Why SEO + PPC Fuels More Growth When Done Together

Carl Hiehn Senior Account Strategist at Pedestal Search

Carl Hiehn Senior Account Strategist

March 9, 2022 | 5 Min Read

Article updated on July 8, 2022

No, 1+1=3 isn’t a math error – at least when it comes to digital marketing theory.

The “1+1=3” principle refers to the incremental growth potential of running SEO and PPC channels in tandem.

Put simply, running these two search engine tactics independently of one another will generate results. But when done together, those results increase exponentially.

Let’s discuss in more detail so you can begin maximizing your Search Engine Marketing ROI.

How does the 1+1=3 principle work?

As mentioned, the theory reflects the exponential increase in website traffic when you run successful SEO and PPC initiatives in tandem.

Let’s use an example.

A chocolate bar company called ‘Yum Chocolate’ was successfully ranking in the first position on Google for its own brand name. Branded searches were bringing in 100 visitors per month.

As an experiment, Yum Chocolate began running a Google Ads search campaign bidding on its own brand name with enough budget to bring in exactly 100 more visitors.

The goal was to bring in a total of 200 visitors from their SEO and PPC branded campaigns combined.

To Yum’s delight, the company ended up netting 300 visitors total in the same period they expected 200. This is the effect of the 1+1=3 principle.

While Yum Chocolate is entirely fictional, the principle is not.

Here at Pedestal Search, we’ve repeatedly seen similar results for numerous clients. And it’s not just us. Here’s a proper scientific case study on the principle that you can read: Analyzing the Relationship Between Organic and Sponsored Search Advertising: Positive, Negative, or Zero Interdependence?

Why does incremental growth work?

There are likely two reasons the 1+1=3 principle works: Page One monopolization and increased trust.

Page One Monopolization

When a user types a query into Google they’re usually served approximately 10 options to choose from. In many instances, all 10 options point to entirely different websites.

Page One monopolization means one website or brand has taken up two or more of the options present, often in preferential positions (1–3 + top of page ads). If the query was a brand name, the website may even have a rich Google My Business listing.

It’s important to note there is no reliable statistic outlining the average boost CTR receives from Page One monopolization. This is because there’s an extraordinary amount of variables at play, such as query type, user geography, industry, etc.

To better understand Page One monopolization, here’s a screenshot of a query for our brand name typed into Google. You can see that this search query generates an ad (red), an organic listing in position one (purple) and a Google My Business listing (yellow).

A screenshot of a Google search for 'Pedestal Search'. The screen one shows page one monopolization.

By having all three of the most important positions filled by pedestalsearch.com listings, the user is almost forced to click one of them. 

Also, by having three separate listings, we can pitch ourselves in three unique ways.

In this example, the ad describes us as a Digital Marketing Agency, the organic listing describes us SEO & PPC Management Specialists, and the GMB listing represents us more visually. This allows us to capture different users who may be swayed by differing copy.

Increased Trust

As an extension of Page One monopolization, having organic and paid listings appear in the same page increases user trust. 

Users have come to put significant trust in Google’s ranking system. They know that the first few listings are very likely to fulfill their needs or answer their queries. This is true for ads as well—the higher the ad is SERPs, the more trust a user puts in it to fulfill their needs.

Based on this logic, we know that by seeing a high ranking organic listing and a high ranking paid ad in the same search will exponentially increase a user’s trust in the webpage or brand and thus increase their likelihood of clicking through.

Creating a synchronized SEO & PPC strategy

When SEO & PPC work in harmony, CTR exponentially improves. However, getting these two unique digital marketing initiatives to harmonize requires specialized knowledge of both tactics.

Digital marketing agencies like Pedestal Search can help businesses build dynamic, well-oiled strategies. We’re able to take a wide range of budgets and execute thoughtful, targeted campaigns that minimize mistakes and maximize ROI.

If you’d like assistance drafting a harmonious SEO & PPC strategy, get in touch today. We’re happy to provide a free audit of your website so you can better understand how SEO & PPC theory can benefit your business.


PPC, SEO, SEO Basics

Carl Hiehn Senior Account Strategist at Pedestal Search

Carl Hiehn

Senior Account Strategist

With over seven years of digital marketing experience, Carl leads Pedestal's Account Strategist team. He holds a degree in professional writing from York University and a certificate in digital marketing from the University of Toronto. Before narrowing in on SEO at Pedestal, Carl worked as a content writer, social media manager, and digital ads manager in the travel & tourism industry. He has worked at internationally lauded companies such as Intrepid Travel and Outward Bound Canada, as well as boutique businesses such as Out Adventures.