SEO or Google Ads? Or maybe both Google Ads and SEO? How to combine SEO and PPC to increase website traffic and achieve intended results? When to choose these specific marketing strategies?
When selecting a given marketing strategy that is supposed to help you reach top positions in the search results, you should take a closer look at its components, objectives, ways it impacts your page, benefits it gives you, or things you may expect from individual services. In today’s entry, instead of analyzing whether you should choose SEO or Google Ads, we’ll focus on finding the answer to the question “how to effectively combine SEO and Google Ads campaigns?”. We would like to start by making it clear that whenever we state Google Ads we actually mean sponsored links in the Google search engine. The promotional service itself offers various other steps that can help you effectively achieve your business goals.
SEO and PPC - the same goal, different paths
Efficiently conducted SEO activities and Google Ads bring similar results - the page is displayed in high positions which makes it easier for its target audience to reach it. Although the mentioned effect is the same, the way to achieve it is quite different. Let’s analyze it in more detail.
Google Ads - quick effects
Google Ads is a Google service that makes it possible to create and optimize online ads that are addressed to specific groups of recipients. Due to the fact that this service is paid, you compete for positions with the maximum cost per click and the quality score which affects the display of the ads. While the effects of SEO don’t appear overnight, Google Ads enable reaching top positions for specific phrases right away. Ads campaigns are fully predictable and their results can be diligently measured - not like in the case of SEO.
It’s worth noting that Google Ads don’t affect your positions in the organic search results.
For those expecting immediate results over a short time, paid advertising becomes an intuitive and reasonable option due to the relatively quick changes that are noticeable from the start of the campaign. However, it needs to be borne in mind that as soon as you disable Google Ads, you’ll stop gaining traffic through this channel. Although it takes a bit longer to see the first results of SEO, they’re definitely more long-lasting.
Remember that SEO has a direct impact on your positions in the organic search results, whereas PPC helps to build brand recognition and outdo your market rivals at the beginning of your activity.
Google Ads are always displayed above the organic search results (SEO), so when it comes to highly competitive phrases where top positions are occupied by tycoons or popular new sites, Google Ads remain a highly appealing solution. CPA and ROAS of your campaigns are two factors that are worth paying attention to. In the case of extremely competitive phrases, it’s crucial to focus on optimizing the user-friendliness of the website and conducting activities that aim at refining the conversion rate.
SEO - stable traffic that’s worth the wait
SEO involves a series of long-term activities in case which effects are postponed in time. The patient ones should appreciate that this type of campaign allows building foundations for organic traffic which in the long run can have a serious advantage over paid traffic. Traffic obtained through SEO is more stable. Moreover, a noticeable group of Internet users is rather wary when it comes to Google Ads. Instead, they benefit from the organic search results that are more natural. SEO activities performed patiently and consistently make it possible for a website to reach higher and higher positions in the organic search results.
Note that these two strategies aren’t mutually exclusive. There are also no valid reasons why you should eschew one of them.
Choosing only one of the available options may be a mistake you’ll pay for in the future. Both SEO and Google Ads will help you achieve the intended objective. Moreover, when analyzing the goal with the path in mind, one can come to the conclusion that it’s advisable to combine these two strategies.
Expectations of Google’s algorithm
The plan for achieving top positions in the search results should be devised and implemented already when creating the page code. The increasing awareness of the online store and website owners triggers the emergence of platforms (CMS) that are SEO-friendly. However, we frequently deal with websites developed a few years ago whose codes make them less attractive for Google robots. Then, quality content or valuable link databases may not be enough to reach high positions in the ranking.
It’s worth stressing that Google's algorithm is constantly modified. If you want to respond to the changes relatively early, Google Ads can support keywords that are the most important for you and that won’t be displayed on the first page after the update of the algorithm.
