How SEO & Paid Advertising Work Together in Digital Marketing

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read

Search Engine Optimization & Paid Advertising

Search engine optimization and paid advertising, two sides of the same coin which we call search engine marketing (SEM), as well as digital marketing in the broader sense. Both function through strong keyword research and targeting of key audiences. SEO is the organic and free side of SEM wherein you gain traffic naturally through easy visibility on the web. Paid advertising operates as a catalyst that quickly captures traffic by paying for advertisement space on search engines, thus the name “paid advertising”.

SEO and PPC Strategy

An easy way for us digital marketers to understand the synergy of SEO and PPC strategy is to view it as a general manager of a sports team would view his team building strategy. SEO is the long play, wherein you develop your team through the “farm system” in sports. This means drafting players over a long period of time and helping them develop into stars in your league. Through these efforts, you’ll spend a lot of time cultivating your roster (in marketing- your brand, voice, and traffic) while you slowly improve performances on a steady basis. Under this same metaphor, paid search equates to signing high-profile players that can help you win in the immediate future instead of down the road. A savvy general manager (digital marketer) understands both strategies are effective and can be employed in unison, if done correctly. The paid side will help achieve immediate performance benchmarks. In sports, that might mean winning your division title or selling more tickets to your games. For paid advertising this means quickly gaining website traffic and improving conversion rates. While you continue to achieve these wins, you will ideally want to move away from a reliance on paid traffic, and towards organic (free/earned) traffic. This is where SEO (the farm system) comes into play.  

As we mentioned, organic growth happens more gradually than paid. As your “homegrown talent” develops, you won’t need to spend as much money on the big stars. When looking at the bigger picture, it’s easier to see how you can continue to holistically improve your team based on the progress and wins achieved by those early “stars”. The early data we can pick up from paid advertising will help influence many aspects of SEO strategy such as keyword research and how we structure our meta tags and “calls to action”. Even if your initial paid campaigns aren’t completely successful, a smart digital marketer will use that knowledge and steer clear of these mistakes in later paid campaigns and SEO campaigns that are still in progress.

We’ll discuss a few different ways organic and paid search campaigns influence and help each other, but the most important to remember is the keyword process. At the end of the day, it all boils down to keywords, or the “players” in our metaphor above. In order to effectively and efficiently see both sides through, a strong digital marketer first identifies the keywords most critical to their business and mission. On the search engine optimization side, you’ll focus on tracking keyword rankings, improving blogs and site infrastructure, as well as ease of access to important information to ensure the site is more navigable for both users and search engines. Meanwhile on the paid advertising side, you’ll leverage these keywords to facilitate visibility and the velocity at which you test your messaging and communication performance. You can also implement dynamic search ads (DSAs) which function as the middle ground between paid and organic search. These enable Google to source your page and connect specific searches to your site without having to buy keywords – and the better they are optimized from an SEO perspective, the better the ads will perform. From here, you can utilize your learnings and data from both sides to influence and fine-tune your campaign performances across the site, starting from the keyword level and moving up with the strong foundation you’ve developed.

Now when it comes to putting this all together, it helps to tie back the performance of keywords, ads, and pages to your larger business goals – find out what products are most efficient and how to better market them to the world. By comparing paid and organic performance data you can identify where to allocate investments to produce the best business outcomes, as well as learning how to convey what it is your company does in the most concise way possible. Ultimately, as you transition from paid to organic you can leverage the learnings from both linguistic and financial aspects to grow your business to what it can be.

Better keywords = better visibility = better business. It’s as simple as that.

4 Ways SEO and PPC Work Together

So we’ve already explained the basics of how paid ads and search engine optimization work in tandem to improve keywords, visibility, messaging, and overall traffic and strategy. But here are a few other ways they work together to improve your digital marketing.

  1. Avoid negative PR:
  • Ideally you’ll want to just avoid getting your business into situations that bring harmful PR, but for some major corporations this can prove more difficult. During times like these, quick and smart digital marketers utilize their abilities to direct searchers to more favorable content. One example is after an oil spill, a company will bid on related keywords and direct traffic to their cleanup efforts instead of the detrimental story.
  1. Dominate SERPs (search engine results pages):
  • With so many new SERP features these days like ads, rich result snippets, and map packs, it isn’t enough to only rank favorably for your mission critical keywords. Having a strong PPC and SEO strategy working together will help you claim multiple spots on a SERP and dominate your competition.
  1. Save money:
  • A strong budget is hugely important for paid advertising strategy so saving money wherever possible can go a long way. If you’re already ranking well for a term and aren’t seeing much benefit from bidding on the keyword as well, cut it from the budget and focus on more pertinent keywords for your campaign.
  1. Improve decision making:
  • Overall, the cohesion of SEO and PPC sharpens your skills as a digital marketer and business person. Utilizing data from both channels will enable you to make more informed decisions. Digital marketing should always be based on logic and data, not guesses or assumptions of a market. The more information you have to work with, the better your performance will be in the future.

Contact Nxt Era About SEO and Paid Ads

The best way to be sure your business is performing to its highest potential is to partner with an established digital marketing agency. Nxt Era Marketing has a highly skilled team with experience across all digital marketing channels, and especially in search engine optimization and paid advertising. Reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation!

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