In 2012, researchers at Google examined PPC advertising in relation to organic search. Specifically, they asked how frequently a PPC ad impression accompanied an organic result on a user’s search engine results page (SERP), and they asked how the incrementality of ad clicks varies according to the ranking of the advertiser’s organic SERP ranking. What they found was that when they turned off an ad, the clicks that would have resulted from the ad were generally not replaced by an organic search click. What’s more, they discovered that PPC incrementality increased as organic search decreased.
What that means is that PPC advertising works best when it accompanies and informs a solid SEO strategy. The following are some ways that companies can use PPC advertising in conjunction with SEO to increase impressions and, ultimately, conversions.
Integrating keyword strategy
One of the primary advantages of PPC advertising is its ability to provide nearly immediate data on the keywords that people use to find a given product or service. Thus, you can use PPC data to inform your SEO content strategy, as well as to determine title tags and meta descriptions. You’ll know much more quickly with PPC data that with organic data what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, enabling search on your site and analyzing the results can inform your PPC strategy.
Use social media ad results to refine targeting
One of the main advantages of social media PPC advertising is its ability to target highly specific audiences. For example, you can use a Facebook ad to target 30-year-old singles who like to travel and stay in luxury hotels. You can then use the resulting insights to discover whether your perceived target audience is the same as your actual target audience and then adjust your SEO strategy accordingly, thus streamlining your content to appeal to people who will actually want your product or service.
Using PPC advertising in conjunction with your SEO strategy will significantly increase your SERP exposure as, remember, the first few SERP results are frequently ads. Some are inclined to reduce PPC once they achieve a high SERP ranking, but the Google team’s research reveals that this is a mistake. Users who view a PPC ad along with a high rank on their SERP are more likely to regard that company as a major player in the sector.