If you’ve been optimising your website to drive increased organic traffic from search engines for some time now, chances are you’re looking at further methods to boost your online presence. A great next step for a well optimised website is investing in a paid search engine campaign. Helping businesses automate attracting and converting new leads, paying for premium search engine result placement can also arm you with even more data that further refines your original SEO strategy.
Wondering how this works? Read on to learn more about how deeply integrated SEO and paid search engine marketing campaigns are and how that data collected from one can inform the other. (And increase the overall effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy and help you achieve a boosted ROI.)
The Difference Between Paid Search, PPC Ads, and SEO Strategies
So that we can lay the foundations for a deeper discussion into how paid search campaigns (PPC) and SEO can support one another, we thought it best to quickly summarise what each strategy is and does for your business online.
- Digital Marketing Strategies and Tools
Whether you’re a brick and mortar shop or you’re an online eCommerce business only, digital marketing can help you find, attract, and convert new leads. From building brand awareness to boosting sales, there are a number of different marketing platforms and tools you can turn to that differ based on your end goals, budget, and resources.
Among the many strategies marketers rely on to boost their online presence there are both SEO and paid search campaigns. Paid search result campaigns offer businesses the opportunity to hold the top search engine position on Google result pages and pay-per-click gained by each new user. (These are also commonly referred to as PPC campaigns or PPC ads. We’ll use each term interchangeably in this article.) This is important because users looking for relevant results are more likely to click on a first page result than any other page–with some research showing that over 75% of search engine users never click past page one!
Because the top result spot on page one is an extremely lucrative and valuable position to hold, some marketers and online businesses will opt to pay for this pay instead of trying to win it organically. More on this below.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is optimising your online collateral for higher organic rankings. (This just means a higher chance of showing among the top search engine results on a search engine results page.) From websites to video content and shopping ads, most elements in your online marketing strategy can be optimised to achieve a high SEO score and be positioned directly in front of relevant users. More on this below too.
- Paid Search (PPC Campaigns)
Where paid ads and search differs and benefits online businesses is that marketers who have the budget to pay for an increased opportunity to be placed in front of relevant users they can. A great option for marketers who have a defined target market or want to test exactly what terms their customers are likely to search for, paying to place a PPC ad or top search result on Google result pages can offer you a much higher chance of securing new, highly relevant leads.
- SEO Campaigns
Search engine optimisation refers to the entire practice of best positioning your online marketing collateral for search engines (like Google) to find, understand, and present your website to users with related interests. Because Google’s primary goal is to present users with content that will meet their needs, solve their problem, or help them discover new brands and businesses they’ll like, they more highly ‘favour’ websites that make it easier for them, and their users, to understand what your business is about. Why? Because then their search engine can deliver users the best experience by offering them the most highly relevant and targeted content–and, keep the quality of online content high.
While these two marketing strategies may seem quite different in their approach, there is a lot of overlap between SEO and paid ads that can help online brands and marketers get to know their customers even better. Read on to learn more about the invaluable information and benefits to be through SEO and how it can complement your paid search efforts when you’re ready to take the PPC ads plunge.
How SEO Can Benefit Your Website and Brand
For small businesses or marketers just getting started online, SEO is a great, affordable way to find more leads, paying customers, and engaged audience members online. In a nutshell, search engine optimisation means optimising your online marketing collateral, including:
- Video Content
- Social Media Platforms
For search engine algorithms. Why? Because search engines, like Google, have best practices that can be followed, optimising your website means updating graphics, off page, and on-page SEO to fall in line with requirements. By following the best practices, online businesses can help Google understand their brand and content and deliver it via search results to the most relevant users online.
Just some of the ways online businesses can optimise for search results includes:
- Meta Data
If you’ve ever used Google, chances are you’ve seen the small description that summarises each website page before you click on it. This is a super important piece of text–it tells users about your business, brand, and website before they click on it and will indicate whether your business can answer their question or not. Additional metadata includes each website page title and the headers that headline each page.
- On-page SEO
Beyond the headlines, the copy, images, and image-copy that makes up each website page can be optimised to help Google better understand your business and brand. Again, Google wants to understand exactly what your business is about so it can deliver your website to relevant search engine queries.
