Since the onset of the internet, websites have gone from being a novelty to becoming an indispensable part of our daily lives, making digital marketing a cornerstone of all business strategies. In order to keep up with the way customers use websites, businesses have needed to adapt and change over time. Two of the most important pieces of an online marketing strategy are SEO and PPC. SEO, or search engine optimization, and PPC, pay-per-click advertising, are not new concepts to online marketing. They have been around for over 20 years. However, just as consumer use of the internet and websites has changed and evolved over the years, so have SEO and PPC. While these two terms are stand-alone concepts and strategies on their own, they are reliant on each other in order to reach peak effectiveness.
Search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising have become increasingly important over the years, both here in our Philadelphia market and everywhere else in the world. SEO and PPC advertising started out rudimentary, but methods have expanded as consumer trends have taught us how to best adapt to their needs. SEO and PPC are complementary tools, but often only one or the other is used. Even when both are used, some treat them as silos. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to isolate SEO and PPC from each other as tools, instead of combining them into one digital marketing strategy. Industry best practice is to have a holistic approach to your company’s digital marketing strategy instead of making your campaigns, channels, and strategies operate as singular entities. Approaching your digital marketing strategy this way will maintain your brand’s consistency, will make it much easier for customers to find you, and even help your company operate more efficiently in the long run. Make these two strategies, organic and paid search, work together for you!
When you blend both marketing concepts together in one cohesive marketing strategy, you will see results neither tool would obtain on its own. You will not only get the clicks you have been vying for, but you will also get insights and have a better understanding of your customer needs. Before we dive into how to make SEO and PPC work together, let’s explore each concept on its own.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. While the name may lead you to believe it is only about search engines, it is just as much about people as anything else. Search engines are your opportunity to reach potential clients. You know you have the best product or service, and search engine optimization will help you outshine your competitors on the digital marketing playing field. It is important to maintain your place in the top of search results for relevant keywords to remain a competitor in your industry. When you implement SEO content strategies, you will be increasing both the quantity and quality of your company’s website traffic through non-paid (i.e., organic) search engine results. This will also create exposure for your company’s brand.
With SEO, you will be improving your website rankings in searches for targeted keywords and/or phrases in a cost-effective way. Since we are in Philadelphia and our love for our sandwiches runs deep, we’ll use cheesesteak as an example. If you want to improve your company’s website ranking for “cheesesteak,” we would recommend you edit your meta titles and descriptions and write vivid on-page content to contain “Philadelphia cheesesteak,” or “Philly cheesesteak.” These are just a few of the ways you can improve the SEO for your company’s website.
Three major strengths of having an optimized website:
- Remain competitive in the online search market through detailed competitor analysis
- Reach potential customers in a cost-effective manner
- Achieve increased website traffic and higher conversions
Search engine optimization will allow your website content to stay relevant and provide you the insights to stay flexible in your digital marketing strategy. After you implement a well-planned, thoroughly researched, customized website, you will see an influx of new customers.
What Is PPC?
Now that we have a better understanding of search engine optimization, let’s explore PPC. PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, refers to the ads you see in search engine results. This type of marketing started as banner ads, grew into AdWords, and currently has taken the form of targeted, high-quality ads, most notably, Google Ads. Much as the name implies, with pay-per-click advertising, you only pay for ads when consumers click on them. There is no cost otherwise, aside from PPC management fees from a professional marketing company.
PPC campaigns are an incredible tool to acquire new customers, but there are many factors that will affect your overall budget for this type of advertising. Specific words and phrases will vary in cost. Some will be incredibly affordable, while others can cost quite a bit depending on the competition. One way to ensure your PPC strategy is successful is to utilize a digital marketing team. Digital marketing experts will provide you the knowledge and guidance you need to create a successful PPC campaign and deliver results. Successful PPC campaigns will allow your company to remain competitive and will require a high level of marketing insight and analysis. You can rely on the experts at Digital Marketing Partners to help you tackle your PPC needs and ensure you are reaching your target audiences in Philadelphia and beyond. We provide the know-how to track consumers and maximize your budget by managing a plethora of variables including keywords, keyword bids, ad copy, mobile vs. personal computer, location of prospective consumer, and more.
Another benefit of PPC advertising is the ability to test the feasibility of a keyword for SEO. Traditional SEO requires a significant amount of time and resources to determine the best keywords and phrases. PPC ads can allow you to test keywords, monitor their results for a shorter period of time, and determine the success of their performance on your website. If a search term in your PPC campaign fails, you will know to avoid those keywords for your SEO. This is an affordable way to test the waters, so to speak, without investing significant resources in order to determine the optimal keywords for your website’s SEO.
