PPC Without SEO Puts Your Prospective Growth at Risk
Aaron Levenstadt CEO & Founder
April 25, 2019 | 5 Min Read
Article updated on August 25, 2022
When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC), your manageable budget today might have to dramatically increase tomorrow.When implementing a digital marketing strategy, search engine optimization (SEO) is often overlooked or implemented half-heartedly because it lacks the immediate yield that paid marketing tactics provide. What marketers must consider are the benefits of having PPC and SEO working together. The average internet user is becoming more and more resistant to ads. When it comes to search engine activity, users will click on an organic search result 94% of the time.
Also, as PPC markets become more crowded, your bid costs will inevitably go up. When this happens you could find your digital marketing efforts suddenly destabilize.
Those who argue about SEO vs PPC are having the wrong conversation. For PPC to have maximum impact, it should be combined with an SEO strategy.
SEO protects you from the volatility of PPC auctions
Online paid advertising networks are dynamic auction-based marketplaces. Allocating a budget to paid marketing channels can yield immediate results, which might make paid search and other pay-per-click internet networks very lucrative. However, paid marketing landscapes can shift fast. The auctions are sensitive to both the quantity and size of other companies competing for the same real estate. With the entrance of more brands, the costs of acquiring the same customer increases. As a result, some businesses may no longer be able to compete effectively as their business model could only support a cost-to-acquire (CAC) achieved in a less competitive marketplace. Even if they are able to compete, their effective margin has decreased, sometimes dramatically.Overreliance on PPC prevents you from effectively scaling your business and staying competitive.You can avoid relying too heavily on paid ads by deploying a full-fledged SEO strategy in conjunction with PPC efforts. The acquisition of SEO/organic traffic doesn’t require constant spending and generates long-term sustainable web traffic.This is a stark contrast to the volatile nature of paid channels, where ad penetration greatly depends on a company’s daily budget, overall ad spend and competitor bidding – which you have zero control over.
Organic traffic can reduce your daily PPC spend
One of the great advantages of SEO is that you do not need to spend on a per-click basis to acquire additional customers. As you begin to rank more highly on search engines for relevant search terms, you will begin to see an influx of visitors to your website.For example, when a user clicks on one of your blogs about a product or service they are considering, that comes at no cost to you. If they then make a purchase, you will have earned revenue effectively for zero additional CAC.Moreover, by earning more traffic and conversions from organic searches, you can reduce your paid advertising spend as you won’t have to lean on paid channels as heavily. It can take a while for SEO to take off, which means that the sooner you start the earlier you can ease off of PPC.
SEO-driven organic search results build credibility, consumer trust, and loyalty
Although paid traffic can generate leads and sales fast, the reality is that users often skip ads and head directly to organic search results. Why?Ads tend to be purely sales/conversion focused, which makes sense as they tend to target the lowest section of the marketing funnel. However, a potential customer often requires 7 or more marketing touchpoints that cover the awareness and consideration stages of the sales funnel before ever considering a purchase.When getting started with SEO, performing keyword research helps to discover search terms and phrases that you can target specifically for organic search. As you begin to show up on the first page for more searches, you will start to earn a higher search ranking for more competitive terms.An SEO-driven content strategy can then be designed to directly answer top and middle of the funnel user search queries. Brands who provide this content are of immense value to users, and your SEO efforts build trust in your brand.The SEO Content FunnelThe online discoverability and credibility that results from your SEO efforts will result in significant sales increases, especially when you start ranking on important search terms. Organic search results offer ranking brands a halo of credibility and trust in a way that paid ads simply can’t.
PPC and SEO working together: A safety net for your digital marketing
From the perspective of users, clicking on an ad rarely serves as a starting point for their online search. The implementation of organic content will establish a more trustworthy relationship with customers who seek value-driven content over promotional messages. Moreover, achieving organic search rank provides a safety net. Now you have the option of dialing back on paid if the auction systems shift out of your favor. Over time, having that consistent organic traffic is of immense value – likely way more than the SEO investment itself.Having an SEO strategy working in tandem with PPC ensures the consistent health and success of your digital marketing efforts.
Aaron Levenstadt completed his degree in Statistical & Data Science at Stanford University. That focus has given him an unparalleled data-driven approach to search engine digital marketing. Prior to founding Pedestal Search, Aaron worked at Google at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View California. At Google he worked on the Organic Search, Paid Search and Google Analytics products, which equipped him with extensive knowledge of the mechanisms driving Google’s algorithm and other internet search engines.