SEO is sometimes still considered to be the least glamorous aspect of the digital marketing world. It is not as shiny as social networks and influencers, nor as personal as email or mobile marketing, and paid performance marketing may seem like an eventful night at the casino – risky but rewarding.
Some clients find it hard to understand the importance of professional SEO. Why pay money for SEO experts when I can do it for free myself? PPC is different, because you invest a significant amount of money to participate, so you want to make sure it is done right and that your money is well spent, and then enjoy watching your paid ads at the top of Google’s search results page (AKA – SERP). So why bother working so hard in order to push your website up along the organic results?
If you agree with the above, I hope to try to change your mind with a few thoughts. So why do you still need to invest in good SEO work, even though you’re already paying for PPC? And can these two competing worlds benefit from each other?
No Ads for Me
As ads may be sticking out and starring at the top of the SERP, it doesn’t mean that everybody will click on them. According to the latest data, about a quarter of internet users are actually using an ad blocker. Meaning, fighting only to appear in Google’s paid ads will expose you to a maximum of 75% of all internet users (given that your ad will always be displayed on the top of the SERP).
Additionally, a recent study shows that only 6% of search engine clicks are on paid ads, the rest come from organic results. So perhaps some of these keywords are more informational and might not bring you the desired conversions, but it is definitely a win in terms of brand awareness and organic website traffic.
Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose
Here’s a news flash: paying for paid search ads doesn’t guarantee your ad will be displayed. If you’re targeting competitive keywords, then other competitors might be outbidding and outranking you in paid listings preventing your listing from displaying.
I know what you’re probably thinking: “SEO doesn’t guarantee conquering the SERP’s first results either”. But a combined SEO-PPC strategy might double your chances to be clicked, and SEO is a slow ongoing process that may end in high ranking results for quite a long time, without putting significant additional efforts into it. Work hard now, reap the fruits later.
Useful but Expensive
How many keywords are you currently betting on? 50? 100? If your Google paid search ads are already running, do you know how much money each keyword’s impression or click costs? I’m guessing you don’t have an unlimited budget to bet on all of the relevant keywords there are in the search space. What about the other hundreds of keywords, or even thousands of long-tail searches? Using them for SEO promotion doesn’t require as much financial investment. Simply find the relevant pages and optimize them with these keywords, or write new content if necessary. Sending the user to an intent-fitting content page will increase their satisfaction and therefore also increase conversion rate.
Conquer the Search Space with Snippets
As time goes by, Google uses more and more of the SERP for different snippets that are not paid ads or organic search results, such as featured snippets, images, videos, FAQ, People Also Ask, etc. Although these snippets are usually informational and are less likely to generate more conversions or even clicks, appearing there may add brand awareness and authority for your business, which can be translated into more conversions and increased revenue.
All of these snippets are organic, so paying for ads won’t help you get there, but working hard on SEO might.
Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
If you were preparing to read an SEO vs PPC article, you got it all wrong. Us SEO professionals are not opposed to PPC. On the contrary, most digital agencies, including at Kahena, have both SEO and PPC specialists, and oftentimes we combine our efforts. Our main and ultimate goal is fulfilling the client’s goal – whether it’s increasing website traffic or brand awareness, getting more leads or increasing revenue. We all aim to get there as soon and as big as possible. So how can these combined efforts pay off? Here are some examples:
- A well performed keyword research effort can be useful for both SEO and PPC, saving some time and money by not replicating the whole process twice.
- Better brand awareness and visibility can be reached by conquering both first positions in organic and paid SERP real estate.
- There’s no shame in admitting that PPC has better A/B testing and keyword-to-conversion abilities. Use these abilities in order to identify the best performing keywords with the right user intent, find the ones that will actually cause the user to click on the search result, and utilize them for your SEO efforts.
- There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Wrong. Actually there is bad publicity, but it doesn’t mean that your hands are tied. If your brand gets attached to some negative PR, and it keeps appearing in Google’s SERP to your dissatisfaction, fight it with positive paid ads that will present YOUR side of the story.
To sum it up, to really conquer the search marketing world, you need good SEO, you need to make sure you’re there whenever users are searching for your industry’s terms, and doing so organically will definitely get you more traffic and more conversions.