Does it have to be PPC vs SEO?
The question PPC vs SEO has been an age old question in the world of digital marketing. But does it have to be so black and white?
There’s no question that the internet is getting more and more competitive, and as we march on into 2017 that doesn’t look like changing.
The art of inbound marketing has been expanding, advertisers finding new and exciting ways to find consumers. But the things that have stayed a staple have been PPC and SEO.
Back in the good old days when Pay-Per-Click was relatively new, you could easily set up a basic campaign and see your return on investment soar. Google Shopping was even free at one point, now the sheer Cost-per-click is enough to put some people off. The markets are becoming more saturated and the competition is fierce.
SEO has always been a dark art, a long term strategy designed to generate high quality free traffic to your site.
People have traditionally chosen between the two when deciding where to invest. But is that the best choice?
How Organic Traffic Effects PPC
Some people refer to PPC as being a quick fix. That is certainly not the case. It’s not a case of throwing money at it and just expecting to see results, which just doesn’t happen. Moulding a high performance AdWords account takes time. But is that enough? As I mentioned earlier, it’s a competitive digital world. Now a days it’s rare a business can rely solely on paid traffic to meet their margins.
Does that mean it is all doom and gloom for PPC? No. Of course not. You can still run a very successful PPC campaigns however, generally the stronger the SEO the more the PPC benefits.
This graph shows the level of traffic for one of our clients. As you can see, they have a large amount of organic traffic compared to their paid search traffic. Currently their E-commerce conversion rate is 1.52%.
Now if we compare this to another account which has only invested in a small amount of Google shopping with no SEO. The graph below shows the small amount of organic traffic compared to paid traffic.
The E-commerce Conversion Rate for this account is 0.72%. This isn’t all the case but in my experience the accounts with high organic traffic perform best with their PPC.
How SEO and PPC can work together
Both sides can provide vital information for each other. For example an SEO team might be investing a lot of their time trying to rank for a particular keyword. This keyword may have a lot of search queries a month and look like a good thing to rank for. But you may look at the PPC data and find that even though that keyword generates a large amount of traffic, the conversion rate for that keyword is very low. Whereas you could find that the PPC is showing different search terms that have a much higher conversion rate.
But why stop there? See which keywords convert the best within each category; go through the website. See where the team is best putting in their efforts.
Increase Quality Score
It goes without saying that the thing everyone hates about pay-per-click is cost. One way to reduce costs and improve your keyword rankings is to improve your quality score. The way to increase your quality score is to make sure that you landing page is highly relevant to your ads and the keywords you are bidding for. Investing time to product page optimisation will not only help your on page SEO but also your AdWords quality.
When using this strategy, make sure that there’s a clear aim with the team to make sure that you can measure the results. Review which keywords are most important for the landing pages you are targeting.
Google Merchant Feed
If you’re using Google Shopping then you will be uploading data to Google Merchant Centre. Google shopping doesn’t use keyword bidding; you can only bid on actual products and rely on your Merchant Centre Feed to provide all of the information Google needs to match your products with peoples search queries.
This works similar to quality score, the more relevant your content is the higher your Ad Rank. So it’s a no brainer when I say that having an SEO team optimise product pages to improve Titles, Descriptions etc. will improve your Google Shopping dramatically.
Big Happy Family
I believe that when you’re looking to improve a site, especially an Ecommerce site, you cannot simply look at doing PPC or SEO. You have to look at the bigger picture. To really get the most out of both, you have to use both together.
When devising a digital plan you really do have to look at all avenues to get the most from your site. I haven’t mentioned Social Media but everyday this is becoming a greater weapon to have in your armoury.