Authored by Naushad Syed, Associate Vice President – SEO, Interactive Avenues (a Reprise network company).
Most organisations treat organic search and paid search as entirely separate entities, run bydifferent departments. This is because organic search focuses on SEO (search engine optimisation) for increasing online traffic, whereas paid search leverages PPC (pay-per-click) ads to drive visits and conversion. In reality, these tactics were never meant to be siloed, and close collaboration can reward both teams with powerful insights. This article outlines how a holistic strategy for SEO and PPC can maximise search engine marketing (SEM) results for brands and highlights best practices for combining the two.
Share keywords and keyword data – It’s important to assess how your website is performing both from an organic keyword perspective as well a paid search query perspective. If a particular keyword is converting well on paid search, you can start targeting this for SEO as well. For example, this might involve updates to title tags or creating relevant content using these keywords. Likewise, SEO keyword research should influence PPC keywords and targeting. For instance, if you are not ranking organically for a competitive generic term, you can deploy PPC ads to grab a share of that targeted traffic till your rankings improve. This can help save money by reducing your spend for that specific query.
Use a combination of SEO & PPC to grab the top spot – SEO and PPC can both work together to help you maximise real estate on the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). For instance, even if you are ranking on top organically for certain brand keywords, bidding for specific commercial terms can get your ad to #1 position – above the top organic search result. This visibility gets you more clicks overall and helps increase the total volume of traffic. What’s more, there are so many new queries every day, it is not possible to pay for all kinds of clicks or promote every piece of content on your website. You will need to consistently work towards building strong visibility in organic alongside paid search.
Tap remarketing to boost organic visitor conversion – Even if your website is ranking fairly well thanks to your SEO efforts, most potential shoppers or leads need to be nurtured before they actually make a purchase. For instance, a user might add products to their cart and abandon it. You can use PPC remarketing ads to bring such visitors back to your site and serve them a compelling offer that inspires them to take action/ complete their purchase. You can also target them with different ads and value propositions to make them visit new pages/ sections of your website.
Leverage PPC as a testing ground for SEO keywords – While SEO involves a lot of time, research, and cost; experts are often not sure if targeting a particular keyword will pay off. One way to test the viability of a keyword for SEO is by purchasing PPC ads for it. You can monitor the results of this campaign – if it falls flat, you can consider avoiding SEO for this keyword. On the other hand, if it performs really well, you can include the keyword in your SEO efforts and optimize your website for it.
To summarise, SEO and PPC are both integral components of a brand’s digital marketing strategy. While SEO provides strategic long-term benefits like brand credibility, PPC helps businesses reach interested users at the opportune moment when they are primed for a purchase. An experienced digital partner can help you derive the best of both worlds and unlock a whole new world of search marketing opportunities.