How Are PPC and SEO Working Together to Achieve SERP Domination?
Many companies use only one method of promotion: either SEO or PPC. Others, even if they prefer both, still do not think about how these two types of promotion can work together and what results could be achieved when combined.
Read our article to learn the difference between SEO and PPC, what they have in common, how to make a website promotion strategy using both, and how things work in practice. At the end of the article, we will share one of our cases, so you can decide whether to combine SEO and PPC.
What is the difference between PPC and SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a method of promotion where you work on on-page optimization, building a link profile, and technically optimizing your website to rank it at the top of search engine results. This optimization aims to generate organic search traffic that converts into leads.
PPC (Pay Per Click) is contextual advertising, which involves placing paid ads in search results (usually at the top or bottom). Such ads are marked as “Sponsored.” Businesses pay for each user click regardless of whether it becomes a lead.
Similar to SEO, the goal of PPC is to generate traffic that converts into leads. However, with contextual advertising, you will have to pay for each acquired user.
To promote your website using both PPC and SEO strategy, you need a budget. PPC expenses are straightforward: it is paid advertising from the search engine, so you pay for ad placement (to be precise, for clicks) and agency or in-house specialist services.
But what about SEO? You may have often heard that SEO is a free method of promotion. To some extent, that’s true, but only if you are doing it at an amateur level.
For website promotion via search engine optimization, you need to include in your overall budget expenses for:
- special services (such as Ahrefs, Magestic, and SeRanking);
- purchasing links;
- work of an SEO specialist.
As you can see, both the first and the second promotion options require certain expenses, but for different things.
According to research made in 2019, American companies spent around $73.38 billion on SEO services, accounting for 9.5% of the total amount spent on digital marketing ($776.30 billion).
When it comes to PPC, just in 2018, Google alone generated $116.5 billion in revenue from paid advertisements.
As you can see, both promotion methods have significant demand among companies.
This is perhaps one of the most crucial differences between search engine optimization and contextual advertising.
SEO is always a long game. It takes several months of work to see initial results. However, the results are worth it, as even after you stop actively working on SEO, the achievements gradually fade but continue to bring users and conversions for a long time.
PPC works quickly, but the results stop as soon as you stop investing money in advertising. No ads mean no traffic.
When you work with SEO, rest assured that the results you achieve will remain, even if you temporarily stop investing in optimization (assuming you do not intentionally do something that could worsen them).
On the other hand, as mentioned above, PPC works as long as you continue to invest money into it.
SEO requires comprehensive work, as it is not limited to creating a content plan and articles. Search engine optimization includes:
- on-page optimization,
- off-page optimization (building an external link profile),
- technical optimization.
Each of these components consists of various elements. For instance, on-page optimization involves working with semantics, content, usability, internal weighting, Schema microdata, and more.
Successful PPC management involves correctly selecting keywords, targeting the right audience and locations, creating compelling ad copy, setting budgets, and launching campaigns. The main risk in this area is the potential for overspending if ad campaigns are not properly configured.
How are SEO and PPC similar?
Despite the numerous differences between search engine optimization and contextual advertising, they do have some features in common:
- Both methods of promotion involve the essential steps of keyword selection and semantic analysis.
- SEO and PPC demand constant analysis and result monitoring. However, due to the aforementioned factors, contextual advertising’s effectiveness is evaluated more frequently.
- Both SEO and PPC can be used to attract traffic from specific regions, devices, and languages. In essence, both tools can operate on a localized level, bringing forth relevant traffic.
Pros of Using a Combined SEO and PPC Strategy
Provided they are used correctly, the benefits of using SEO and PPC together are substantial to any business. Yet, the results can be amplified at least two times by integrating them. Let’s explore the advantages of combining SEO and PPC strategies during website promotion.
Focusing on different ICPs
SEO and PPC working together can assist in attracting diverse target audiences to your website. This is particularly relevant if your company offers products designed for different Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs), such as on marketplaces.
