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How SEO and PPC can work together

Nicole from NovosNicole in SEO

7th November, 2023

How SEO and PPC can work together


Many marketing departments will see SEO and PPC as two separate entities and are often treated as alternative approaches to each other. In reality, SEO and PPC should be working together and doing this will achieve the best results. In this blog, we have explained the best way these two teams can work together to achieve the best results. 


What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of optimising your site to rank higher in search engines for relevant keywords.  


As the name suggests, SEO only involves improving your website’s ranking organically, so you can’t pay to rank in the first position in a search engine. Many factors go into an SEO strategy, but the three main things are:

  • On page SEO.
  • Off-page SEO. 
  • Technical SEO.


If you want more information on SEO, you can read our blog, What is SEO and why is it important? Or check out our SEO services page. 


What is PPC?

PPC (pay-per-click) is a form of online paid advertising where the company will pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ad. Unlike SEO, you can pay for your website to be in the first position in search engines, but you will have ‘ ‘sponsored’’ above your URL in the search results. A PPC strategy typically involves the three areas:


  • Bid setting. 
  • Ad creation. 
  • Audience targeting.


What is the difference between SEO and PPC? 

Paid ads are ranked depending on relevance, budget, and landing page quality, whereas SEO results are ranked on hundreds of factors. One of the most significant differences between the channels is the time it takes to see results. With PPC, the ROI (return on investment) can be instant, but SEO is a long-term investment and can take months before you start to see your ROI. It is important to note that one isn’t better than the other, and both benefit your business differently. 


What are the similarities between SEO and PPC? 

Despite the differences between SEO and PPC, they do have some similarities. Both channels rely heavily on targeting relevant keywords to increase visibility and traffic to a website, which will ultimately increase conversions and revenue. This is likely to be achieved when both channels have an integrated strategy. 


 How to integrate your SEO and PPC campaigns

Ensuring these two channels work will benefit your website and business for many reasons. Below, we have outlined just some ways SEO and PPC can work together. 


1. Bid on Keywords you’re not ranking well for

Keywords are the common thread between an SEO and PPC campaign and can be the area that both work closely on. 

An SEO strategy will have a list of keywords they want to go after, but some may have a higher difficulty, which means it can take a while to rank on the first page of Google. This is where PPC can come in and bid on these keywords so that your site can still appear on the first page of the search results for these keywords. 


2. Optimise your website to rank high for overpriced PPC keywords

However, a PPC campaign can also be expensive and not financially sustainable to run long term. The good news is SEO can optimise pages for these keywords, so your site can start to rank for these terms, and you don’t need to bid on them.


 3. PPC can test keywords for SEO 

As we have mentioned, SEO can take time before you start to see results. This makes it hard to do quick tests to see if optimising your site for a certain keyword is worthwhile. With PPC, you can test the keyword you are thinking optimising a page for and place an ad on it.  


Once you have done this, you can monitor the results to see how the keyword has performed, for example, if it has a good conversion rate. If it performs well, it could indicate that you should start optimising the site for this keyword or vice versa. 


4. Increase your brand’s visibility in Search Engine Results

Combining SEO and PPC keyword strategies can help increase your brand’s visibility. If you are ranking well for branded keywords, you may also want to bid on your own terms. Not only are users more likely to see your site in the search results and click through, but it can also increase your brand awareness. As it is common for competitors to bid on other brand names, this will prevent them from appearing at the top of search results when someone Googles your brand.  


5.  SEO optimisation can impact PPC 

PPC campaigns have a quality score that takes into consideration different factors. The quality score will impact two important aspects of a paid strategy: 

  • Ad ranking – The higher your quality score, the higher your ad’s position will appear. 
  • Cost – A higher quality score will also mean a lower cost per click. 

A quality score is related to a landing page’s quality. Improving the quality of a landing page for a PPC campaign can overlap with SEO. For example, site speed is a ranking factor for SEO and can impact user experience, but it is also a factor in quality scores. If it takes too long for your website to load when someone clicks on your ad, they will most likely leave it. This can indicate to Google that your landing page had a poor experience for the user, which can negatively impact your ad rank and quality score. 


6. SEO can help with retargeting

Targeted ads can be a great way to bring users back onto your website, and combining this with SEO can be even more effective. As your site’s SEO improves, you will get more organic users landing on your website, but they might not convert. PPC can use this data (normally gained through the site cookies) to retarget these users with a relevant ad to try and get them back onto the site and to convert.


Final thoughts 

Both SEO and PPC have significant benefits to a marketing strategy. SEO will allow you to grow your online visibility and be more cost-effective in the long run. Whereas PPC will allow you to reach customers quickly and have instant results, but it might not be financially sustainable. 

However, for the best results, we should not think of PPC and SEO as two channels that compete against each other but how can both of these channels work together to achieve the overall business goal. 

If you would like more information on any of the points we have discussed in this blog, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation today.

Nicole from Novos
Article by Nicole
Nicole is NOVOS' senior SEO strategist. A Shopify SEO expert, Nicole often gives talks on the subject, and is also a member of 'Women in Tech SEO'. Her tech stack includes site migrations, site speed testing, advanced Google analytics among other aspects of eCommerce SEO. 

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