Paid search and SEO strategies should be choreographed and orchestrated. So why do so many marketers treat them like entirely different approaches?
When coordinated, paid search and SEO can combine to provide exceptional efficiency and powerful results. On the other hand, implementing paid search and SEO strategies separately can result in missed opportunities.
Paid Search Does Not Cannibalize SEO
When already in the top organic spot, many marketers fear bidding on the keyword will result in paying for traffic that is currently free. While this may happen some of the time, this concern can keep marketers from looking at the bigger picture. Owning multiple top spots (including both paid and organic placements) means there are more chances for searchers to end up on your website.
Paid Search + SEO: Increased Search Traffic, Engagement, Conversions
Harmonized paid search and SEO efforts can result in brands owning more real estate in the first page of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). When a brand dominates the paid and organic listings and pushes other listings down, it can significantly boost click volume, resulting in increased search traffic, engagement and conversions.
How Does Paid Search Help SEO?
Paid search can…
- Go live within minutes, providing almost instant results. For brands looking to gain quick visibility, paid search can be very effective at filling in the gaps from SEO efforts that take more time.
- Provide quick keyword research. Paid search results come in faster than SEO results, and the keyword learnings (including what actually results in conversions) can be very valuable to share between the two teams.
- Increase brand recognition, familiarizing users with a brand. Once organic listings start to rank, searchers may be more likely to click on the organic links because of that brand awareness.
- Help build a brand’s site authority and increase rankings for SEO strategies. Plus, paid search may encourage backlinks because of brand familiarity, leading to more brand exposure and awareness.
How Does SEO Help Paid Search?
- Boost your quality score. Your site’s quality score can boost your paid search efforts. A brand’s quality score is determined in part based on high-quality SEO efforts, like relevant content and a positive user experience. Brands with a higher quality score may be able to bid less for paid search placement and still achieve top rankings.
- Prove relevance. Google dynamic search and shopping ads, often included within paid search initiatives, review website content to determine ad relevance to the search term and to populate the ad text and image. With SEO and paid search teams working together, you can make sure you don’t block any important messaging on your website, allowing Google bots to easily crawl your site to determine authority and ranking.
- Provide long-term keyword learnings. Sometimes every marketer is surprised by what actually works to drive conversions. Reviewing the list of effective organic keywords can provide ideas to the paid search team.
SEO and Paid Search Teams Should Work Together
SEO and paid search teams should be transparent with strategies to help ensure all teams are on the same page, this will give everyone involved a larger view of the brand’s full digital exposure.
Both teams should be aware of specific keyword choices and strategies. And, of course, reporting, analysis and optimizations should also be done in conjunction with each other to help make sure the website appropriately ranks for desired searches.
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