Let me ask a question: When someone decides they need digital marketing, what are they looking to achieve?
For some, the primary goal will be lasting growth of their online presence over time, whilst for others, it will be a chance to get their business in front of an audience as soon as possible. Whilst these are, in effect, quite contrasting ideas of short and long-term success, they are also not mutually exclusive. Instead, they simply require more than one digital marketing methodology, and this is why the idea of a collaborative SEO and PPC campaign is so desirable.
At Trafficon, our goal is to provide clients with a holistic approach to digital marketing, bringing together content marketing, web development, SEO, and PPC into one comprehensive service. However, for those taking their first steps into the digital marketing landscape, this can be easier said than done. So, how do SEO and PPC work together, and what can you do to ensure that your campaigns are synergised for success?
What Are SEO and PPC Used For?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of combining strategies, it’s important to understand what each aims to achieve individually. After all, both SEO and PPC have clearly defined roles to play in online marketing, and knowing what those roles are will allow you to make more informed decisions about where your money is going.
SEO: Search Engine Optimisation
The primary role of a search engine is to rank websites based on what its algorithm perceives to be the most valuable and relevant results possible for a particular search term. So, if you’re looking for ways to make sure that your business is appearing in those search terms, you need to think about the type of information a search engine would need to see that your site’s pages are a good, authoritative resource for its users.
As anyone who has delved into the world of SEO can tell you, the specifics of what search engines look for aren’t easy information to come by, with sites like Google remaining highly secretive regarding their algorithm’s inner workings. That said, there are several factors we do know to be of importance in influencing your search engine rankings, including:
Your Website’s On-Page Copy
Though Google has made some impressive strides in recent years regarding its image sourcing capabilities, search engines just aren’t capable of getting much in the way of meaningful data from sources like images and videos. Because of this, a large portion of what search engines have to go off in terms of placing your website comes from what you have written about your brand and your services.
Your Backlink Profile
The internet thrives off of links creating connections between various pieces of data. After all, isn’t that all a search engine really is when you break it down? So, naturally, when determining the quality and intent of a site, search engine algorithms will look at the links between your site and other sites. From this, they can determine the quality of sites associated with your own whilst also making distinctions as to whether the sites using you as a reference are relevant.
Your Site’s User Experience
As touched on previously, a search engine is mainly focused on providing the best experience for its users. Although this is often thought to simply be based on the quality of information your site has, it also factors in how easily that information is acquired. From internal links to page speeds and more, every little factor of your site will go into determining your user experience and, in turn, your rankings.
These are by no means the only factors that are considered when ranking your website, but they are the basis of most search engine optimisation efforts.
How Long Does SEO Take?
SEO is a long-term, ongoing process of ensuring that a website is developed and maintained over time. Because of this, it’s important to allow campaigns a few months before expecting major results, unlike PPC, which we will discuss next. This fact may initially turn off certain business owners who simply want to start getting results as soon as possible, but what SEO lacks in immediacy, it makes up for in longevity, providing lasting results that can grow and change long after your initial efforts are taken whilst increasing your digital presence overall.
PPC: Pay-Per-Click Marketing
When searching for certain topics on search engines, there are some sites that always seem to be above every other listing. You may not recognise them, or they may be one of the biggest brands in the world, but you notice that they will just always appear above the fold, no matter what. You may think they’re lucky, you may think they’ve cracked the proverbial code to search engine excellence, but in actuality, they’re just using the system as search engines intended, and that means they’re using PPC.
What is PPC?
The usefulness of this particular digital marketing tool is right there in the name, along with what makes it highly interesting as an opportunity. PPC, or pay-per-click marketing, allows you to appear at the top of search results through the use of keyword-targeted ads, which can be bid on for particular placements. The most common system for this is Google Ads, which makes up a sizeable percentage of all PPC marketing efforts, though there are several different avenues such as Microsoft Ads which can be considered.
Unlike traditional ad placements, which will require a lump sum fee for access to advertising, pay-per-click, as the name suggests, offers you the chance to pay based on the number of clicks you’ve received. So, with a certain predetermined amount paid for each click, you can be certain that any money spent is getting people to your website.
There are many nuances to how an ad can be built for one of these platforms and what to look out for, but for now, we mainly just need to focus on the primary use of these ads. PPC advertising gets your website right where people are searching, with control over who sees them and when.
How Long Does PPC Take?
Whilst SEO may be a long-term strategy, PPC offers the quickest possible wins, allowing you to skip the line and rank from the moment that your ads are put live! With that said, whilst many businesses jump at putting all their money into PPC, there are many things SEO can offer that PPC cannot on its own.
Why Should I Do Both PPC and SEO?
As a full-service digital marketing agency, we at Trafficon get this question all the time:
“If PPC will get me faster results, why should I pay for SEO?”
The answer is that each tactic lacks something on its own that the other makes up for. While PPC may offer quick wins initially, the moment that you turn off your ads, you will disappear from search engines, and nobody will be able to find you. This may offer you some fantastic sales, but it also means that your entire online identity rests on the success of an ad, and if one doesn’t perform as well as you would like, it can be hard to keep your online presence afloat.
On the other hand, SEO completely solves this issue by allowing you to develop organic rankings naturally over time. These will ensure that you can still be found across various search terms, even if you need to pause your search engine optimisation for any reason. However, as we’ve discussed, SEO takes time, and if you’re a new business, waiting 3-5 months to start seeing consistent returns can seem like a steep ask.
Consider the old cliche, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime”. In this metaphor, the man still has to eat that day whether you’re teaching him or not; we can’t always rely on immediate results or future growth individually to sustain us. So, by utilising both services at the same time, you’re allowing yourself the income you need to stay viable whilst also setting yourself up for future growth.
Taking your first steps into the worlds of SEO and PPC can be quite confusing, especially when you don’t have a lot of experience with digital marketing as a whole. However, both are well worth your time and money as ways to ensure that your website has the best chance at success.
Are you looking to try SEO or PPC? Want to put your digital marketing efforts in the hands of experienced specialists? At Trafficon, we’re here to help you with bespoke digital marketing solutions catered specifically to your needs. To learn more, contact one of our friendly team members today, and start your digital marketing journey off right.