Ask an SEO expert and they’ll swear that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is way better than PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising). Turn the tables, and the PPC expert will swear on the opposite being true.
Did everyone lose the ability to see the proverbial forest from the trees?
You can make a case for both of them.
SEO is better because the results last longer. In PPC, when you stop pouring money into your advertiser account, the clicks and the leads will stop the very next minute. SEO results can last for years with minimal tweaks or no tweaks whatsoever. Plus, with SEO you avoid advertising blindness.
PPC is better because it works faster. It can take months for an article to rank organically. But PPC ads can be approved in less than 24 hours on most platforms. And, if done right, you’ll get ROI as soon as they start running.
I’m partial to SEO myself but, since my agency offers both services, I’ve also seen amazing results from PPC in certain industries. eCommerce is the first example that comes to mind. Very few eCommerce businesses can ignore PPC altogether and focus on SEO alone.
But what about having them work together instead of measuring results from both separately in order to decide where to throw your money exclusively?
We’ve tested SEO and PPC simultaneously for a couple of our clients in SaaS and eCommerce industries, respectively. Here’s what we’ve learned.
1. Use PPC to Choose High ROI Keywords
Despite the countless keyword research tools available, choosing the right ones for your business goals still involves a lot of guesswork. Yes, you can have a buyer persona, thorough market research and a deep understanding of your ideal customer’s voice.
And still you may optimize for the wrong keywords. When I say wrong keywords, I mean those you can rank for but won’t bring actual paying customers.
PPC is the fastest and safest way to see which keywords are worth spending SEO time on. See what worked in your PPC campaign and then hire top SEO content writers to go after them organically. In time, you can erase those keywords from your PPC budget entirely.
2. Use Remarketing to Target Organic Visitors Again
Someone found your website organically but never converted? Remind them of your awesome content, products or services with remarketing ads.
This is a great way to go full circle.
You target the organic visitors with PPC ads to bring them back. When they do come back, your repeat visit stats blow up and, ideally, so does your time spent on page. Both these metrics signal to search engines that your content is on point, so you’ll rank even higher.
Isn’t this just beautiful?
3. Test Your Downloadable/Gated Content with PPC
Gated content (the kind people can only access if they leave their contact info) is typically premium content. Webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, trainings – all these are high-value items that help you build a great email list, full of “warm” leads.
But only if that content is good enough. Or if the landing page for it is written well enough to get visitors to leave their email address.
Before you invest even more time in the landing page plus the content itself, test it out with PPC ads. You can create a simple landing page inviting people to leave their email address to be on the waiting list for when your awesome content is finally launched.
Are they interested?
Did you get enough sign-ups?
What’s the bounce rate?
Answer all these questions with PPC ads. Invest a small budget in vetting your idea, then go ahead and optimize the landing page and create amazing downloadable content.
Wrapping Things Up
I always encourage our clients to test as many things as possible. You don’t always have to choose between the different marketing tactics. Sometimes, you can split the budget – at least for a while.
As you may have noticed, the tips above are designed to help you save money. Test via PPC to know where to invest in SEO. Or use PPC to strengthen your organic rankings.
Ultimately, it’s always better to count on your own platform (your website) than on a third-party advertising platform. When your entire revenue comes via PPC ads, you are dependent on someone else’s platform.
And that’s far from ideal.
It’s like building your home on someone else’s land, hoping they’ll let you live there for as long as you need.
Be smart. Invest in your own virtual land first and foremost. You can rank organically for any keyword you need to grow your business. Just take a look at how we managed to do it for one of our clients. Get in touch if you’re ready to make your internet real estate more valuable!
Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the Owner and Founder of Idunn. In October 2019, she also launched Copywritech, a digital marketing agency that provides copywriting, SEO content writing, and strategy services to companies in the tech industry.