PPC advertising is an effective method of reaching your target audience and driving traffic to your website, regardless of the size of your budget. Since ad prices are set by bidding, you can be flexible with the way you spend your budget. PPC also benefits your company or business as it allows you to reach and engage with your target audience easily.
Why Choose One When You Can Choose Both?
We are often asked which strategy is most important and where companies should invest their resources. SEO and PPC are not completely different strategies; instead, you should look at them as two complementary strategies. Employing both SEO and PPC will give you a well-balanced and effective digital marketing strategy. Both are key components to achieving success in a highly competitive market. This question is usually followed up with concern that PPC ads will adversely affect a website’s SEO or vice versa. The answer to this question is no, your website’s ranking will not affect your PPC ads, and having PPC ads will not affect your website’s ranking. These two tools will work together to improve your overall marketing plan.
Our expert team at DMP will be the first to tell you; the best way to increase your company’s search engine presence in our competitive market is to use SEO plus PPC. Improving your website through search engine optimization will give you a better chance at ranking on the first page of search results, and the higher the position your site is for one or more keywords, the better. Coupled with purchasing PPC ads for similar keywords will ensure your ads appear near the top of the page in search results. Utilizing both tools, optimization and purchasing PPC ads, together will give your company the opportunity to dominate the search results and obtain valuable consumer clicks.
This begs the question; do you really need to spend your valuable budget on pay-per-click advertising if you already rank number one for one or more keywords through SEO? The answer is still yes. PPC advertising supplements SEO and could negatively impact your traffic if you pause or turn them off. PPC can help you stay competitive and ensure you avoid missing out on clicks and website traffic.
Another reason to apply both SEO and PPC in your digital marketing strategy is to bring those visitors back to your website to complete their transaction. SEO combined with a specific form of PPC advertising is called remarketing, and this is particularly effective in targeting those consumers who may take awhile to make up their minds. It is a way to encourage them to come back to your site and complete their purchase. Without remarketing, you won’t have a way to convert a lead, and they could forget about your company. This is a highly effective marketing strategy and entirely possible when using both SEO and PPC.
Both SEO and PPC are vital components in your digital marketing strategy because they have the power to drive traffic to your website, improve conversion rates, and engage your target audience.
How to Integrate Your Organic and Paid Search Approach
Now that we have established you should be using both SEO and PPC in your digital marketing strategy, the question becomes: How? Let’s explore the best practices for integrating your SEO and PPC strategies!
Perform SEO Keyword Research
Keywords are at the heart of both SEO and PPC strategies. Curating a list of keywords for your SEO strategy will take some time and resources. Generic keywords related to your basic products and services generally are not the best choice, as competition for them will be so high. Therefore, it is essential to come up with phrases to use as well. An easy way to brainstorm keyword phrases is to combine your general terms with adjectives relating to your product or service offerings. This will help you create your list of keywords and phrases to target.
You can also use PPC to determine the best keywords for your SEO. It will take you quite a bit of effort to improve your keyword rankings organically. Researching keywords to see if they will bring you the desired results will be helpful in saving time and resources in your long-term marketing strategy. Create engaging, optimized content on your website and set up a PPC campaign to test your audience’s responsiveness. You will be able to easily determine their level of interest based on the bounce and conversion rates for each keyword. If the data shows you a positive response, you will be confident in dedicating additional resources to the successful keywords.
Perform PPC Keyword Research
In a similar way, you can use your SEO to help determine keywords to build your PPC campaigns around. Search engine optimization will provide you the insight you need to find relevant keywords and search volume. You can use this information to research what types of content appears on pages for specific keywords as well as how many competitor ads appear in the search engine results.
Create Content That Drives Your PPC Campaigns
It is imperative the content you create satisfies the needs of both your SEO and PPC campaigns. Consumers have an expectation of high-quality content when they click on an ad, and if the content they land on is not relevant or appealing, you will not convert them to customers. Use keywords regularly in the content on your website, include images, lists, and headings to ensure content is interesting and easy to digest.
Maximize Your Presence on the Search Engine Results Page
Using both SEO and PPC will increase your visibility on the search engine results page. To do this successfully, you will need to keep your messaging consistent across organic and paid strategies, use paid ads to boost keyword visibility, and use PPC to drive clicks on social platforms. Using these two tools together will increase your presence on the SERP (search engine results page) and help you get the results you need from your digital marketing campaign.
In order for your company to remain competitive and have consistent results, it is crucial you incorporate both SEO and PPC into your digital marketing strategy. These two strategies will ensure you are reaching and engaging your target audiences, driving traffic to your website, and converting leads into customers. If you would like to learn more about how SEO and PPC can help your company grow, contact Digital Marketing Partners today!