Have you ever considered investing in a PPC campaign with an SEO strategy? Or wondered whether the combination of two would negatively or positively impact your site’s rankings?

To answer the latter, no – PPC does not directly impact SEO. PPC and SEO are two separate entities with established regulations to ensure paid search has absolutely no direct impact on organic ranking.

Google declares that its “first responsibility is to provide Search users with the most relevant possible results. If businesses could pay for higher rankings in the search results, users wouldn’t be getting the information they’re looking for”.

However, while PPC does not directly impact SEO, there are indirect outcomes from investing in paid search and SEO. Let’s explore these indirect outcomes in further detail.

What is the difference between PPC and SEO?

The fundamental difference between PPC and SEO is that the traffic from organic search is “free”, while PPC involves a cost for each click. Both strategies aim to increase traffic to a website to achieve better business performance goals, revenue, etc, but they do so differently.

How PPC can help SEO 

PPC and SEO are two sides of the same coin. Many businesses experience the indirect effects of a dual marketing strategy when they use both PPC and SEO strategies for their website.

Let’s look closer at the indirect effects PPC has on SEO.

Builds brand awareness

PPC can help to build brand awareness, which increases the likelihood of users remembering your business when searching for similar products or services to your own. As searchers become more familiar with your brand, they are more likely to engage and click on your site, increasing click-through rates (CTR).

Searchers might be more inclined to explore the rest of the site later on through an organic result after initial exposure to your brand through a paid ad. This can increase the CTR, sending user signals to the SERP and helping to improve organic ranking performance.

You can also use a PPC ad on prominent social media channels like Twitter or Instagram, which can successfully widen your audience reach through increased brand exposure. Using PPC ads alongside your SEO strategy can ultimately be advantageous in quickly establishing your brand.

Visibility in the SERP

Combining PPC and SEO strategies can help increase your site’s exposure, potentially gaining you a strong position on the SERP.

When you run a PPC ad, it will be the first thing users see when they run a search, as it will appear at the very top of the SERP.

Combined with SEO, double exposure to your website can influence how users perceive your brand. For instance, seeing your business more than once on the SERP can make users more inclined to click on your site as it suggests you offer trustworthy products and services.

Incorporating the two strategies could be highly beneficial as you have the potential to combat challenging and competitive SERP targets by increasing your site visibility.

Enhanced keyword research 

Both SEO and PPC strategies use keyword research to produce listings in the SERP. Using both strategies is advantageous to see which keywords drive the most traffic to your page.

SEO is a gradual and organic process, which means it can take a little longer than PPC to analyse the effectiveness of your keywords. On the other hand, PPC allows you to see the immediate results of which keywords drive traffic to your site and which ones are not.

Using keyword data from PPC informs your SEO campaign. It allows you to analyse a broader set of keyword data and identify which ones have the highest conversion rates.

From this, you will be able to make the necessary adjustments to your SEO campaigns quicker, such as eliminating low-performance keywords.

Should you focus on SEO or PPC?

The best approach is to perceive SEO and PPC as complementary strategies to increase brand visibility and improve your keyword strategy.

A solid search marketing strategy should tick all the boxes. Begin with a solid organic foundation that can be further enhanced with a PPC strategy and help you quickly gain more qualified leads. Using a PPC strategy as an additional data source for keyword research can help speed up the process of boosting your SERP performance.

However, it’s crucial to remember that combining two strategies might not be viable for all businesses, especially those with a smaller budget.

Although it takes more time to see any results on your website, choosing an SEO strategy could be a cost-effective approach to increasing brand awareness and relevant traffic to your website. However, while a PPC strategy requires a budget and comes at a direct cost, this method can quickly drive brand awareness and traffic to your site. It all depends on what sort of return you are hoping to receive from your efforts.

Bear in mind that, even though many businesses consider SEO strategy to be ‘free’, both SEO and PPC cost money and can have many indirect costs and indirect profits.

To wrap up, paid search does not directly impact SEO efforts. But combining the two strategies has many indirect effects. Although PPC and SEO are two very different marketing strategies, they can definitely complement one another if used strategically.