This one is important. Included in metadata, website copy, and image text, keywords are highly relevant keywords that both represent your product or service and are most likely to be used (or searched) by Google users. We recommend starting research into what terms your target market is most likely to search for using a keyword research tool. (We explore keywords research more here). Make sure to follow long so you can learn more about hacking through your own online marketing and optimising your website to collect the best search engine traffic!)
While each of these above components are incredibly important to an effective SEO strategy, they’re only three, quick-and-easy ways you can get started today. Whether you’re looking to boost your online marketing efforts ASAP or you’re working with a limited budget, these SEO strategies can be pulled together in no time and further support paid marketing efforts down the road.
Read on to learn more about how each of the above primary SEO factors will influence your PPC strategies when the time comes.
How PPC Ads Can Help Position Your Business Online
If you have the budget, paid searches and PPC ads are an excellent way to find and convert new, highly relevant traffic online. Among the many reasons to consider PPC efforts, there are:
- Top Search Engine Result
Looking for the coveted first page result? While studies show that more than 75% of all Google users rely on the first page to find an answer to their query, there are select industries that should be vying for the top spot more than others.
Which businesses? Wherever ‘local’ or ‘near to me’ could be typed into the search bar by potential new customers, businesses and brands that offer in-person products and services or have a physical brick-and-mortar location will definitely want to invest in a first page position or top search result. Think aesthetics salons, law firms, retail, and other service-based businesses.
- Increased CTR (click-through-rate)
Want new viewers to actually click through on your search engine result? If the top of your sales funnel relies on getting new customers to interact and engage with your online marketing materials, having a solid CTR is key.
Due to the amount of noise in the online, being able to rank highly on a search engine and entice both paid and organic traffic with the right offer, terms, and CTR is paramount. Fortunately, PPC ads and a targeted PPC campaign can help you bypass the longer-term work needed to organically beat out other competitors online.
- Defining Your Marketing Strategy
Like SEO, paid ads can help you collect the data needed to better understand your target market, what terms they type into the search bar, and how you’re best to get potential buyers to click through.
While traditional SEO and organic search results can take time to gain meaningful data, paid campaigns can help you gain the top spot on a search result page quickly–meaning, you’ll be able to test key messaging or keywords fast.
If you’re on the fence about a new campaign, the effectiveness of a landing page, or want to test key ROI indicators before executing (and paying for) a larger campaign, paid search campaigns can help you better define a search marketing strategy before going live.
Integrating Both SEO and Paid Search Campaigns
By now, you can probably see the crossover between SEO and PPC. In summary, both organic search engine optimisation work and a well defined PPC campaign can offer their own unique benefits, including:
Is more affordable–great for teams with long term plans to organically grow their brand awareness online and find a comfortable, high ranking place in the search results.
- Paid Campaigns and PPC ads
Can help businesses achieve the top search result on Google more quickly and help test select messaging to help inform the rest of your marketing efforts.
Knowing that both organic SEO and paid search marketing strategies offer great benefits for most businesses, some of the deciding factors about which is actioned first may come down to resources, money, and time. For businesses who have already begun optimising for SEO campaigns, paid search marketing can help you take existing data collected by real-time users, test key messaging through paid ad placement, and then, in turn, use that information to better define your SEO.
In a nutshell, SEO and PPC campaign data can work holistically to support one another:
- SEO data can be collected organically to give key insights into what terms users search for online, what makes them click through select search results, and how they interact with your website; and,
- Paid searches can help you test the findings of SEO data to see which will be most effective and offer the best ROI in your SEO.
Appreciating that most marketers will want to only spend resources on the messaging that has been proven to align with audience wants and needs, the results that come from testing key collateral through paid campaigns can then also help define larger PPC ad search engine projects down the line.
Become a PPC Ad Expert with the Edge Marketing Team
As one of Australia’s leading digital marketing agencies, our team is dedicated to upskilling our online community through regular blogs, articles, and deep dives into emerging market trends and the best practices you can DIY online.
With weekly content discussing some of the most common questions we get asked about digital marketing platforms, strategies, and tactics, the Edge Marketing blog examines PPC and SEO campaigns, how to effectively use Google Ads Manager, and how to best set up and track your Google Search ROIs.
Ready to outsource your marketing work? If you’ve reached a point where you want to outsource your marketing campaigns to a team of experts, connect with our team today. Committed to working with businesses and brands of every size, our team can help you level up your online marketing and keep your business anchored at the top of your audience’s mind.