Why do both SEO and Pay-Per-Click?

December 27 / Mark Kelly / filed under Pay-Per-Click

Clients often ask us, “Shouldn’t we just focus all our efforts on SEO, because once we get high organic listings then we don’t have to pay the search engines for those clicks?”

Well, if it was as simple as that, then Google would not be a $196 billion company.

It is true, the optimal situation to strive for is one in which your Website ranks in the Top 5 organically for all of the search engine keyword search terms that are important to your business. However, given the effort it takes to achieve a Top 5 organic ranking for most search terms (because of competition), and given the need of most businesses to start driving more targeted traffic to their Website sooner than later, most companies use a combination of both SEO and pay-per-click.

With pay-per-click advertising, you can quickly run your ads against thousands of keyword searches. Compare that to SEO, where you have to work hard to get ranked in the Top 5 organic positions for just a handful of keyword searches.

For our clients, we start out by understanding their business and target customers. Then, we do exhaustive keyword research to understand what people type into search engines when they are looking for their products or services. We use this research to come up with an initial list of keywords to target for SEO work. At the same time however, we recommend launching a pay-per-click advertising effort which will let us run ads against thousands of keyword searches that are potentially relevant to the business. Then, using detailed performance tracking, we measure which keywords produce leads and sales, and which don’t.

This data from the pay-per-click campaign then either verifies that the initial keyword targets for SEO work were correct, or that this SEO keyword target list needs some editing.

So in this way, pay-per-click advertising and SEO are complementary. Pay-per-click campaigns quickly give us data on which keyword searches are worth investing SEO effort into.