One dilemma many businesses often face is whether or not to focus on their SEO campaign or their PPC campaign first. Both SEO and PPC have their advantages and disadvantages, and each company needs to have a digital marketing plan designed specifically to meet its own requirements. Sometimes this may involve one approach in isolation – however, there is a very strong case for investing in both from day one. We’ll look at the two different services individually and then explain why they are stronger together.
For businesses that want to hit the ground running, PPC is certainly the best option. A new business can start their online marketing push immediately after their website is launched simply by creating adverts on platforms such as AdWords, which will display ads in search and on the publisher network. A website does not even have to be indexed in Google to benefit from paid advertising, and the amount of traffic you can send to your website is only limited by your marketing budget.
SEO, on the other hand, is a longer-term strategy. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years to generate a significant level of organic traffic from the search engines. However, that being said, there are many advantages to starting your SEO efforts early, and although you will not dominate search immediately, there are always ways to get some quick, easy wins.
Let’s look at the main reasons to include both PPC advertising and organic optimisation techniques in a new digital marketing campaign.
Google displays a wide range of results on its pages now, so doing both SEO and PPC means that you can get double to exposure, as you will appear in both the organic and paid listings. Also, once you are listed on Google’s local business pages, you may appear three times in the top part of the search results.
As your campaign progresses and you start to rank organically for some of your keywords, you can start to focus your PPC campaign on the more competitive keywords.
Double the Keyword Data
Using PPC is a great way to learn what your market really wants. PPC will tell you which keywords are more likely to lead to a conversion, such as a purchase, and this provides your campaign with vital information. The more keyword data you have at your disposal, the more likely you will be to identify the most important terms for your market. Many SEO campaigns fail because too many resources are poured into keywords which are not actually very effective for the business. PPC advertising via a platform like Google AdWords will help you discover which search terms lead to the best conversion rates.
Optimising click through rates is an essential part of SEO, but it is very difficult to test page titles organically – you need a lot of data to determine which page titles are the most effective. With PPC, you can create adverts with varying titles and ad copy, and quickly identify which wordings having the highest click-through rates. Use this information to optimise your page titles so people are more likely to choose your business in the organic listings.
Discovering New Keywords
In much the same way that investing in PPC can help SEO, working on your SEO can also help your PPC efforts. By publishing a wide range of content on your topic, you may discover a keyword that is easy to rank for that converts really well for your business. Target this keyword within your PPC campaign, and you will get some relatively cheap traffic, as chances are most other competitors will not be bidding on the term.
Retarget Your Visitors
Retargeting (also known as remarketing) is a very powerful tool. With retargeting you are able to display adverts, using Google AdWords, to people who have already visited your website. Studies have shown that people rarely make a purchase the first time they visit a website – only around 2% of first time visitors will convert – so it is important to entice them back.
If you have ever feel that a website is ‘following you around’ online, this is retargeting in action. The big ecommerce sites do this really well – for example, if you look at some new furniture on Amazon, the chances are you’ll be seeing furniture adverts for many days to come.
Split Your Resources
Often, it is tempting to try to rank both organically and through paid advertising on all of your important keywords. But, if you do both SEO and PPC at the same time, you can effectively split your keywords into separate organic and paid campaigns. Rather than chasing the most expensive and competitive phrases with PPC, just do SEO. And if a term is extremely competitive in organic search, it may pay in the long-term to hold back on the SEO and spend more via PPC.
Both SEO and PPC are essential tools in digital marketing, and both take years to master. Fortunately, we have over 25 years of combined experience in onsite SEO, external SEO and PPC, and are happy to help you with your next digital marketing campaign!