If you are looking to spread the word about your business online, you have many different digital marketing methods to choose from. However, if you have only recently started exploring those options, you could find a lot of the associated jargon somewhat daunting to stomach.
For a start, you might have seen the acronyms “SEO” and “PPC” flying about. The former means “search engine optimisation”, while the latter stands for “pay-per-click”.
They are both terms for techniques you can use to get webpages of your company’s website more prominently listed on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, you don’t have to settle for just SEO or PPC, as you can reap especially large promotional returns from using both.
It’s impressive to see how SEO & PPC work together when leveraged in sufficiently strategic ways. Here are several ways in which these contrasting, but complementary fields can make a delightfully effective “tag team”.
Integrating Successful SEO and PPC Strategies
Missed an opportunity to catch attention? You can buy yourself second chances
With SEO, what you basically do is create online content that is genuinely useful or informative enough in its own right to earn Google’s approval. When this happens, the search engine will ensure the content is ranked more favourably on SERPs for relevant search queries.
For example, if your business specialises in swimwear, you could write beginner-friendly articles on how to master the main swimming strokes — such as front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, and so on.
Now, while it would obviously be ideal for would-be swimmers to find these articles and buy from your company as a result, you could also use PPC to place ads on SERPs. You would have to pay for these ads, but only when someone clicks on them — hence the term “pay-per-click”.
You can ‘test’ keywords to figure out which of them to stick with
What would be a succinct way of describing how SEO and PPC differ? Perhaps it could be said that SEO is about earning publicity, while PPC is more about buying it. PPC can constitute a handy “shortcut” or “quick fix”, but you might struggle to garner results that are quite as effective over the long haul.
After all, while PPC ads are quicker to insert into search results, they can still ultimately come across as exactly that: ads. As research has indicated, many people distrust traditional paid advertising.
Nonetheless, PPC can really come into its own by enabling you to “test the waters” with keywords that you are considering weaving into your online copy.
Just picture the scene: you run a retail store stocking consumer tech like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and you are considering writing a long-form article on how to use such devices more eco-consciously. How many of your target customers would be keen to read this article?
You could get at least a vague answer to this question, by running PPC campaigns based around keywords related to this proposed article’s subject. These keywords could be along the lines of “green tech”, “eco-friendly tech”, “sustainable smartphones”, and so on.
If the consequent PPC ads draw a flurry of clicks, it will probably be fair to conclude that there is indeed enough interest in the subject to justify you writing a lengthy article about it for your website.
Has your brand been hit by a scandal? PPC and SEO can come to the rescue
You can probably quickly recall examples of scandals responsible for damaging otherwise well-regarded brands. One classic example would be when, in 2012, Apple released a Maps app that turned out to be riddled with inaccuracies, including misplaced towns and misnamed suburbs.
Apple CEO Tim Cook went as far as publicly telling Apple users he was extremely sorry for the frustration they had experienced using the application.
Hopefully, you will never find your business engulfed in a scandal that would require you to make amends in a similarly public manner. However, you can’t entirely rule out the possibility, either.
You can at least take comfort from the fact that if such a crisis does strike, you would be able to use PPC and SEO campaigns to help redirect the narrative about your company.
After all, publicity about the crisis could lead people to Google it. In that situation, it would be helpful if those users find online content that you have written yourself to set the record straight about what your company is doing to compensate for its mess-up.
Whatever the specific ways in which you might wish to harness PPC and SEO, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek expert assistance. For example, many UK-based businesses could reach out to a reputable digital marketing agency in London.