PPC & SEO: Two Great Traffic-Building Strategies That Work Great Together
All too often, businesses approach pay-per-click advertising and SEO as mutually exclusive options. After all, why pay for results when you can get them for free?
Well, it’s not quite that simple. In today’s digital age, PPC and SEO are both highly effective tactics for finding new potential customers and driving them to your website. Each has its own strengths and serves a specific set of objectives, and more often than not, they are most effective when used in conjunction as part of a coordinated search marketing campaign.
Here are four ways that integrating both PPC and SEO into your search marketing efforts can help you capture more traffic than either one alone:
Cover all your bases.
Because achieving a significant improvement in your organic search ranking is a time- and labor-intensive process, it’s best to concentrate your SEO efforts on the few specific keyword sets that fall within the sweet spot where your potential to conquer the category and the potential revenue to be gained as a result are highest.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely on all the other keyword sets that your prospective customers use daily to search for the products and services you offer. This is where a well-executed PPC campaign can complement your SEO efforts by allowing you to target a broad array of keywords without diluting the focus of your SEO campaign.
Furthermore, since it may take months or even years to see a measured improvement in your organic search ranking (depending on the level of competition within your category), targeting the same keyword sets with both your SEO and PPC campaigns can be a very effective strategy, since you’ll likely reap more immediate results from your PPC efforts while you continue laying the foundation of your SEO tactics.
Sharpen your strategy.
Again, because SEO is a long-term proposition by nature, you don’t necessarily get immediate feedback on how well your campaign is performing or whether you are focusing on the keyword sets with the greatest potential to deliver business to your door.
With PPC, however, you get clear metrics on the performance of your campaign from day one. As you monitor these results over time, you’ll gain valuable insights into which keyword sets actually drive the most traffic to your site and achieve the most conversions, which can help you shape and refine your SEO efforts to achieve greater results.
Increase your visibility in highly competitive categories.
One of the greatest challenges of SEO is that you ultimately have no control over the result of your efforts. While there are plenty of time-tested tactics you can employ to improve your ranking, there is absolutely no way to guarantee how high you will climb or how long it will take you to achieve an optimal ranking.
For some keyword sets where there is heavy competition, the reality is that you may never be able to reach the first page or two of organic search results, especially if you’re in a category where many of your competitors are engaging in underhanded black-hat techniques. When it comes to PPC, however, you are in control, and your primary limitation is your budget.
So, for example, if you were trying to conquer the relatively broad keyword set “Charlotte dentist,” it could take you years of persistent dedication to blogging, inbound link building and other legitimate white-hat SEO tactics to land on the first pages of an organic search for those terms – if you ever do. However, if you have enough resources to dedicate to PPC, and you test and refine your campaign on a regular basis, you could find yourself leap-frogging over your competitors in no time.
Capture customers who don’t actually know they’re looking for you.
If you have a product or service that’s new to your market, many of the potential customers you’re trying to reach may not yet have the necessary level of awareness to be actively seeking out that product or service offering by name. Therefore, if you want to capture search traffic in the short term, you’ll need to get creative with PPC and target those who are looking for related services.
For example, wellness coaching is a service that’s well known on the West Coast but unfamiliar in the East. If you were a wellness coach looking to break into the market in a city like Charlotte or Atlanta, you could execute a PPC campaign targeting keyword sets for related services such as career counseling or personal training. By doing so, you’ll be able to put your name in front of many people who might be a good candidate for your services, even if they don’t yet know it.
Using this approach will help keep your sales pipeline flowing while you continue the foundational efforts necessary to conquer your long-term objectives of building market awareness and establishing a strong organic search ranking.