Many people think that Pay-Per-Click (PPC) traffic and Organic traffic are two different entities, but in reality they work together to benefit one another.
PPC traffic is great for quickly gaining and sustaining traffic and conversions, possibly while you’re waiting for your SEO efforts to be seen by the search engines. PPC is also great for promoting sales or seasonal promotions, while SEO is good for building website credibility, escalating your reach and increasing conversions. PPC allows you to control targeting, select search terms that you may not have an organic presence for, and choose which phrases you do not want your ads to appear for (negatives key phrases). SEO and PPC compliment one another and allow for different types of control, reach and conversions, but also help one another to achieve their top potential.
Google AdWords operates on a Quality Score system. That score contributes to how much you pay for a click and how well your paid ads are positioned. There are a handful of factors that go into that score, such as click-through rate, ad copy relevance and page load time. Believe it or not, following SEO best practices can actually lead to a higher quality PPC landing page. If you fully optimize your site’s code and have taken into account page load time, then you are more apt to have a high quality score for your PPC efforts.
So when it comes to SEO vs. PPC, there is no clear-cut answer as to one source of traffic being better than the other, unless you’re limited by funds or resources. Both SEO and PPC work great independently, but using these two marketing channels together will add additional leverage. By running both SEO and PPC together, you give your online business more opportunities to reach more of your customers.
I spoke recently to an ex-client who is poised to do some work with us again. They were one of our first clients when we started nearly 11 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting in their office and explaining to them what SEO was and why it was so important for their business. It was a new concept to practically everyone in 1999.
What mattered most at that time was making sure that there was sufficient content on the page for the keywords that a company was targeting and removing impediments to effective site crawling by the search engines, like Frames.
It’s interesting to see just how much SEO requirements have evolved, while also noting the degree to which they have remained consistent. Content matters more than ever; not just on-page content, but blogs, video and other collateral are now part of the essential repertoire. If you don’t produce content that speaks to a particular keyword, the likelihood of appearing prominently for the keyword is very low.
There are still site architecture issues that can be problematic for the search engines, but persistent use of Frames has all but disappeared from the landscape. It’s important to keep current on what is essential for strong SEO results, but remember that content is still at the top of the list.
Yahoo recently announced that, “Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.” This is sooner than most people expected, but what does this actually mean?
Bing and Yahoo will be functioning as two separate entities, meaning there will still be www.bing.com and www.yahoo.com, but the Yahoo organic search results will essentially be served via Bing’s algorithm. To the average user, this shift will not mean much, but to SEOs, it could potentially mean a great deal. For one thing, Bing simply do not have the same amount of data that Yahoo possesses, so the literal “amount” of results for a particular search query won’t be as robust as Yahoo’s. Also, many webmasters will notice distinctly different results in terms of ranking in both Yahoo and Bing, so webmasters who don’t get high rankings in Bing as they do in Yahoo may want to consider adopting more “Bing friendly” SEO strategies. The trouble with that is; nobody knows for sure what the real differences between Bing and Yahoo are in terms of which signals they use in their respective algorithms. As of right now, the most appropriate strategy is to study one’s current positions in Bing and see which pages are ranking better. Bing also has guidelines on how to optimize your website, such as this page for their SEO guidelines: Search Engine Optimization for Bing.