One of the classic debates in digital marketing circles is over the merits of paid search (aka PPC) versus SEO. Some marketers have a hobby horse, really advocating for one over the other, but the reality is that both are immensely valuable. In fact, the best approach to marketing is integration—synthesizing paid search and SEO, aligning them to the same purpose.
That’s because, while different, paid search and SEP can be highly complementary. The important principle is to have an overall strategy in place that harmonizes these twin disciplines, pointing them both toward the same basic goal.
This is especially true in ecommerce marketing—but how exactly can you synchronize your paid search and SEO efforts? Here are some tips.
Gleaning SEO Opportunities from PPC Data
First, note that your supply of PPC data can provide some helpful direction for SEO endeavors. Here’s how:
* Share keyword data. Selecting the “Search Query reports” option in AdWords can be in invaluable way to determine the organic keywords you should be focusing on.
* Embrace remarketing. You can also use PPC to promote the creative content you’ve developed—for example, blogs, e-books, or downloadable product guides.
* Implement sitelinks. Another approach is to implement sitelinks within AdWords, a proven way to bring more visibility to your best content.
* Tweak your copywriting. Finally, writing AdWords copy can give you a clear sense of what resonates and what doesn’t for your target audience. That can be useful information as you do some SEO copywriting or blogging.
Finding PPC Opportunities in SEO
On the flipside, the analytics you gather from your SEO endeavors can provide guidance for your PPC. Some examples of this include:
* Finetune your budgeting. You may have PPC keywords you want to hit, but they’re simply too competitive. Bridge the gap by doubling down on SEO content that targets these same keywords.
* Improve landing pages. You can also add SEO-valuable content to your landing pages, which can help you raise the Quality Score for PPC ads. This not only boosts your ad ranking, but it can also cut down on your cost per click.
* Investigate traffic patterns. Finally, remember to use your organic search data to help plot your PPC spending—a smart way to decide when to push content, etc.
Take the Integrative Approach
Ecommerce marketers shouldn’t have to choose between PPC and SEO. Both can be immensely valuable, especially when they are used in tandem.
It’s worth noting that there can be some drawbacks here. For example, site downtime will not only impact SEO but also diminish the efficacy of your PPC efforts. And, competitor research can be a little bit murky, as your PPC competitors may not totally overlap with your SEO competitors.
With those drawbacks noted, though, integrative marketing is still the way to go for ecommerce marketing. Remember: You don’t have to take sides. PPC and SEO work best when they work together.
Al Sefati is a digital marketing expert with more than a decade of experience helping startups and established enterprises. He runs a boutique hybrid digital marketing agency, Sefati & Co, in Irvine, California. President at Sefati & Co.