SEO or PPC? Use them in tandem and discover benefits of remaining neutral

Graham Buchanan SUS-140228-130908001
Graham Buchanan SUS-140228-130908001

As a business owner or marketer who is responsible for driving and converting website traffic, you’ve likely encountered articles and discussions that pit organic search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) against one another in a fight to the death.

Ardent supporters of each side will offer a bevy of reasons that you should use their tactic and avoid “that other one” like the plague. Do yourself a favour - instead of narrowing your options, broaden them. Use PPC and SEO in tandem and you’ll soon discover the benefits of remaining happily neutral in the debate of one vs the other. If you are using SEO and purposely neglecting PCC (or even vice-versa) you are severely limiting the potential effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

It’s hard not to put Google on a pedestal. The majority of us search using Google, we run our PPC campaigns through AdWords, and we keep our fingers on Google’s pulse, nervously awaiting the release of their next animal. But too often, we lose sight of the fact that solely focusing on what ‘works’ on Google can lead down the wrong path. That’s not to say that writing content and paying for great keywords isn’t effective. It just means that at the end of the day, reaching, engaging and providing value for your customers is more important than using and pleasing Google at all costs.

As a primary example, Google isn’t the only cost-per-click (CPC) platform out there, which means PPC doesn’t always have to target Google search. You might have a plan to create great, targeted content that nets you a stream of organic traffic, but that could take time. Your content might be stale before anybody even sees it. So why not promote your content on Facebook? At the very least, the paid promotion will get eyes on your content and, if it’s good, people will share it. That should get the SEO ball rolling on the rest should take care of itself.

Marketing - yes even digital marketing - has to exist beyond Google. And by extension, that means PPC is about more than just Google, too! The sooner you can take that leap of faith and not limit yourself to one line of thinking, the better your marketing efforts will be.

More than clicks and conversions: according to a 2013 study, one in three mobile smartphone users searches specifically for contact information. This means that if you put this kind of information in your PPC ads you’ll occupy prime space where users are searching for information.

We all know that PPC delivers quick traffic and SEO takes time, but why not start with PPC, mine the data and then use it to inform your SEO strategy? If you can find high-value, low-cost keywords that are generating tons of converting traffic, it stands to reason you should target those same keywords organically. Mobile is a great place to reach customers with PPC because of how new it is to everybody. Marketers, customers and even Google are still trying to get comfortable with mobile ads, but there’s no doubt that spending is on the rise.