Many business owners who have started out in their digital marketing campaign would often ask which between organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising should they pursue – or should they pursue both. Both may be targeting the same set of keywords and there is this fear of PPC efforts cannibalizing or paying for already established organic traffic using SEO.
As presented in previous articles at Digital Marketing Philippines, there are subtle differences in the optimization techniques and tactics used in SEO and PPC campaigns. Each of these approaches has their pros and cons but many companies have already seen the advantages of complementing their existing SEO campaigns with paid advertising through PPC, particularly with an increase in conversion rates as will be shown later. These companies have seen that cannibalism can be avoided if the PPC and SEO integration is properly managed.
Still, there exists a mix of emotions among internet marketers on whether it would be a wise move to integrate PPC with SEO, or focus only on a single campaign at a time. The following can shed a better light on this matter and provide insight on why your digital marketing campaign should include the integration of PPC with SEO.
Why Integrate SEO with PPC?
Reports from search engine land have been published previously which indicate where traffic to a particular website would typically come from. Figures should 70% to 80% of traffic are generated by organic or natural search engine results, while 20% to 30% can come from paid PPC listings. Many marketers would either go for the SEO route because of the larger influx of traffic, while others opt for PPC campaigns still because of better targeted results with higher conversion rates.
Information from Search Engine Watch indicate that many brands, products and services from various vertical industries are already using both PPC and SEO campaigns for the same keywords. These vertical industries include top niche industries including retail, financial services, travel, technology and health care. Integration continues to pick up steam with 2013 earmarking the highest overlap of 22% between organic and paid searches across all industries.
As mentioned earlier, SEO and PPC aim for the same goal of conversions using different approaches. There are disadvantages and advantages to using SEO and PPC separately. As seen by many companies from various industries already, these disadvantages can be reinforced or complemented by effectively integrating PPC with SEO, creating a synergy that will improve each campaign’s strategy in driving targeted traffic that converts.
Tangible Benefits of Integrating SEO with PPC
Complementing SEO with PPC ads proved to produce good tangible results as indicated in many studies and reports, including test results presented by Bright Oak that checked the impact of PPC and SEO integration. Test results show an overall increase in clicks by up to 25% and more importantly, a 27% increase in profit compared to digital marketing with only SEO.
In another study from iCrossing, the same positive tangible benefits of combining PPC with SEO were realized, notably significant increases in clicks, page views, visitors, time on site, action and orders. These benefits clearly show the positive complementary impact PPC has on SEO, particularly in conversions which, according to Search Engine Watch, can go as high as 200%.
Other Benefits of Complementing SEO with PPC
The data presented by the studies highlighted above is a clear indication that integrating PPC with SEO can be a good idea after all, with very good tangible benefits realized. Aside from these initial benefits, there are other advantages to complementing SEO with PPC, as expounded briefly by the following:
1. PPC Can be More Efficient and with Less Overall Expenses
Integrating PPC with SEO enables marketers to de-emphasize expensive keyword phrases with high CPC from their PPC campaigns and transfer them to organic optimization instead. This will provide opportunities to reallocate savings to focus on other sets of keywords.
2. Maximize Exposure for High Performing SEO Keywords
Certain keywords that are already performing well in organic searches and have already been proven to generate high conversion rates can further be improved to receive even more clicks by using PPC to increase exposure. Changes to SERP pages place paid ads before organic search results are displayed. Using PPC, these high performing keywords can achieve greater visibility, driving more relevant and highly targeted traffic that bring favorable results.
3. Improved Traffic and Conversion on Other Pages that Struggle on SEO
Not all pages in a website can be fully optimized to drive the kind of organic traffic from SEO campaigns, resulting in less conversion rates and favorable sales results from these pages. Using PPC, keywords from these pages can be re-targeted and re-focused using paid ads, resulting in a better influx of targeted traffic.
5. Capture High Competition Phrases
There are certain keyword phrases that are highly targeted but are highly competitive as well. The rise to SERP rankings for these particular set of keywords will be more challenging and would take a longer time even with a sustained SEO campaign. With PPC, business owners can have a chance to garner a considerable amount of targeted traffic through these same sets of keywords without having to wait for organic SEO buildup to take place.
6. PPC Can be Used for Keyword Conversion Testing
Conversion results on certain keywords focused on by SEO optimization may take a long time to be tested and measured if coursed through an organic route, which could take months to see any visible effects. With PPC, these keywords can immediately be tested and measured for conversion. This gives business owners and internet marketers the option to plan out which particular set of keywords can be allocated to PPC and SEO.
As shown in the list of tangible and other benefits above, integrating Pay-Per-Click advertising with an existing Search Engine Optimization campaign can bring better results that business owners need. PPC and SEO need not compete with one another, particularly in very important targeted keywords. For marketers, PPC and SEO have the same ultimate goal in mind and it would be to their greater advantage to use both tools in their overall digital marketing plan. As shown in these results, PPC and SEO can actually enhance and complement each other, helping business owners finally achieve their digital marketing goals faster and more efficiently with better results. All these can be achieved through proper management and implementation of right strategies involved in implementing both PPC and SEO.
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