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Using SEO and PPC

Why You Should Be Using Both SEO and PPC

It seems that the debate is starting up again about whether clients, especially local clients, should invest in PPC or Organic SEO to grow their online presence PPC seems like a sure thing, with placement at the top of the page and control over spend, but organics seem to have better bounce rates, time spent on site and page views. The majority of our clients are not either/or with PPC and Organics, rather how do we use BOTH to grow their online presence and gain new customers. Here are three reasons why the best digital marketing strategy is to have Paid Ads and SEO work together.

PPC and SEO Together Increase Conversions

PPC does cost you money each time an ad is clicked on, and if you hire someone to manage your paid ads, that will cost you money as well. Organics are technically free, but most companies do not have the expertise to do their own SEO, so they hire someone to work on it for them. SEO takes time to deliver results, but PPC is almost immediate. PPC is at the top of the page, but websites that rank well in organic search have credibility with search engine visitors. It sounds like each has what the other lacks, right?

As a search engine user, consider how seeing the same brand name in paid search, local map listings, and organic search results on first page would affect your perception of that brand. Wouldn’t those multiple mentions on the page make you more likely to click on one of those ads? More importantly, because the organic placement has more credibility attached to it, you might be more inclined to click on the organics, therefore getting the branding benefit of the PPC for free. Higher brand recognition, and higher conversion are one benefit of using PPC and SEO together.

PPC Ads And Organic Listings Reach Different Customers Different Ways

Here’s a common search scenario from a potential customer who has never heard of your brand: They search for a product they want to buy. Your PPC Ad displays at the top of the search results page. The user clicks on your ad to get more details. A potential buyer for your product has been introduced to your brand. The speed and ease of this search is even more common in this age of growing mobile search. This potential buyer may like what they see and engage with you based on your paid ad and the landing page where they are directed.

Many buyers, however, want to do more research, so they keep scrolling down the SERP (search engine results page) looking for more information. They find you in organic search and find out even more information from the content on your website. A good salesman knows when to give quick answers to fill an immediate need for a customer in a hurry and when to take a slower approach for customers that require more information before making a buying decision. Using PPC and SEO together allow you to serve both of those types of customers and therefore, increase website conversions.

PPC Is Just Paying For Traffic You Would Have Anyway

I wish search was as straightforward as this: Get organic rankings up, and then you can stop using PPC and get your website traffic for free. Because of the lack of tracking organic search traffic on specific keywords, this theory is difficult to disprove using website traffic analytics. I can prove, however, that if you are interested in long term growth of your website traffic and search presence, you need to use these two platforms together for the following reasons:

  • PPC platforms (ie. Google Ads) have tools for adding additional keywords to search. What more perfect way to test your new keyword phrases, especially in the era of longtailed keywords for voice search, than PPC? If the keywords have traffic attached to them, and more importantly, have high conversion rates, these are keywords that you need to dominate. You will then focus SEO efforts on these keywords or keyword streams.
  • The online landscape is constantly changing with new algorithms for organic search, new rules and restrictions for paid ads, new terminology for your existing products and the need to introduce new products to online search results quickly while organic rankings build. In short, you need both platforms to have a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.
  • Seasonal or cyclical businesses may use PPC in times of high demand, or to expand web traffic in times of low demand. This simply is not possible with SEO campaigns.

Still not ready to admit that you need SEO and PPC to build your online traffic and grow your business? I will omit the names, but here are year to date stats showing the growth of 2 of our clients who use both PPC and SEO campaigns to grow their online traffic. Both platforms are continuing to grow rapidly and with higher conversion for each. I can say with absolute confidence that using SEO and PPC together is working for these firms. I would recommend at least trying to make it work for you.

Local HVAC Contractor:

Using SEO and PPC

International High Tech Optical Filter Manufacturer:

Using SEO and PPC

Eric Van Cleave is the Co-CEO and Digital Marketing Director for TIV Branding


TIV Branding is a boutique branding firm in Sonoma County, California. We specialize in building brands by using traditional, social and digital channels in unison. If you would like to discuss a project or find out more about how we do what we do, please email us at info@TIVbranding.com.