How a PPC Campaign Complements an SEO Campaign

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Everyone today knows how the search engines work and that there are two sections on the search results page: paid listings and non-paid listings (PPC and organic). So as a business and website owner – where should you dedicate your time and resources? Obviously, we’re an SEO firm so we’ll strongly support SEO at all times, but we think there’s always a place for a PPC investment, too. That’s because a PPC campaign can complement and strengthen an SEO campaign for the following reasons:

How the search results page looks

Once upon a time there were a few paid listings at the top of a search results page, but the majority of them lived on the right-hand side of the page. Within the past few years, the landscape has changed drastically in Google. Now, there are more paid results at both the top and bottom of the page instead. Yes, they are still designated as such but they are more “mixed in” with the rest of the results and the paid listings at the top are pushing the organic listings down the page, sometimes below the “fold.” This means that even if you’re ranking #1 for a priority keyword organically, there could be 4 websites ahead of you. If you truly want to be at the top, it requires a PPC budget.

SEO takes time

It’s frustrating to say the least, but SEO works very slowly. It’s about gaining trust with the search engines in order to see an organic search listing improve over time. It can take months or even years to see great results, especially in a competitive niche. PPC, on the other hand, is “pay to play.” As long as your content is relevant and your website provides a good user experience, you can rank prominently in the paid section if you’re willing to spend.

Additional brand exposure

It’s smart to invest in PPC advertising when you’re just starting out since it might take some time to build an organic search presence. But once you start to see that organic growth, it doesn’t mean that you should cut the PPC spend. Having both a paid and organic listing on a search results page can be a very powerful way to brand. When a searcher sees your name and website twice, it’s reinforcing the fact that your website is offering something relevant and of value and can increase click through rate of both listings.

Gives you access to data

Over the years Google has continually cut back on the amount of free data it gives to website owners. First, it took away keyword level data in Analytics. More recently, only people with active AdWords accounts have access to all of the Google Keyword Planner tool. Investing in AdWords will provide access to data that can be beneficial for both PPC and SEO campaigns.

While it will require an additional investment, there are many reasons why it makes sense to do both PPC and SEO. While they are different functions, they both serve to drive targeted traffic from the search engines and investing in both will certainly bring in more visitors.

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