by the keywords which are used (one of the main strengths of search engine optimization). In other words, SEO can be used to determine which words will gain the most online attention. This is nonetheless only the beginning.
PPC can also be used to determine what type of content you create. The most popular PPC ads can help you to curate relevant material. This can also help when choosing title tags and meta descriptions.
Another important point to mention is that social media hubs such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube (a Google company) are now using PPC ads to target extremely specific audiences. Not only can these ads help to drive inbound hits to your website, but you can then develop organic content based on social media feedback that better resonates with the reader in question.
Here are some other ways in which SEO and PPC can complement one another:
- You can test organic keywords first within a PPC framework to see which ones are the best.
- Specific pages can be linked to certain PPC advertisements.
- You can better understand industry trends by viewing how your PPC campaigns are performing.
So, it is clear to see that both approaches can work wonders if used together. Still, working with a professional marketing firm is the best way to add more strings to your digital “bow”. Success could be only a click away!
Ian Carroll is the Director of Digital Funnel, a Digital Marketing and SEO company who help small businesses with their online presence.