SEO helps to attract users who are already familiar with the product or your brand and are in the decision-making stage of purchase or service usage. PPC, on the other hand, aids in reaching not only the “hot” audience but also customers who may not be familiar with your product or company. Furthermore, contextual advertising can help generate additional web traffic by narrowing the audience and obtaining competitor brand traffic.
Another example of how SEO and PPC work together to bring the desired results is when you need to “catch up” with a customer. For instance, if a potential buyer visits your website and adds items to the cart but does not complete the purchase, you can remind them of these products by running ads and prompt them to complete the conversion. PPC allows you to display ads in search results and the context-media network (banners on Google partner websites, mobile apps), Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps. This approach is also effective for businesses that provide services.
Testing new theories
PPC and SEO working together helps you understand how to work better with your target audience. You can use contextual advertising to test various advertising messages and then apply the most successful ones to search engine optimization.
Testing new keywords for SEO
Working with SEO is always a matter of time. Therefore, if you want to quickly test whether a specific keyword is suitable for your website, you can use contextual advertising.
To do this, select a keyword you believe can bring you clicks and conversions and launch advertising. Afterward, you can evaluate the performance: if the advertisement was successful, you can confidently add the keyword to your page; if not, it is better not to invest your time and effort into it.
PPC will help you increase the CTR on pages already in the top 10 search results. We all know how Google likes to add multiple ad blocks to SERPs. In such a situation, even if your website has good ranking indicators, the likelihood that a potential lead will reach your snippet decreases proportionally to the number of advertisements placed before it.
For example, let’s take a look at the search results for the “freelance jobs” query:
As you can see, the Freelancer website is positioned second in the organic search results. However, considering the advertisement and the extended snippet in the first place, essentially, it will appear as the fourth result for the user. Therefore, the company launched an advertising campaign, thereby increasing its visibility and enhancing its chances of acquiring leads.
Hence, the SEO and PPC strategy appears to be highly beneficial here. If a lead does not reach your page via organic search, the likelihood of them still visiting the website increases via advertising.
A Use Case of Using SEO and PPC Together
Our company has a positive experience using SEO and PPC together. A client who offers services related to improving mobile signals in the UK approached us. Given the coordinated efforts of our two departments, we achieved remarkable results and extended the client’s business to a new level.
Before starting our work, we conducted a competitive analysis, which helped determine the promotion strategy and identify competitive advantages. The next step involved media planning, during which we selected advertising channels for future communication with the target audience. After analysis, we decided to focus on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, aiming to test a larger number of hypotheses and identify effective growth points.
Following the creation of the customer journey map, audience preparation, and fundamental setup, we established search campaigns. Gradually, we filtered out less effective options for target keywords, location targeting, and advertisements.
In CMA (Contextual Media Advertising), the primary focus was on remarketing to engage with those who had already visited the website but did not submit an application.
As a result of the efforts of our PPC team, we managed to increase conversions by +225%, with an average monthly growth rate of conversions rising by +30%.
The main challenges we faced in SEO while working with this client included:
- lack of sufficient landing pages;
- almost complete absence of blog articles;
- technical errors on the website.
We successfully developed a new website with a proper structure, contemporary design, and conversion-oriented elements within 8 months.
Additionally, we conducted a comprehensive technical optimization.
Thanks to the achievements of our SEO department, we succeeded in boosting the website’s organic traffic by +3650%, achieving top positions for high-frequency and priority service pages important to the client.
Furthermore, we achieved a remarkable growth of +1300% in conversions.
Undoubtedly, SEO and PPC can operate independently; however, if you aim to attain maximal results, combining them within a unified marketing strategy is always a prudent choice. Are you looking to craft a high-quality marketing strategy and elevate your business to new heights? Entrust this task to professionals. Livepage experts are ready to assist you, so cast all doubts and reach out to us today.