When it comes to marketing in the digital age, there are two core pillars that businesses tend to flock to: SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC (pay-per-click advertising). It can often seem that the two are pitted against one another, battling it out to stake claim to Google’s first page empire.
However, at the crux of the two marketing methods is the same goal: to boost traffic to your website. As such, SEO and PPC can actually be harnessed in such a way as to complement one another, working harmoniously together to bolster your online efforts.
First things first: what’s the difference between SEO and PPC?
Before diving in, let’s take a moment to differentiate these two marketing strategies:
SEO: search engine optimisation — the process of altering a website’s code and usability to improve its organic presence in search engine results.
PPC: pay-per-click advertising (also sometimes referred to as SEM, or search engine marketing) — the process of creating advertisements for your website on search engines that incur a fee every time a user clicks on them.
To sum it up, think of it this way: SEO is the idea of earning your traffic while PPC revolves around buying it.
Bringing the two together to power-charge your marketing efforts
Because SEO is a completely organic approach to improving your website’s visibility, it takes time to kick in. There’s a lot of back-end work to be performed — such as writing keyword-rich content and building links — before Google gives your site the tick of approval and starts ranking it.
PPC, on the other hand, acts much faster. Here, you are effectively paying Google to advertise your site; Google returns the favour by displaying your ads at the very top of search engine results almost immediately.
Essentially, this means that…
PPC can fast-track results while you wait for your SEO efforts to take off
Now we can get into the meaty part: how to make the most of employing the two strategies.
Herein, it is imperative for businesses to note that each method needs to be treated in its own unique way. The common denominator between PPC and SEO is the utilisation of keywords to garner higher ranks. However, applying the exact same keyword allocation to both methods is highly inadvisable.
Instead, you should employ your most important keywords to your SEO campaign — all those core words and phrases that describe your business — then allocate a string of additional, more specific keywords to your PPC campaign. Why? Well, consider it this way: SEO doesn’t pay for clicks, which means it can’t hurt to dominate the space; in fact, the wider your presence, the better. On the other hand, you must fork out a fee every time a user clicks on your PPC ad, which means you want to make sure those clicks are valid. Spruiking your PPC ad with generalised keywords puts you at risk of collecting clicks from users who reach your website only to discover it’s not what they’re after. With more specific, longer-tail keywords, you can therefore craft a finely-targeted campaign tailored to your exact audience. Inasmuch, your PPC ad should be a profitable investment, with the majority of clicks becoming qualified leads.
So, in a nutshell…
Weaving your PPC and SEO efforts together is certainly a viable marketing method, helping to generate faster results while simultaneously relying on a more long-term foundation. However, if you do decide to venture down this avenue, just be wary of how you allocate your keywords: choose more ‘blanket’ terms for your SEO campaign and more specific ones for your PPC advertising.