SEO and PPC: How Do They Work Together


Even though supporters of the one often regard the other one with skepticism, PPC and SEO are actually just two different sides of the same coin. There are sometimes situations where one is better than the other, but generally speaking, both will deliver the best results when used in tandem.

The Basics Of SEO and PPC Campaigns Explained

Before we examine these topics in more depth and examine how do SEO and PPC work together, let’s first make sure we are all on the same page regarding these topics.

SEO vs PPC: What Are They?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to improving both the number of visitors to a website (the website traffic) and the quality of that traffic. The process focuses on unpaid search results.

PPC or Pay-Per-Click refers to the process of driving paid traffic to a website, i.e. the website owner pays the search engine or other advertiser for every click on one of his or her ads.

Why Are SEO And PPC The Core Components Of a Digital Marketing Strategy?

In the end, the main objective of any digital marketing campaign is to increase the firm’s revenue. By combining PPC ads with the organic traffic generated by your SEO campaign, your company has a better chance to get noticed by potential clients. This will involve analyzing how do PPC and SEO work together.

Why Do People Tend To Choose Between SEO and PPC?

The number one reason why many businesses opt for SEO instead of PPC is cost. With PPC there is a direct cost: You are paying for your ad to be seen by people who are searching for a particular search term. With SEO, on the other hand, you are trying to optimize your website content in such a way that it will naturally (organically) attract the most website visitors over the long run. There is no cost per click, although to get the best results you will probably have to pay an SEO expert.

The Key Differences Between SEO and PPC And Their Pros And Cons

Let’s have a closer look at the difference between SEO and PPC and the pros and cons of each when you are trying to drive traffic to your website.

The Pros Of Using SEO

  • SEO is free. With an SEO campaign, the website owner does not have to pay for every visitor that clicks on their search engine listing.
  • SEO produces long-term results. The time and effort spent on optimizing your website content will deliver results that bring visitors to the site for months or years to come. This makes SEO a great long-term tool.
  • With SEO you can use long-tail keywords. Let’s say you have a car retail business. Targeting a keyword like ‘cars’ might attract visitors who have no interest whatsoever in buying one. Using a long-tail key phrase such as ‘used Ford cars for sale’ will reach a much more targeted audience with a higher likelihood that one of them could become a buyer.
  • SEO encourages you to improve the quality of your website content. The number one rule with SEO is to have relevant, high-quality content. In the process of optimizing your website for SEO, you will fill it with content that is both relevant and useful to potential clients. In the long run, this can only benefit your business.

The Cons Of Using SEO

  • Changing Search Engine Algorithms. Google and other search engines tend to update the algorithms (formulas) they use to determine how well your website ranks in searches on a regular basis. This could undo all your hard work and send everyone back to the drawing board.
  • SEO requires ongoing work. SEO tasks like link building and keyword research never end. You are competing against a huge number of other websites for that coveted first-page listing and successes might be short-lived.
  • SEO is time-consuming and can become complicated It can take months to improve a website’s search engine rankings and it requires a certain level of expertise. It’s not the best solution if you want to see results quickly.

The Pros Of Using PPC Ads

  • Your website can be at the top of search results. Your website can rank above ‘ordinary’ search results, which will give you an edge over the competition.
  • You can get results much faster. A PPC campaign can deliver results a lot faster than its SEO counterpart. This is particularly useful in the case of a new business or if you are launching a new product or service.
  • PPC is very flexible and gives you more control. With PPC you can target specific keywords and choose exactly where the ads should appear. You can also control which landing page an ad will be linked to.

The Cons of Using PPC Ads

  • You have to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. This means your business should have an ongoing budget for a PPC campaign. If the money dries up, the visitors will eventually too.
  • Some users might steer clear of paid ads. Since paid ads are clearly distinguishable from organic search results, some people might avoid them altogether.
  • The learning curve could be steep. The platform where you create ads could be fairly complex and learning how to integrate SEO and PPC takes time. You can either follow a trial-and-error approach or pay an expert to manage the campaign.

Why And How PPC and SEO Should Be Integrated

There are circumstances where PPC is preferable over SEO and vice versa. The best approach is to use both of them together to achieve the best SEO and PPC synergy

SEO is the longer-term game, PPC is better when launching a new product or service. Integrating them into a holistic digital marketing campaign requires that the teams in charge of both approaches continuously share information such as keyword data and add performance statistics.


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