Today’s Ask An SEO question comes from Dean, who asks:
SEO is a big buzz but many companies don’t understand the shift to ROI.
We support paid media as a faster impact strategy. With that in mind, how would you suggest a paid business investment instead of SEO?
SEO and PPC are rarely mutually exclusive.
In fact, study after study has shown that when used in combination, both organic and paid search produce better results than either channel alone.
Obviously, this statistic varies widely based on each company’s strategies and goals.
There is no “typical” when it comes to search performance.
But there are best practices.
And for many years now, the best practice has been to run both organic and paid search campaigns simultaneously.
Research is not a “zero sum game”.
SEO and PPC need to talk to each other
Most of the issues that arise when running PPC and SEO campaigns simultaneously can be avoided by opening lines of communication between the SEO and PPC teams.
If you are a company that has different agencies running your paid and membership programs, you better ensure that these agencies can match up.
If one or both of the agencies you use overlap in services with the other, expect some noise and “zone zoning”.
Companies can avoid this by setting clear boundaries for each agency and sticking to them.
This means that no agency should view the other as a threat.
You want these groups to work together, not against each other. The worst thing you can do is pit them against each other.
This applies to internal teams as well.
If your PPC and SEO people aren’t sitting down and talking regularly, you’re most likely missing out on opportunities.
What about cannibalism?
Cannibalism occurs when PPC and SEO campaigns bring in the same visitors.
Obviously, you don’t want to pay for a visitor when that visitor comes to the site through organic search “for free”.
Cannibalism is real.
But it doesn’t waste as much money as most people think – and it’s often avoidable if your SEO and PPC teams get in touch.
Typically, the worst offending keywords for canceling searches are branded keywords.
In most cases, your visitors will find your site when they search for your brand, and you won’t have to pay to get it there.
But branded paid searches convert better than anything else.
PPC practitioners know this.
Branded terms make your PPC campaigns look good.
I highly encourage everyone to see your PPC data with and without branded terms.
There is a strong case for having branded terms in paid search. Paid search allows you to control the message in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Bidding on a branded term to make a special offer or highlight a unique selling proposition can greatly increase your return on investment (ROI).
But there are cases when bidding on your name does not bring additional traffic and simply costs you money for scrapped clicks.
The point is: you have to do your analysis with the big picture in mind.
Your organic and paid search campaigns affect your CTR in SERPs.
People in paid search and membership need to talk to each other and be willing to test things out to see what actually works for your company.
It’s definitely not a great idea to just cut your SEO for PPC or vice versa.
SEO and PPC both have their place.
This place is frequently run together.
- How can I build on my SEO knowledge to be better at PPC?
- 7 ways SEO and PPC can help each other
- How to use the synergy between PPC and SEO to leverage campaigns
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