For a long while the digital marketing industry and its professionals faced the reoccurring battle of managing both SEO and PPC as a collaborative channel. The typical issue being that the majority of SEO responsibility was often left in the hands of web developers and not marketing professionals due to the heavy website optimisation requirements involved in SEO.
Tasking your web developers with responsibility for SEO is the right decision to make when it comes to the delivery of some of the fundamental elements involved. The issue though, is that if your paid search is being managed elsewhere, perhaps by an agency or a separate marketing team who handle your media budget, the two channels won’t enjoy the many benefits of a singular approach.Businesses set out into the world of search marketing with a long term goal in place. That long term goal is often a case of intending to reduce paid search spend and dependency over time, through the ongoing ranking improvements that come from continued SEO work.
However, there are benefits of continuing an investment into paid search even after your organic ranking is bringing in results. In this way, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts when it comes to PPC and SEO.
A correctly-targeted paid search campaign will increase your overall traffic – even if you are the first organic result. Google ran a study which concluded that 50% of paid clicks were incremental, and therefore not replaced by organic.
With Google recently removing right-hand adverts, causing more ads to be placed in the centre of the page, organic adverts have been bumped down, closer to the page fold.
Using paid search to test organic
Nonetheless, organic search is, in the long term, the more cost-effective method of generating traffic. It’s actually one of the most effective marketing channels full stop, not even just in terms of online but overall. The drawback to this is that it takes time to earn your SEO rankings.
For competitive keywords, you may need to budget months of ongoing website optimisation to reach the first page of Google and those coveted top positions. Even after you achieve those top rankings, the job doesn’t end. Those rankings need to be maintained.
Now, given the time it takes to achieve a top ranking position, particularly on a popular search term, before embarking on that journey, wouldn’t it make sense to have some solid evidence to prove that achieving those rankings is worthwhile?
This is where the real time, open marketplace of PPC (pay per click) search comes in very, very handy.
Providing you have the budget and the right paid search management team, you can test the value of traffic from a particular range of keywords simply by purchasing the top position. With the right reporting in place you can then use analytics to determine how valuable each keyword is for your individual business by reviewing the performance of the traffic generated.Look for keywords with low bounce rates, high time on site and pages viewed as well as of course, the rate of conversion vs visits. Sometimes the highest volume keywords aren’t always the best performing. It may well be that you find some lower volume and likely less competitive keywords that generate especially high converting traffic for your website.
Armed with information like this you are able to make informed choices when deciding which keywords you would like to focus your long term SEO efforts on. This is an ongoing process that needs to take place all year round. Not every business has the resources to dominate paid search rankings throughout the year but this is a particularly useful way to ensure you’re getting maximum long term benefit for the budget you do spend, by learning and improving your organic process.
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