How SEO and PPC Work Together

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Just a quick Google search of ‘SEO’ or ‘PPC’ will get you literally thousands of articles pitting the two against each other – “SEO vs PPC – Who Wins?”. These kinds of articles are great if you’re looking for just one online advertising method, but to get the best out of your search engine rankings, you should approach both SEO and PPC as two marketing solutions that are there to help you – it’s not a case of choosing one over the other.

Use them both to gain visibility and better SERPs

Using both SEO and PPC means serious exposure for search engine results pages, or SERPs. The first two or three results on most search engines are going to be PPC ads, so by maximising your SEO ranking you will have cornered both organic and paid results on the same front page, establishing yourself a presence in a vital space.

Double the campaigns, double the data

Most marketers love data analysis. Who doesn’t enjoy pouring a fresh cup of coffee and looking over your website analysis? By running both organic and paid search campaigns, you will have double the data to sift through. You can use the results from one set to inform the other – for example, you can use your best performing keywords to inform your overall strategy. Whichever keyword group has the highest conversion rate is the one you should stick with. The best part is that PPC results are more or less immediate, especially compared to organic results – so use them to carve content for pages that you want to rank highly in organic search, then start structuring your meta descriptions and title tags accordingly. You’ve not only paid to advertise your site but you’re also saving yourself the most precious element you have at your disposal: time.

Let paid social advertising work for your SEO strategy

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube all use targeted advertising, allowing companies to buy up space on their platforms and specifically target certain individuals or groups. This precision – for example, an ad focusing on 30 year old women in Edinburgh interested in leather skirts – will allow you to collect data from these campaigns that can uncover other details about your target audience, and you can then let this inform your SEO.

Great SEO will boost your Quality Score and lower your CPC

Google and Bing both reward a high ‘quality score’ for a website – this is a score determined by how relevant your site is to a certain search term. In response to a very relevant site containing content of value, search engines will offer both a lower cost-per-click (CPC) and a higher ad position. If you’ve followed the previous points and carved yourself out some working, valuable keywords, this should help you gain a higher quality score, and a higher ad rank!

So SEO and PPC really should be used in tandem. Let them both inform you of how you’re conducting your online marketing strategy – but remember, the most important part of online marketing is increasing your bottom line, so good or bad, always measure your progress.


  • Mac McCarthy

    Mac McCarthy has been involved in the digital marketing field for over 20 years, having worked with the Jeeves, Alta Vista and Yahoo search engines in the early 90s through to the modern current day Google and Bing platforms.

    A keen follower of search engine algorithm updates and trends, he works and advises on digital strategies for a variety on SME’s and more recently the World Wildlife Fund, the single largest animal welfare charity in the world.

    Qualifications include Google Advanced Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search and the Google Partnership Program.

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