How Paid Search and SEO Work Together

Posted on in Blog

Some things just work better together.

While paid search and search engine optimization (SEO) might seem like very different marketing strategies, aligning these efforts can improve results across the board.

We’ve got a few tips on how to use pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO together to dominate the SERP and create new marketing efficiencies.

It’ll maximize your budget – and your time.

Paid Search vs. SEO: A Metaphor

How’s your golf game? In many ways, PPC and SEO go together a lot like your driver and your putter. Organic search provides the long-range approach to building quality, full-funnel sessions. The kind of sessions that position a wide range of qualified to convert – eventually.

SEO is like your driver; while you’ll occasionally hit a hole-in-one, it’s more likely to move you (and your users) a bit closer to the cup with every interaction.

Once you’re on the green, pull out your paid search putter. Finishing off the whole depends on using all the information you’ve learned along the (fair)way to tap the user to a conversion.

When PPC and SEO are working together, your team gathers more data, more customer insights and more unique audiences that ultimately make both you a better golfer – errr … marketer – in all aspects of the game.

Both channels deliver plenty of benefits while providing unique strengths:

SEO

  • Long-term traffic stability
  • Establish brand authority and trust
  • Increase brand awareness via short and long-tail keywords

Paid Search

  • Immediate and short-term ROI
  • Highly targeted and specific keywords
  • Only pay when it works
  • Mitigate traffic loss on high-value keywords

It’s easy to see how PPC and SEO complement each other’s strengths. It’s why our Paid Media and SEO teams spend time sharing ideas, notes and tracking performance.

5 Reasons SEO and PPC Work Better When Used Together

Like many elements of digital marketing, PPC and SEO alignment is primarily about data. Isolating these services limits how much one channel and inform and improve the other.

Here’s how to get PPC and SEO working together ahead of your next campaign:

1. You Can Never Have Enough Data

Using paid keywords to inform organic keyword priorities is proof positive of their symbiotic relationship. SEO takes weeks or months to have a measurable impact on organic traffic. If your team has identified new keywords or seasonal keyword trends, test those keywords with a PPC campaign to gain valuable insight into the value of those queries. You can see which keywords and keyword variations drive the most conversions in days or weeks, then use that data to prioritize keyword optimizations or content creation on the organic side.

2. Stay Ahead of the Algorithm

Imagine playing a game of golf – except the hole, the sand traps and even the tee is constantly changing. That’s how the organic search game works. Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times per year; most of the time, Google doesn’t even announce the changes they’ve made.

The result? Organic keyword volatility can cause your domain to lose position for its most valuable keywords without warning. When it happens, our SEO team quickly makes relevant changes to the impacted pages. Until position is restored, we often adjust the PPC budget to capture clicks on those keywords to ensure the client is well-represented on the SERP!

3. Win More SERP Real Estate

The top spot is the only place to be. The top organic position of the SERP receives 39.8% of all clicks; the second position gets just 18.7%. You can use paid search to own the top ad position for your most valuable branded and non-branded terms to occupy more space on the SERP or strategically position your brand against competitors for terms you don’t currently rank for.

This tactic is even more important as Google introduces more features and functionality to discourage users from clicking at all.

4. Build Quality Audiences

Integrating your Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads accounts lets you create specific audiences based on user behaviors. Segmenting site users based on the pages they viewed, how often they’ve accessed the site or certain demographics can help personalize ad creative. With paid search and SEO working together, your ad copy resonates with a bespoke audience in the right place and at the right time.

5. Optimize Ad Spend

As your SEO game improves, you may be able to dial back your paid spend on certain keywords your domain wins organically. For example, if Hot Air Guitars (our favorite fake company) takes the #1 position for “best air guitar manufacturer,” the paid budget for that high-value query can probably be pared back or reallocated for other keywords.

This provides an added degree of agility to address seasonal demand fluctuations, shifting consumer tastes or new business priorities.

An important note: All the benefits and tactics listed above rely on consistent content creation and optimization, active paid search management and reliable Google Analytics 4 reporting. Those services just happen to be our bread and butter.

Do Google Ads Improve SEO?

Google maintains that running Google Ad campaigns will not impact your organic keyword rankings. Google has repeatedly emphasized that its organic results are not affected by Google Ads, stating that it “does not accept payment to rank pages higher” within its organic results listings.

Get PPC, SEO and Oneupweb Working Together

Integration is our middle name.* As a vertically integrated digital marketing agency, Oneupweb leverages experienced in-house PPC and SEO experts to deliver a multichannel approach to your organization’s goal.

For over 25 years, we’ve helped businesses and nonprofits meet and overcome their biggest marketing challenges. See what we can do for you; get in touch or call (231) 922-9977 today to start the conversation.

*Technically, our middle name is “up.”

Up Next

Businesses and organizations face many hiring decisions, especially when comparing the value of hiring a web developer full-time or working with a dedicated vendor. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution or formula, so the right choice depends on your current and anticipated needs.  Before you bring on a developer full-time, consider paying less to have a web...

Read More