Using SEO for Better Paid Search Results, and Vice Versa

Even the most seasoned optimization experts hit roadblocks when it comes to marketing their web sites. When these issues arise, the most common way to deal with them is through the use of pay per click advertising.

It is important to understand that search engine optimization has its limitations. With the introduction of Google’s Universal Search for example, more emphasis is placed on localized results as well as non-traditional web media. As a result of these new results pages, more opportunities arise for sponsored listings to perform.

Perhaps more importantly though, it provides paying advertisers using systems like Yahoo Search Marketing and Google AdWords to run very specific campaigns.

Using SEO Knowledge for PPC Gains

Using your web analytics, you can easily refer back to organic search traffic and find opportunities for PPC success. Let’s say for example that MSN is providing you with top quality visitors for a specific keyword through natural search results.

Well, you can bet that using that same keyword phrase on Google AdWords and Yahoo’s Search Marketing will yield similar results. The only real question is just how much you’re willing to pay for such traffic.

Likewise, PPC programs allow you to target subtle variations of what has already been working for you. Just refer back to the information available and get moving!

The Time Factor

One of the most common reasons we like to use PPC efforts as a compliment to organic search — is that the entire process is early instantaneous.

From creating accounts and campaigns to launching ads and receiving clicks — you can literally be up and running with a comprehensive campaign in under an hour.

On the flip side of things, you can also use PPC to help short run marketing issues. Say you have a surplus of inventory to get rid of in a week’s time. Since you don’t have any time to launch a successful SEO effort, use PPC accordingly to help clear your shelves.

Now, Extract PPC Information!

Why rent when you can buy? If you have proven success in PPC ads for a particular search term, get off your tail and create some optimized content for that market!

In time, you can then wean away from paying on a per click basis by supplementing the opportunities with free search traffic.

Budgets are the Key to Success

They always say that time is money? With SEO, you’re spending time. With PPC, you’re spending money. With careful planning and budgeting though, you can make this a win – win situation.

Know your limitations before you jump into the arena of web site marketing. If you need assistance with making things happen in your budget, call some professionals to give you a hand.

Ultimately, you need to set and stick to your limitations. Spending too much money will never allow your online business to grow, and the same is true of becoming obsessed with search engine optimization. Spending all of your time creating and optimizing content will only leave you with less time to run the business behind the web site.

Quick Tips

Whenever you’re using PPC and SEO hand in hand, be sure to consider these quick tips:

  • Always measure effectiveness
  • Never pay more than you can afford
  • Don’t rent when you can buy!
  • Use PPC for Time Sensitive Offers
  • Set and Stick to Budgets (Money & Time)
  • Be Aware of Click Fraud

Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel has over 12 years of digital marketing experience and has helped hundreds of clients increase web traffic, boost user acquisition, and grow their businesses. He’s currently the VP of Marketing at When I Work, the top rated employee scheduling software. Sujan also wrote the marketing playbook for startups titled 100 Days of Growth.
Sujan Patel

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10 thoughts on “Using SEO for Better Paid Search Results, and Vice Versa

  1. Exactly.
    The way I have started to see it is that, the top site gets close ot 50% of the clicks.
    If you have found a keyword in your website statistics that gets you a hundred hits a month that result in some sales, check your rank in the search engines for that word.
    If you rank number eight, PPC can get you closer to #1 and closer to most of the clickthroughs on that keyword. Even if you rank #2, you will see some results with advertising.
    I have found some keywords that I have 80% CTR and 50% conversion average after months of running. What am I paying? Not more than $0.15 a click.

  2. Ah, I love how universal search is turning SEO on its head. Maybe this will encourage SEOers and PPC advertisers to collaborate more closely. Great article…

  3. I believe what a company needs to succeed online is a good copywriter who understands SEO. Plus another copywriter who understands PPC marketing so he can handle the ad write-ups and stuff.

  4. Sujan, great article. In my own experience before i start any seo (organic) campaign, i run a quick PPC test to find out what keywords will convert. When i find these keywords i use then to optimize the site. Otherwise you will spend all your time, money and effort on optimizing for something that will not give you anything.

  5. Some very sound, concise and practical advice, which I may forward to a client who’s quite hands-on about his AdWords campaign.

    What I would add is that Google Universal isn’t quite the search headache some commentators have speculated it would be.

    After all, how many mens apparel and home furnishings businesses do you know who routinely churn out video content?

    The threat from a rounder, more inclusive search result is more of a problem to the movie studios, the music labels and the blue chip enterprise guys than the other 90% who make up search results…

  6. Completely agree with the recommendation to use PPC first, and then migrate the best converting words over to an SEO campaign. If everyone did that, I think they would be happy campers.