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The simultaneous switching of pay-per-click ads (PPC) and the optimization for organic search with search engine optimization (SEO) lead to more clicks and sales than practicing individually. The effect is similar to a 1 + 1 = 3 equation where the sum of the parts is greater than expected if you simply add the power of the two individually.
Given a choice, businesses would rather generate unpaid, organic traffic than pay for search advertising. However, if you want to maximize your clicks and sales, you really don’t have to make a choice. You need both.
Yes, PPC ads can cannibalize organic search results to some extent, resulting in the payment of a few clicks that would have been organically earned. However, the net number of clicks is greater than organic can produce on its own.
Ads are more visible on the search engine results page (SERP). When a searcher sees a PPC ad, scans the SERP, and then sees an organic listing, that organic listing feels more familiar.
Some searchers still assume that the SERP placement is a confirmation of this search engine. If these searchers see both a paid listing and an organic listing, it can be interpreted as double confirmation, increasing the likelihood of a click.
Keyword performance data
SEO gets the short end of the stick when it comes to financial data. Google and Microsoft’s ad platforms offer a wealth of data on the performance of keywords that organic search simply doesn’t have.
When all major search engines switched to safe search a few years ago, the link between keyword data and conversion data was broken, ostensibly to protect the privacy of searchers. As a result, the data in the various toolsets available to us cannot tell us which organic keywords are generating leads or sales, nor how much revenue those keywords are generating.
However, we can use PPC performance data as a proxy for SEO keyword performance. It’s certainly not apples to apples, but it can point the way. For example, if a keyword converts to a sale in PPC frequently, it can be assumed that the same keyword converts well in organic search as well.
Testing keywords and messages
Optimization is about testing and improving. However, organic search performance takes more time to take effect than paid search, which makes testing cumbersome. PPC, on the other hand, achieves quick results. You can test new keyword sets and messaging in paid campaigns before applying the results to your organic search program. A strong performance at PPC doesn’t guarantee organic results because there are so many differences in the ranking of paid and organic offers. Nevertheless, the data can point the way again.
Ranking for difficult keywords
With organic search, you can only rank for keywords that are directly relevant to the content of your website. Sometimes it is just not possible to organically rank the keywords you are trying to attract well, especially if they are broader than the content of your website. For example, if you only sell stuffed animals but you want to rank well for the keyword “toys”, it will most likely be difficult. Depending on your budget, you may be able to pay for the placement of the keywords that organic businesses are difficult to attract.
Get more for your digital marketing money by merging SEO and PPC. By joining forces, your company has the best chance to stand out from the competition and generate more sales.