Should you focus on organic SEO or put your money on PPC? This matter has long been a subject of debate in the marketing world. On one hand, paid search promises quick wins; on the other, SEO can bring long-term, large-scale returns.
The lure of PPC is that it shows instant results that are easy to measure. But with the costs of Google Ads rising and click-through-rates declining as users become immune to ads, it’s not the most efficient solution.
Meanwhile, SEO can bring lasting gains and brand credibility, but it’s a long and complex process. It’s also unpredictable because of Google’s seemingly capricious algorithmic changes.
It’s obvious that both SEO and PPC have their pros and cons. So, which one should you choose?
Luckily, it’s not a matter of picking one and forgetting the other. You can consolidate PPC and organic SEO into one multichannel approach. For best results, both strategies have to be complementary, reinforcing each other’s strengths and making up for each other’s weaknesses. Here are four things you can do:
#1: Have one clear and consistent message.
Make the message in your PPC ads and your organic listings consistent. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but they should be as similar as possible. Users should be getting the same story whether they are looking at a paid ad or an organic listing. This uniformity will reinforce your branding strategy and help people recall your name.
#2: Use more PPC to support organic traffic during algorithm updates.
Google always has updates up their sleeves. The good news is that bigger shakeups are often announced at least a few weeks in advance. You can prepare for the potential negative impact of these updates on your organic campaign by stepping up your PPC strategy to ensure a steady amount of traffic no matter what happens.
Paid search is a great way to recover any lost traffic while you adjust your organic SEO strategy to Google’s new demands. Even though it’s a short-term solution, it can save your business from the brunt of an algorithm update. When done right, PPC can give you high-intent users—people who are ready to make a purchase.
#3: Use PPC for mobile users.
Organic listings are being pushed further and further down as Google displays more ads and uses dynamic results formats. The effect is very obvious on mobile screens where results are stacked in narrow vertical columns. When they’re on their smartphones, most users can only see the first PPC ad above the fold; they need to scroll past three more ads (and possibly the local pack and other search features) before they see an organic listing.
So how do you regain visibility? In this case, it makes practical sense to invest in a mobile PPC campaign that will put your link above the fold, where users can see it. This is a great strategy for recovering lost organic visibility and is certainly worth investing in.
#4: Use remarketing campaigns to capture low-intent leads.
Remarketing campaigns are extremely powerful in guiding low-intent users along the buying process. When you have a solid remarketing list, you can tailor your ads to users based on where the are along the buying journey. Use this together with event tracking and measurement in Google Analytics and you can automatically deliver the most relevant marketing messages to users at different stages. Truly effective stuff.
Best of all, remarketing campaigns can target organic traffic, too. The low-intent leads that you capture through your organic SEO campaign can be nurtured along the journey with automated remarketing messages. Think of it this way: Instead of just hoping that readers of your blog (organic traffic) will bookmark your page or see your brand again sometime in the future, you can actively keep your brand name in front of them, prompting them to take the next step until they eventually buy your products or services.
As you can see, organic SEO with paid advertising can be made to enhance each other, allowing you to reach your target customers at more touchpoints and to deliver relevant call-to-action messages at strategic moments. If you need help coming up with a holistic SEO + PPC strategy, contact our team at SEOValley. We can help you achieve greater heights in your online marketing efforts.