Why PPC and SEO Need to Work Together 13 Sep 2014
The great divide between PPC and SEO needs to come to an end, but it’s going to take both kind of experts working together to form an alliance. There’s always been controversy over the best way to manage a search engine, whether you call is bidding vs. optimizing, paying vs. earning or the latest, PPC. Vs. SEO. Once you get in deep enough, many pros find it impossible to revere both which means you end up choosing one over the other. In some circles, the rivalry is fierce and a PPC person getting into a heated debate with an SEO person is more common than you think.
However, it’s important to bear in mind what’s really important here: Best serving your clients. Let’s say you’re managing a website for the best storage unit company in the area. Your client doesn’t care if you use PPC, SEO or a mixture of both (it really is possible) to achieve great results. The goal is and always has been the best visibility, conversions and ROIs. However, autumn is the time for early budget planning for the 2015 year, and with two rival marketing tactics on the table, are you really ready to ostracize one?
Perhaps the reason behind so much tension is that both PPC and SEO can be big budget items. Under the umbrella term “SEM,” they’re kissing cousins, and with Google AdWords demanding more SERP real estate, it’s easy to see why there’s a disparity. Making money is the end goal here, so as a marketer it’s in your best interest (and that of your client) to utilize the best of PPC and SEO. They’re both in the same funnel.
You can’t really compare PPC and SEO across the board because if your SEO is subpar, the solution isn’t necessarily to change everything over to PPC (or the other way around). Unfortunately, this is a common maneuver and leads to bad budgeting while missing half of customer engagement opportunities. With SEO, you have top funnel tactics, and remember that many consumers will buy when getting to a site organically, but it’s really more of a research-driven approach with low conversion rates.
You don’t know in their journey, whether it’s just the research stage or they’re ready to purchase.
PPC can jump the gun
With SEO, you’re getting customers to your site no matter where their journey currently is. PPC, on the other hand, is a mid-funnel tactic targeting those who are more advanced in the buying journey. This means that, naturally, conversion rates will be better and you’ll see more action. However, they’re likely basing those actions on research done during the SEO phase (and it’s why there aren’t many PPC ads targeting queries for information).
Simply put, your demographics can’t find you if your SEO isn’t in place, and without PPC you won’t snag consumers during their peak buying season. Now that Google offers secure search, the best way to figure out which keywords you should choose is via PPC. Yes, data tools like SEMRush are still helpful, but PPC gurus can now tap into uber valuable metrics to figure out keyword profitability. Now, SEO pros know which keywords are best and which have the highest potential for profit.
If PPC landing pages aren’t in your plan, you’re probably recycling SEO pages. This can let you know how popular certain pages are, and also optimize your PPC Quality Score. Knowing your revenue and conversion rates while minimizing cost per click (CPC)? That’s a perfect pairing.
Remember that PPC and SEO are both beneficial and are tools in letting you know what your customers like. Test content with PPC quickly, then use it for your SEO campaign.