Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click campaigns are two of the most widely-used marketing strategies to date, each with its own share of advantages and disadvantages, as well as ideal usage.
Search Engine Optimization is a marketing strategy that puts a heavy emphasis on improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website by building organic traffic via search engine results. The traffic that is produced by SEO is organic (you don’t have to pay for the traffic), which means that visitors naturally end up on the site because they deem that the content on your website is relevant to them.
A good SEO ranking takes a lot of time and works to build, but the traffic that comes out of a good SEO campaign is long-lasting.
On the other hand, a Pay-Per-Click campaign is a model of online marketing where a fee is paid for an ad whenever that ad is clicked. Advertisers essentially buy the traffic that ends up on their website. And while this does, indeed, get you a quick increase in website traffic, PPC campaigns cost money and the increase in traffic from these campaigns doesn’t last as long as the increase brought about by SEO.
Does PPC Affect SEO?
The quick answer is no, SEO and PPC do not have any effect on each other, at least in the direct sense. However, it would be wrong to assume that they do not have any relationship. PPC campaigns may yield results that may affect your SEO campaign but they do not directly influence how your SEO campaign fares. Let me explain further below how PPC campaigns can be used to improve your SEO campaign indirectly.
PPC Remarketing For Your SEO Campaign
Websites that rank fairly well through SEO aren’t necessarily guaranteed to get the conversions that they would ideally want. It’s important to consider the fact that consumers have different traits. While some buyers are impulsive and they buy a certain product without as much as a second thought, other buyers want some time to think about the purchase that they’re about to make. And then there are some buyers who leave your website quickly in order to compare your product with that of a competitor’s.
It’s not uncommon for these potential buyers to forget about your product and don’t push through with their purchase, even when they actually want to buy your product. That’s a missed opportunity for a sale.
You can bring these visitors back to your website by using a PPC campaign to remind them of the item that they were previously looking at in order to potentially convince them to buy your product. You can also consider hiring a PPC campaign manager if you truly want your PPC campaigns to be as effective as they possibly can. Remarketing is an effective strategy in creating quality leads in situations where previous visitors who have shown an interest in your products might have otherwise forgotten about your product completely.
PPC Helps Increase Your Brand Exposure
It’s one thing to be able to get your website top-ranked on a search engine, and it’s another to be able to win bids for your keywords. By being able to achieve both, your business is going to get double the exposure it would normally get from each marketing strategy.
While it’s easy to dismiss this as an unnecessary measure, the fact that this allows your brand to occupy more real estate is going to be a big deal. This is especially true when your brand begins to build its reputation.
When prospective buyers see an attractive opportunity (as is the case with your ad), and they are focused on your product, they’re going to want to know more about your product and how they can make a purchase.
This is a great way to drive traffic to your website, especially when you have content that properly illustrates product specs and the steps on how a buyer can purchase your product.
This doesn’t just drive traffic to your website but it also ensures that visitors stay on your website longer because the information contained within your site is relevant to them.
SEO Keyword Testing Via PPC
Search engine optimization is a process that takes a lot of time and work. Not only that, but despite putting in the time, work, and the expertise to optimize your website for a certain set of keywords, results don’t come overnight. These results could take several months to surface. This is a lot of time to spend testing the waters to figure out whether your keyword strategy works or doesn’t.
With PPC, results come so much quicker. That being said, you can simply pick a keyword that you want to test, purchase PPC advertising for it, and monitor how the keyword fares in terms of how it affects your website. If the keyword performs well, then you can start to optimize your website for that keyword or set of keywords. If the keyword fails, then you simply avoid doing SEO for this keyword or group of keywords.
You wouldn’t even have to worry about the expenses for this PPC campaign because you’re likely to be testing a keyword that your competitors don’t use.
PPC and SEO Provide More Data Together
And while we’re on the topic of data, PPC and SEO make for great sources of data which, when combined, give you a more thorough overview of your campaign’s performance.
While both campaign strategies provide data for metrics such as click-through rate, bounce and exit rate, conversion rate, and time on site separately, you’re still going to get double the data if you run these two campaigns alongside each other. By doing so, you’re able to come up with data for the type of conversions which are:
- View-through conversions, where the user sees your ad, don’t click on it, but later on, finds your website organically and converts.
- Assisted conversions, where the user interacts with the ad, enters your site, then leaves and comes back organically on the site and converts.
As it would also follow, when you have more sources of data, you’re going to get a larger sample size, which will also mean that your test results are going to be much more accurate.
And when you have accurate information, you’re also going to be able to make smarter business decisions.
PPC Can Actually Help Deal With Bad PR
It’s no secret that marketing is also about being able to draw and direct the attention of consumers. And while that often entails that marketing campaigns direct attention toward the good aspects of a brand, this ability to direct the attention of an audience can also help mitigate the effects of bad press.
Let’s take for an example a company that distributes oil. It has built a big reputation over the course of many years and it still continues to conduct operations even in an age where environmentalists are incredibly aggressive with their advocacy.
Now, let’s say that an oil spill happens in the middle of the ocean. News channels are all over the fiasco in hours, putting emphasis on how the oil spill has damaged the local water ecosystem, caused the death of some employees of the oil tanker, and so on. Naturally, sales are going to drop, traffic is going to decline, and the company is likely to be surrounded by critics and bombarded by critiques.
Even when the company puts a valiant effort into clean-up operations and makes improvements to their oil tankers in terms of safety measures, this isn’t going to help the fact that public relations have soured, especially when mainstream media is likely to make monsters out of the company and the accident it was involved in. This is damage that even a high-ranking website cannot rectify, because the public’s attention has already been directed to the accident.
The most damaging effect this has on the company is that sales, as well as its stock market value, are bound to drop. All of this because of bad press.
Going back to how marketing is the tool that allows us to direct attention toward the desirable and away from the undesirable, the oil company can run a PPC campaign that directs its audience toward the company’s relief effort in order to at least help negate the negative impact of the bad press.