Using PPC and SEO Together

Some people might say that PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are at opposite ends of the search marketing spectrum.  PPC is all about paying for short term gain while SEO is all about long term lasting results.  Both of these are true, but, to be honest, I believe that there is huge benefit to using them as part of an aggressive two-pronged strategy to drive traffic to your website that delivers the results you want.  Rather than opposing forces, I believe these are merely tools in the toolbox of a savvy online marketer, when used correctly to complement each other.  My favorite PPC campaign platform is Google AdWords.  One of the best features is the ability to integrate with Google Analytics so that powerful stats are available to track and evaluate your website and your campaign success.

SEO is intended to prepare your website to deliver organic traffic, traffic from the unpaid listings on search engines.  Good SEO accomplishes this, over time, and takes the application of time and expertise to deliver results.  It is like building a sports team through drafting good players and developing them until they become stars. Your keyword search phrases are your players in this analogy.  Pay Per Click is like using free agency to acquire the best players, right away, at the going market rate.

To build a winning team (a winning website) for both long term and short term results, consider using the best of both the SEO and PPC tactics to get you there faster, and keep you there longer. Your website may be a great website, but it can’t be the top ranked site for every search term that you want. Pay Per Click campaigns can get you the traffic you want. Think of Pay Per Click as the free agent signings that fill in the current deficiencies in your SEO.  Remember that PPC, while it will guarantee you traffic to your site, it takes money. If your website is not bringing you all the traffic you want, use a Pay Per Click campaign to compliment the traffic it brings by targeting your pay per click where you want to grow.

The stats in your Pay Per Click campaigns are a lot like the stats on your website’s free traffic. Learn to use the stats, especially the keyword performance stats. By monitoring your campaign stats, you can quickly see what ads and what keywords are being displayed the most and which are being clicked on the most. This should lead you into developing and optimizing content pages on your site for these keywords and key phrases.  You will see, in your campaign stats, something called a bounce rate. This is a very important stat as it tells you if you are wasting money. The bounce rate is a measurement of visitors entering your site and leaving after only viewing the 1st page. You paid for these visitors. You need to determine what an acceptable rate is. If 90% of your paid visitors bounce, you need to multiply the average cost per click by 10 to give you a true measure of what it costs to get someone to your site who will at least look at one more page.

By using the real world stats from your PPC campaign, you will know what keywords drive traffic to your site, but more importantly, what keywords drive the traffic that leads to results.  You can use the top performing keywords to direct your SEO priorities and attract that traffic for free through the organic search results.  Pay for the clicks now and you will take a short cut road to improving your SEO results.