As one of the worlds largest white label PPC providers, we often hear clients and their customers asking “PPC or SEO? Which one should I do for my business?”, the simple answer is both.
Both of these channels can be extremely important for business growth if done right and, contrary to some beliefs, they can be incredibly powerful when used together strategically.
SEO is a long term value play that will pay dividends when followed correctly. If you plan on your business being around for the long term, you should always be thinking about SEO when creating content and publishing new pages and posts. Every new piece of content is another opportunity for you to grab free traffic from search engines.
PPC gives you the ability to promote specific pages of your website in a highly sought after screen real estate, for a price. The good thing about PPC is that the performance data is provided to you by the platform you are using and this allows you to optimize and improve results over time.
PPC also has a lot of different ad types that allow you to target very specific ad placements and demographics.
In this post, I’m going to break down some of the basics of SEO and PPC strategies and then cover the top 5 benefits of running both the strategies at the same time.
Practicing good SEO is an absolute “must do” for any business that plans on being around for the long term. It’s about creating a site that is useful to the users, helps them get the answers they are looking for, and site which is optimized for search engine performance. You naturally want to be found for your top priority keywords when someone performs searches on Google and aim to create a site whose functions can put you in the best standing.
Once you are ranking for your top keywords, you are able to drive loads of “free” traffic to your website through ongoing monitoring and optimization. There are some great tools in the market that can help you succeed in that.
SEO is generally split into two key areas, on page SEO, and off page SEO. I’ll cover them both below briefly:
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO concerns everything to do with how you build and structure your website and its individual pages.
Google Bot’s algorithm has certain parameters that it looks for while scanning your pages and indexing them in the search engine. This can include things like:
- Page title and meta descriptions
- H1 & H2 tags used on the pages
- Image alt text
- Keyword density
- Page speed
- Internal and external links
Aiming to do a good job with on-page SEO is the first step towards a good SEO practice. It can significantly boost your chances of ranking on the front page for your top keywords.
2. Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO covers the way your site interacts with the other domains, this includes things like:
- Other sites that link to your site (backlinks)
- Domain Authority
- Site Security (SSL)
- Social media relevance
These things provide an indication of your site’s authority in your industry. And informs the search engine about whether your page is likely to be the best place to send traffic to.
Pay-per-click advertising is set up and managed on the platforms where you want to show your paid ads. The benefits with this are that these platforms want you to continue investing in them so they give you access to many benefits like full data sets, account reps and sales resources.
The two main platforms for PPC advertising are Google and Facebook. There are many other PPC ad networks but that list is for another post, another time.
1. Google Ads
As business owners and internet users, when we hear Google Ads, we tend to think of Google Search Ads rather than the other type of Ads that Google can run (like YouTube Ads, Gmail Ads, Display Network Ads etc).
Google search ads are great because they are heavily intent based. This means that you can advertise your business to those who are searching for your product or service. Because of this, Google search ads tend to generate more conversions relative to other platforms and networks due to that search intent being there.
The downside to Google ads is that the cost per click can be high in competitive industries: more competition leads to a higher price charged for Google Search Ads.
2. Facebook Ads
Facebook has a great ads platform that can be used to show ads to users that fit your target demographics. One of the key things to remember with Facebook ads is that your ad is aiming to pull the user’s attention away from scrolling Facebook’s updates by enticing them to your product or service. This is interruption based marketing.
Facebook gives advertisers detailed targeting options that really allow you to narrow down your audiences. You can target users based on the pages they like, their age, location and even things like their job title. This is great for creating brand awareness and is currently cheaper than search-based PPC marketing (in most cases).
To pull this off effectively your ads need to be creative and stand out to the right people for all the right reasons. The TOMS ad below is a great example of this.
Benefits of running both
Now that we’ve covered some of the platforms and types of activity you can do with SEO and PPC, let’s talk about the specific benefits of running both strategies at the same time:
1. Be more visible
Everyone knows that having a listing on Page 1 of Google for their main keywords is one of the most valuable assets to any business. The only thing that beats it? Having two listing of course! By using Google search ads and having a robust SEO strategy, your business could potentially be able to take up 2 of the coveted spots on the front page. This means more eyes on your brand and a higher percentage of clicks to your website.
2. Cheaper conversions with remarketing
When generating organic traffic via SEO, you’re also able to boost the size of your remarketing audiences for PPC ads. These audiences can be used to show ads to users that have already visited your website or certain pages on your website and generally result in cheaper clicks and conversions on both Facebook and Google.
3. More data means more power
One of the best things about running a PPC campaign is the amount of data that you can gather from it. The platforms that allow you to run paid ads usually want you to see what works so that you will spend more money on them. Being able to analyze the exact keywords that you have shown along with click data is extremely powerful and should not be overlooked. This leads nicely on to my next point…
4. Improve your SEO by learning from your PPC ad copy
PPC ad copy can be a great testing ground for you to find the very best descriptions and headlines that resonate for your audience. By analyzing the click-through rates of your ads you can easily see what will work well in your SEO meta descriptions. PPC is a better way to test this as obtaining data from Google Search Console can sometimes be hard as they do not show the same level of precise detail as the PPC platforms.
5. Brand awareness
Running bot SEO and PPC is a great form of multi-channel marketing in the digital age. Not only will you be able to take more highly coveted placements on the world’s top search engines. But by utilizing other PPC ad types like display advertising you’re also able to target users on their favorite news sites, on YouTube and even in their Gmail inboxes.
As each strategy feeds the performance of the other, your brand awareness will rise through the continued placement of display and remarketing adverts across the web, taking your business from unknown to top of mind very quickly.
So, the next time you’re thinking about running SEO or PPC campaigns, consider the above and try to find the best strategy that will work to target your customers, create brand awareness and help you hit your long terms goals.