SEO and Google Ads - two strategies that complement each other
The right configuration of SEO and PPC guarantees increased effectiveness of marketing activities. To achieve satisfactory results, it’s worth starting both PPC and SEO campaigns. To ensure synergy and have the entire process under control, it’s a common practice to outsource both activities to one company. Comprehensive management of marketing activities by one agency makes it possible to introduce matching corrections to both campaigns and modify the website to make it more user-friendly.
Quick results visible in the graphs frequently drive the choice of the PPC strategy which can bring outstanding effects if your industry is characterized by significant seasonality. Then, paid campaigns to help you attract interest over a short period of time when the demand for your products increases. Moreover, paid campaigns increase the probability of users performing specific actions such as subscribing to the newsletter or placing an order - this is particularly convenient for entrepreneurs who aim at improving sales.
So what about SEO? Should you give it up? Of course not!
As you may guess, people become customers of websites that inspire trust and are recognizable. SEO translates into organic positions in the search results which significantly affect brand image. Thanks to it, customers are more willing to finalize transactions and recommend the store to others - this is another argument for combining SEO and PPC.
Data exchange between SEO and PPC is also very useful. By running PPC campaigns, you gain access to competitive data such as searched phrases, CTR, and the popularity of branded keywords which can be used in the SEO process. On the other hand, SEO data can be used in Search Console to optimize Google Ads campaigns.
In numerous cases, store turnover is generated mostly through Google traffic. Therefore, properly conducted SEM campaigns contribute to generating business profits.
In the end, Google's algorithm and its subsequent updates clearly indicate that users are the most important. By introducing algorithm changes the Silicon Valley giant forces you to improve the attractiveness of your website. Well-prepared content that helps users and brings value to their lives, a strong link base - all this can be achieved through SEO activities. Complementing the above-mentioned factors with neat UX makes it more likely for you to reach top positions in the search results. The emergence of extra parameters and Google Ads data related to the landing page quality score confirms this information.
Usually, Google campaigns are solutions applied in case of phrases that are ranked in distant positions in the organic search results. Google Ads won't improve positions of phrases that are already displayed high, however, if phrases generate a lot of conversions, we suggest running a test to check the potential increase in sales, provided that your market rivals occupy higher positions in the organic results.
This article aimed at changing the question “Google Ads or SEO?” to “How to combine these two strategies so that they complement one another?”. A thorough plan combining these solutions will bring the finest results both at the beginning of work and in the long run.
Advantages of Google Ads campaigns:
Possibility to compete with the greatest tycoons from the very outset,
Not being affected by algorithm changes,
Quick keyword support after algorithm changes,
Advantages of SEO:
Gradual improvement of website traffic,
Trust in the visited page.
Advantages of SEM - PPC and SEO activities:
Possibility to use SEO data in Google campaigns and the other way round,
Effective sales optimization,
Effective website optimization (SEO and PPC),
Efficient monitoring of effects,
Combining SEO and Google Ads campaigns has one major advantage that significantly impacts brand awareness. Starting SEO and PPC activities at the same time continuously helps you mark your presence in the online world. Due to the fact that SEO results are visible only after some time, it’s a more long-term strategy. It’s possible to scale the PPC campaign budget depending on your objectives.
When trying to make your website more accessible, it’s worth keeping in mind that users are generally divided into two groups that have different objectives. The first group includes avid shoppers that are comfortable when it comes to clicking on Google Ads, comparing prices, and making purchases. The other group denotes people preferring the organic search results - they visit first websites displayed below paid ads and instead of advocating impulsive purchases, they need to encounter the brand a few times before making the final decision. Consequently, reaching these two groups requires combining SEO and Google Ads activities.
While building your foundation for organic traffic, take advantage of paid PPC campaigns that will allow you to immediately reach top positions. In the long run, you can give up on sponsored links in order to boost your SEO results.
This solution is a happy medium that builds continuity of your marketing activities and helps you attract both groups of Internet users. Over time, you’ll be able to reduce the PPC budget, while maintaining a satisfactory number of website visits thanks to the previously implemented SEO strategy that will be generating more and more stable organic traffic.
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