What’s the relationship between SEO and paid digital ads? It’s complicated — but in a good way. SEO plus Pay Per Click can give you several different kinds of payoffs, depending on your goals and how you set things up.
A bigger pie
Often a client will begin with a heavy reliance on paid search. Say you have 100 visits a day via Adwords and just 10 from organic search. A year later, after investing in SEO in the form of strong content, strategic social media, and wise linkbuilding, you still average 100 visits a day from Adwords, but you also have 100 visits a day from organic search.
With SEO plus pay per click, you’ve doubled your traffic without increasing your ad spend.
A bigger piece of the pie
We do usually see organic traffic outpace paid search, but let’s imagine that your focus is on rankings rather than traffic from organic search. We have a client who expects to see most converting traffic from paid ads, even though organic search is now his top source of traffic. Our SEO-focused blogging keeps his quality scores high, his ads at the top of the ad section, and his website at the top of the search engine results page.
He owns the page for his primary keywords. Whether they click on his ads or his organic search results, people are more likely to click through to his page than to the pages of his competitors. SEO plus pay per click gives him a strong showing on the search engine results page. His cost per click varies according to his competitors’ actions, but most clients see lower cost per click and more clicks for the same ad spend.
A more cost-effective slice
Say you’re putting $5,000 a month into digital ads and you decide to divert $2,000 to SEO. Your cost per click will probably fall because your website is becoming more valuable. But online ads, like all advertising, only work while you pay for them. Strong blog posts and articles will bring traffic and authority for years to come with no additional costs. High quality links are a vote of confidence for your website with the search engines. These things last without ongoing costs.
So your organic search traffic will increase year over year and your paid search results will probably improve as a result.
SEO pairs well with pay per click, whichever way you slice it.