Combining Your PPC & SEO Strategies

by Kristen Godel January 29th, 2015 

Kristen Godel

Kristen Godel is one of many talented Account Managers at Search Engine People. She graduated from Durham College in 2011 with a diploma in Internet Applications and Web Development. Formerly an SEO Strategist, she works closely with clients, and the specialists in each department at SEP to ensure that client goals are met and achieved in an effective and timely manner.


Many companies are torn between a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) strategy for their business.


Since early 2012, there have been many questions surrounding the SEO world with Google algorithm updates, such as Penguin, threatening websites and instilling the fear of consequence for utilizing “risky” SEO tactics.

Looking at ranking in the Google organic search results today – everything is centralized around TRUST. You must be ready to show Google your website can be trusted, and that you are staying within their quality guidelines. And you, as a business, have to provide the user with quality products/services that are relevant to their search.

It’s also important to recognize that in 2015, SEO services are not cheap. When you choose to hire an SEO company to work on your website, you are hiring knowledge not just a service! To ensure the best SEO strategy for your site, there may be a combination of audits, and optimizations that must be addressed, as well as ensure that the links built are of QUALITY to avoid a penalty by Google.

In short – the ranking process for SEO can be slow in the “new world”.


Therefore, paid search is a great way to get immediate results.

When it comes to PPC campaigns, you have many option to be choose from to generate traffic and leads to your website/landing page, including:

  • Text Ads
  • Image Ads (Remarketing & Display)
  • Video Ads
  • Product Listing Ads
  • And more!

This can be an affordable way to see results. Many experts believe it is best to run PPC prior to your SEO efforts.


But, there are many things that you can learn and use from having both a PPC and SEO campaign running together.

Brand Awareness & Exposure

Running a paid campaign can put your brand name and product in front of consumers when they search.

The exposure you receive from a paid ad can be a trust signal for consumers.

Research shows [1] that even when you rank #1 in the Google search results a PPC ad at the top improves traffic by 50% . If you rank #5 or lower, a PPC ad can boost traffic by 96% .

Improve Loading Speed And Quality Scores

Quality score is rated on a 1-10 scale and determined by several factors, including click-through rates (CTRs) and page loading times.

So, if a page loads slowly, then your PPC ads cost more.

But in the same respect, one of the determining ranking factors for SEO is site speed – if your site is slow to load, your organic rankings will also suffer.

Optimize Landing Pages

There are cues that you can take from your PPC landing pages and apply to SEO.

It’s simple to do testing between two versions of an ad in your PPC campaign: similar pages with different headlines, call to actions layouts and images that you may find one works more efficiently from the other. When you find this, you can apply that knowledge to your organic landing pages (eg. Home page, service pages).

Another great example: you can test title tags through PPC ads. A specialist can run two ads with different titles, but the same copy. By analyzing data such as bounce rates, time on site, and pages per session, you can determine which title/ad kept the user on the site longer.

Setting Up Site Search In Analytics

PPC and SEO strategists can analyze what users may be looking for in the site search box. By analyzing the site search section in Google Analytics, this can tell your PPC strategist that these terms can be showcased in a new campaign and drive these keywords to the page that these users are looking for.

It also opens an opportunity for the SEO strategist to make revisions to the website to assist users in finding what they are looking for.

(For more on setting up site search analytics, click here)

Test Geographic Markets & Demographics

A PPC campaign can help determine if business from a new market would be successful.

By creating a new campaign targeting a certain location, the click through rates, and cost per acquisitions can be analyzed to determine the success of targeting this new area. If successful, the SEO strategist can then make changes to the website on-page to target a new region and show customers coming to the website that the new area is serviced by the business.

Image via mommy peace

Combining Your PPC & SEO Strategies

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