Best Ways to Combine SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC are both powerful marketing strategies that can help boost traffic to a website. Many companies consider them to be separate strategies and often use one or the other at a time. However, SEO and paid search ads can be combined to produce even greater results. Learning how to effectively combine these two strategies can mean better visibility, higher traffic, and a more effective marketing strategy. In this article, we will discuss the differences between SEO vs PPC as marketing strategies. We will also learn the best ways to combine them for better results.

seo and ppc

SEO Strategies

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing a website to appear higher in search results. SEO involves a number of strategies that focus on improving traffic from organic search. This is done by combining on-page and off-page SEO strategies to build a better site. Some of the most common SEO strategies include:

  • Researching and using relevant keywords
  • Improving UX design
  • Making websites mobile-friendly
  • Creating relevant and useful content
  • Writing effective title tags and meta-descriptions
  • Utilizing internal and external linking
  • Gaining quality backlinks

PPC Search Marketing Strategies

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, involves using paid ads to gain more traffic. PPC uses an advertising model where a business pays a certain amount each time a user clicks on their online advertisements. When used for search marketing, paid ads appear at the top of the page in a separate section. Some common PPC ad campaign types include:

  • Search marketing ads
  • Display ads
  • Social media paid ads
  • Remarketing ads
  • Google Shopping ads

seo vs ppc

What is the Difference Between SEO and PPC?

SEO and PPC are both very helpful strategies when it comes to marketing online. However, there are some major differences between the two. The first major difference is the cost. SEO strategies focus on organic search and are free. PPC ads, on the other hand, require a certain amount of money each time a user clicks an ad. The second major difference between SEO vs PPC is the position on the search results page. Organic search results appear underneath the paid ads and take up the bulk of the search results page. PPC search marketing ads will appear in a special section at the top of the page. Only paid ads appear in this section.

The last major difference between SEO and PPC is potential traffic. SEO tactics revolve around strategies that slowly boost organic search and improve your website. This means that SEO can be relied on for a steady stream of new traffic. Paid ads, however, have a limit to the traffic they can bring to your website. They may provide a quick boost, but they will only provide new traffic as long as you are willing to pay to keep them running. The right combination of strategies for you and your business will depend on your current needs and marketing plan.

How Can SEO and PPC Be Used Together?

There are two main ways that SEO and PPC can be used together. The first option is to use PPC first and then follow up with SEO. This technique has been suggested by marketers to new businesses that need a quick boost in traffic and/or have a limited budget. With this option, a business might utilize PPC search marketing and paid social media ads first. This will help to quickly build up a potential client list and bring visibility to their business/brand. After they have built up enough of a target audience, they can switch their focus to SEO strategies and improving their website.

The second option is to use SEO and paid ads together, as one unified marketing strategy. This is a holistic approach to search where businesses and marketers use elements of both search engine optimization tactics and paid ads at the same time. Combining these two strategies can have a number of benefits, including shared learning, better budget efficiency, and an increase in brand awareness and growth. 

difference between seo and ppc

Best Ways to Use SEO and PPC Together

Combining SEO and paid ads can have a great effect on your overall marketing strategy. There are many ways to use them together and the best plan for your business will depend on your own marketing goals. That being said, the following is a list of the 8 best ways to use these two strategies together.

#1: Visibility

One of the best benefits of using these two methods together is the added visibility. Not only will you have a presence in the paid ads section of the search results page, but you will have a space in organic search as well. Many users mainly focus on organic search. However, they may turn to paid ads if they are searching for a specific product or service. Placing high in both paid and organic search results can provide a huge boost in traffic and potential conversions.

#2: Sharing Keyword Data

Running organic and paid campaigns at the same time will provide you with double the data to work with. With marketing data analytics, you can see which keywords from either strategy have the highest conversion rates. You can then use this information to adjust your strategy going forward.

#3: Use Best PPC Ad Copy for SEO Strategies

Most of the time, tactics that are successful in PPC campaigns will also work for SEO. Determine which of your PPC ads are the most successful and use the copy for your SEO strategies. This will give you a better idea of how to write title tags, meta-descriptions, and content that will convert. Another great benefit of this strategy is that it is fast. Testing copy with paid ads will give you quicker results than testing long-term SEO efforts.

#4: Link E-Commerce Feeds With Adwords

There are now a lot of options (especially on Google) for paid e-commerce advertisements. A really helpful new tool is the ability to link PPC ads to specific product pages on Google. These ads show the product, the reviews, and will even link directly to the page where users can buy the product. This is another great way to give your existing digital marketing strategy a quick boost.

ppc search marketing

#5: Use Search Data to Inform PPC Keywords

This goes back to the idea of testing keywords and using them to inform your marketing strategy. For this technique, enable site search on your website and pay close attention to the keywords that customers use. You can then incorporate these relevant keywords into your PPC ad copy. This will help to make sure that your paid ads are targeting the right customers.

#6: Defend Against Negative PR

With any online business or website, there is bound to be some negative PR. When this does happen, SEO/PPC can be combined to help reverse some of the damage. A very important part of SEO is managing customer reviews and feedback. You’ll want to make sure that if you receive a negative review, that you deal with it as soon as possible. Reach out to the customer and apologize for the issue. Likewise, paid ads can help to control the narrative. Include positive customer reviews in your ad copy and help potential leads to see the benefits of your products or services.

#7: Combine Social Media Strategies

Social media marketing is a very important part of a great digital marketing strategy. There are now tons of ways to run paid ads on multiple social media platforms at once. These ads can also be geared toward very specific audiences that you are trying to target. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn will help you to create campaigns based on certain demographics and let you run them for a specific amount of time. These campaigns will also help you to gather very useful information about your target audience and their online habits. You can then use this to refine your SEO efforts and hone your overall marketing strategy.

#8: Test Organic Keywords With PPC

Throughout your organic search strategy, there may be specific keywords that you want to test. Run paid ads featuring these keywords and monitor how your audience interacts with them. If they are successful, you will want to include them throughout your SEO strategy. If they are not, then you can leave them out of your other content and focus on more effective keywords.

ppc and seo

Combining Strategies for a Better Marketing Plan

While they are effective when used separately, combining the two strategies can produce even greater results. Taking the time to see what works for your business and your marketing plan can have a great effect on your goals. To build a better marketing plan, consider hiring a digital marketing agency. SEO Design Chicago’s team of experts will create a custom plan that includes SEO, paid search, and email marketing strategies to get you the results you need!


  • What is SEO?
  • What are PPC ads?
  • How can I use SEO and PPC together?
  • What is the difference between SEO and paid ads?
  • Is SEO or PPC better for increasing traffic?

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