Does PPC Affect SEO in 2021?

24 November 2021
Mark Tuxford
Mark Tuxford

Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most effective digital advertising methods. If launched strategically, it can help you reach large audiences quickly, but does running a PPC campaign assist or in any way affect your SEO efforts?

Lets take a look a look at the relationship between these two traffic sources and how they can affects your site’s position in search engine rankings.

What’s SEO?

If you’re reading this the likelihood is you’ll be aware of exactly what Search Engine Optimisation is, but on the off-chance you’re not that clear, SEO is one of those terms that you hear flying around online a hell of a lot these days and the idea behind it is pretty simple — SEO is using available technology and focused content to make your site easier for a search engine to crawl and index, so people can find you more easily.

Whats PPC?

Over the last decade, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has grown to be one of the most powerful tools for companies large and small looking to market their products and services online. With PPC, companies can access thousands and sometimes millions of customers at a time through Google Adwords (you know the ones, those sectioned results at the top of search results), but with the success has also come tremendous complexity; as PPC has evolved from a simple pay-per-click format to a more complex system of ad groups with thousands of keywords, bids and audience segments.

The Relationship Between PPC and SEO.

As a business owner, you wont want to pour money into digital marketing until you know for sure that it will increase your business’s sales. SEO and PPC are great ways to gain visibility and successful strategies can rapidly increase your visibility.

Similarly, optimising on page content with PPC data can lead to a lower cost-per-click. This is because Quality Score, a Google metric for deciding an ad’s rank, can be influenced by the relevance of on-page content to the ad.

Does PPC Affect SEO?

The simple answer to this is a resounding no. Running PPC campaigns alongside your SEO has no technological impact on your positioning within SERPS. However, the indirect impact PPC can have on PPC is crucial and worth understanding.

Your PPC Ads Occupy Space
When you run PPC ads, they appear at the top of the search results — and people see PPC ads first when they perform their searches. Using SEO and PPC ads help your business occupy more territory in search engine results pages (SERPs). If someone skips past the ads and goes to the organic search results, they’ll see your business’s listing there, too. This creates a double exposure and essentially too access points into your website.

Exposure to two routes like this up will maximise the chances that people will click one of your listings and visit your business website. The double exposure can also trigger “biased” behaviour towards your business. As the assumption that, by seeing your business multiple times in the results, you must offer reputable products and services.

Combining PPC and SEO is extremely valuable because it guides more traffic to your site and encourages people to engage with your business.

PPC Discovers New Keywords Quickly
Keyword targeting is a crucial part of your PPC and SEO strategies. If you want to appear in more relevant search results, you must target the right keywords and since SEO takes time to show results, it can be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your keyword targeting as quickly.

Fortunately, PPC allows you to see immediate results, so you can pinpoint which keywords are driving traffic and which ones are less effective. This allows you to optimise both your PPC and SEO targeting to drive even better results.

Gain More Local Leads
Reaching local customers is a crucial part of your marketing plan. Many people conduct local searches to find businesses that have the products or services they need. By using PPC ads in local searches, you can easily increase leads.

When users conduct a local search, the first thing they will see is your PPC ad. Many local searches are conducted on mobile devices, so PPC ads fill the majority of the screen, followed by Google My Business listings.

Placing your PPC ad draws immediate attention to your business. Someone will see your PPC ad and either choose to click on it or skip it. If they skip it, they’ll scroll down further and see your Google My Business listing. If they skim past that, too, they may even find your website in the organic listings.

This arcs back to the first point by creating increased exposure points, so people keep seeing your business. It will lead them to believe that your local business is the best solution for them. This will drive more people to visit your website, which will boost your organic ranking.

How To Utilise PPC And SEO Effectively

SEO and PPC should share their knowledge, especially since they both share the same advertising space: the SERP. A lack of communication could lead to sub-par results for both channels. There is a bigger picture than paid or organic KPIs, which are the business KPIs the search campaigns are being built to bolster. If a joint strategy can have channels complementing each other, this will always be the best result for spend.

Any thoughts on the effect PPC has on SEO that we haven’t covered? Feel free to send us a message.

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