Why You Should Combine SEO and PPC for the Ultimate Dream Team

By Hannah Young

Keywords are competitive. Between new brands entering the scene and search engines updating their algorithms daily, it takes a lot to keep brands on the map. Not to mention, navigating changing rank logic can feel a lot like a wild game of Mad Libs. In an effort to keep up, companies double down on two separate avenues: organic search and paid strategies. Surprisingly enough, companies treat these channels exclusively, when in reality, organic and paid work better together. Like a symbiotic relationship, these strong individual contributors are even more powerful when combined. The key to being found in the wild (aka the world wide web), is a holistic approach. 

What Exactly is PPC and SEO? 

PPC (pay per click) is a subset of SEM (search engine marketing) where companies pay a search engine (like Google) each time someone clicks on their ad. When you cue up a search in the big G, you can quickly spot PPC ads at the top of the page with a boxed “Ad” to the left of the URLs. As you may have guessed, brands pay to hold this spot. In the case of PPC, brands only pay when a visitor clicks on their listing. 

SEO (search engine optimization) on the other hand, is an organic form of getting your website a high ranking spot. This strategy is all about optimizing your content with hot ticket keywords. SEO is often referred to as organic because there’s no ad purchase dictating your rank. Instead, brands carefully identify keywords and integrate these phrases into their website copy, blog content, and landing pages. A challenge of SEO is keeping up with search engine algorithms. In a perpetual effort to provide the best experience for their customers, big search engines are constantly changing up how they keep score. Sporadic changes are notorious for keeping marketers on their toes and the world of SEO quite lively, to say the least. 

Why It’s Time To Marry Your PPC and SEO Teams?

PPC and SEO can help you snag prime SERP real estate, optimize your messaging, and ultimately start more conversations with customers. First and foremost, this dynamic duo can be used to optimize your click-through rate. With two search engine strategies running simultaneously, you are maximizing your brand awareness. With a bigger reach, you’re moving more people to your ad, more people to your website, and more leads to your pipeline. Your click-through rate is one of the key factors in determining your quality score which in turn influences where you sit in the SERP ranking.  A strong click-through rate helps you maintain your existing rank and move up the page to a more premium slot. 

Not only does your dream team allow you to double down on brand awareness, but your PPC & SEO duo can also help you capitalize on the information you gather from each channel. By opening up a transparent stream of information between teams, you can share keyword data, successful copy, and metrics. With an open flow of communication, your PPC campaign can give you word for word insight into what prospects are searching on the world wide web. By identifying the exact phrases and question-based keywords prospects are searching with, you’re presented with a valuable list of viable keywords and content ideas. The long-tail report from your pay-per-click campaign can essentially write your SEO content calendar for you. Having this undercover insight gives you a clear idea of the answers prospects are looking and the conversations they want to have. 

To execute this, the “Paid & Organic” report in AdWords is a great place to start. By taking organic search terms from Google Webmaster Tools you can see how they would fit in with your current paid search strategy. Capitalizing on this tool allows you to harvest new ideas for keywords, make sure you’re bidding on the right ones and helps you understand how changes to one channel might affect the other. 

Now armed with this backdoor keyword insight, SEO teams can work towards ranking for these terms organically while PPC teams can focus their efforts on new frontiers. Or, if you have the budget to double down on keywords both organically and with PPC, you can work on getting both your organic and paid results on the first page of Google. With this coveted spot solidified, it would be hard not to click on your brand. When someone searched for that keyword in Google, you would virtually own the page. 

This happy merger presents a great opportunity for PPC to collaborate and share best-performing ad copy for pages that have a similar organic listing. The question you may be asking is, how? Voila: 

  1. Grab a keyword report from Google Search Console.
  2. Pinpoint any target keywords with page 1 rankings.
  3. Evaluate the average position for each keyword against the Google Organic CTR Study.
  4. Cross-reference PPC CTR for the same keywords and adopt only the best-performing ad copy as metadata.

Remarketing People Who Bail

Given that 2% of visitors who come across your site will convert on the first date (or site visit), you can use your PPC team to implement a retargeting campaign to lure the other 98% back to your page. Not only does this increase the likelihood that the visitor will convert the second time around, but it also ensures that the initial SEO effort (to get the visitors in the first place) doesn’t go to waste. 

To really seal the bond between PPC and SEO, put it in writing. Establishing shared goals and combined metrics will help teams collaborate. A couple of PPC and SEO KPIs to choose from include click-through-rate, conversions, return on investment, and user engagement. 

Putting it All Together

To keep up with evolving search engine changes and exponentially growing competition, marketers need to align their PPC and SEO efforts. Marrying these two teams is a surefire way to increase your brand visibility, boost traffic, and (if all goes well) bring home more conversions. Aligning these two strategies allows you to share insights including successful keywords and long-tail phrases to unite your messaging front and stay top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy. Your united PPC and SEO strategies will lead your reader to your website, it’s then up to your content to keep them on board for the long haul.