Today a search engine results page (SERP) has two types of listings on the page – paid listings and non-paid listings (PPC and organic). And in the ever changing landscape of search engine results pages (SERPS) we can see that paid ads are no longer on the side of the page, but they appear above the organic listings, as well as appearing above the local Google Maps listings known as the “Local Pack.”
So as a business and website owner – where should you dedicate your focus and resources? We’re a web marketing and SEO firm, so we always support SEO as the base foundation of any ranking campaign at all times, but we think there’s always a place for a PPC investment, too. That’s because a PPC campaign can complement and strengthen an SEO campaign for the following reasons:
HOW THE SEARCH RESULTS PAGE LOOKS
Today Paid Ads are more numerous and natively mixed in with organic listings and no longer on the side of the page. This of course was due to mobile searches surpassing computer searches.
Now, there are more paid results at both the top and bottom of the page instead. You have to look carefully, but they are still designated as ads; however, they are more “mixed in” with the rest of the results and the paid listings at the top are pushing the organic listings down the page, sometimes below the “fold.” This means that even if you’re ranking #1 for a priority keyword organically, there could be at least 4 websites ahead of you.
WHEN YOU NEED FAST TRAFFIC – SEO TAKES TIME
It’s frustrating to say the least, but SEO works very slowly. It’s about gaining trust with the search engines in order to see an organic search listing improve over time. It can take months or even years to see great results, especially in a competitive niche. PPC, on the other hand, is “pay to play.” As long as your content is relevant and your website provides a good user experience, you can rank prominently in the paid section if you’re willing to spend.
ADDITIONAL BRAND EXPOSURE
It’s smart to invest in PPC advertising when you’re just starting out since it will take time to build an organic search presence. And even when you see organic growth, it doesn’t mean that you should cut the PPC spend entirely.
Having both a paid and organic listing on a search results page can be a very powerful way to brand. When a searcher sees your name and website twice, it’s reinforcing the fact that your website is offering something relevant and of value and can increase click through rate of both listings.
GIVES YOU ACCESS TO DATA
Over the years Google has continually cut back on the amount of free data it gives to website owners. First, it took away keyword level data in Analytics. More recently, only people with an active AdWords accounts have access to all of the Google Keyword Planner tool. Investing in AdWords will provide access to data that can be beneficial for both PPC and SEO campaigns.
While it will require an additional investment, there are many reasons why it makes sense to do both PPC and SEO. When designing a PPC campaign you can choose your monthly budget, the days and times your ads will run and even when to pause or activate your campaign. For example a local roofer who wants to activate his “hail damage roof checks” campaign after a hail storm.
While they have different set-ups and different functions, they both serve to drive targeted traffic from the search engines and investing in both will certainly bring in more visitors.