Writing by Brick Marketing in SEO
It seems to be a common question that new SEO clients ask. “If I run an AdWords PPC campaign in Google, will it help with my SEO?”. The thought is that if you are paying Google some money, maybe they will help you out organically, too. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it). Google doesn’t give any preference to websites that run PPC campaigns when it comes to their organic listing. However, running an AdWords PPC campaign can have an indirect impact on the success of an SEO campaign.
On a SERP (search engine results page), there are three sections of listings. Paid listings (PPC) appear on the top and on the side of a SERP and Google designates these as “Ads”, although they don’t make a point of making it overly obvious that these listings are ads. This keeps advertisers happy and content since consumers don’t want to feel like they are being advertised to. These listings appear based on how much money advertisers are willing to bid on particular keywords. The more competitive the keyword, the more it will cost each time the link is clicked on. This is how Google makes their money, so it’s natural to wonder if PPC spending affects organic rank. Technically, in regards to the Google algorithm, it doesn’t.
Organic listings appear in the middle of the page. While businesses don’t pay for these listings, they certainly aren’t “free”. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a website to rank prominently in the organic section on a SERP. Instead of paying Google directly website owners will need to pay an SEO agency or staff to handle SEO duties that include on site optimization, link building, content marketing, and social media. SEO is a lot of work. While it may be tempting to think, “why bother?” if you can spend the money on PPC and still have a search presence an organic listing is very important. Web users are savvy and some avoid the “paid” section at all costs. The organic listing section tends to be more trusted.
For new businesses or businesses that are just getting started with online marketing, it’s advisable to invest in both PPC and SEO. SEO , while worthwhile, is a long term strategy. Depending on the competition in the niche, it can take years to improve a search engine ranking and generate a significant amount of traffic. Investing in PPC in the interim can do two things. First, it can bring some traffic to your site that may convert. Second, it helps to build the brand. Even if someone doesn’t click on an ad, they may still see it and may remember it in the future.
The indirect way that running an AdWords campaign helps SEO is that it conveys to the searcher that your website is relevant to their needs. If someone searches for something, and your business is there twice in both the paid and organic sections you must be able to help solve the problem that they are having. PPC can help keep the brand top of mind and encourage someone to click on an organic listing.
PPC and SEO each have strengths and weaknesses. For a new website, it’s recommended to do both. When an SEO campaign begins to see some traction, it’s OK to scale back on PPC.