Digital marketing can be separated into two core disciplines – earned media and paid media. Both offer unique strengths that ultimately work toward the same goal – nurturing the growth of a brand online and connecting it with customers. Rather than working in isolation, there are ways to ensure that earned and paid media complement each other, giving brands the maximum return on their digital marketing investments.
At the heart of earned media is SEO while the primary tool in paid media is pay-per-click (PPC), particularly through Google Ads. There isn’t a direct relationship between the two so you can’t improve organic search rankings by advertising with Google AdWords. But you can improve your SEO strategy by using insights gained from PPC. Here are three ways to achieve that:
Keywords are a vital component of any Google search ad and SEO ranking strategy, so keyword research should always be an area of focus. However, a fundamental difference between PPC and SEO is the speed at which results become available for analysis. SEO is a slow-burn strategy, it can take many months for any clear results to show, but PPC campaigns can be up and running and generating traffic in a day. This gives marketers an opportunity to quickly see what works and what doesn’t, i.e. which keywords and terms generate traffic and which don’t.
However, not all traffic ultimately leads to a sale. You can drill down further into the PPC data to determine which keywords and phrases result in a high bounce rate and which generate the most valuable traffic in terms of conversions. Armed with these insights, you can refine your SEO strategy to ensure that no time or money is wasted on fruitless efforts.
Google Ads allow you to target an ad to a specific area, be it country, province, city or a specified radius around a location. League Digital content manager Michael Cloutman explains: “This allows you to gain a presence in Google Search for users in that area, which you might otherwise miss if your site’s SEO isn’t as strong as a competitor.
“Many online searches for a product will be completed with an in-store purchase. When setting up an ad you can either choose the area under the settings or a kilometre radius around the business address to gain more potential sales leads with the amount spent. So this can help with SEO by providing data on what local customers may be searching for with regard to ad clicks – and you can then use that data to enhance your site’s SEO for the local market.”
PPC can help to get site visitors over the line and turn them into customers. Your SEO strategy might have brought them in to browse your site so your products and services could be on their minds as they continue to browse. By putting an ad in front of them you might be able to encourage them to return to your site to make a purchase. Essentially this means that you’re able to get more value out of your organic search visitors. Bear in mind that a conversion usually takes multiple points of contact.
Cloutman says: “When it comes to the relationship between Google search ads and SEO ranking, the most important thing is to keep the big picture in mind and use what is learnt through the different channels to improve each channel.” He adds that all digital efforts need to focus on the main objective and complement each other.
To see more on how we can grow your brand through digital, take a look at our digital marketing brochure.