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Are SEO & PPC becoming one and the same?

With recent changes to Google's SERPs (search engine results pages) meaning there's even less distinction between an organic listing and a paid ad, does this mean SEO & PPC should no longer be treated as separate or standalone marketing efforts? We highlight some of the reasons why this may very well become the case.

Google mobile SERP
Can you determine the paid ads from the natural listings at first glance?

1) Testing Organic Keywords via PPC

Paid ads offer a highly-measurable way to research and refine your organic keywords. As your longer-term organic content strategy continues to evolve, you can quickly and effectively test conversion rates for search terms you want to rank organically for by using them in your PPC advertising first. Also, by simultaneously running organic and PPC campaigns you will be generating potentially double the amount of data for analysis.

2) SERP Presence

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of combining organic and paid marketing is the added visibility you will achieve on SERPs. Being able to dominate both the organic and paid search results will greatly increase your traffic, whilst also giving the instant impression that you're an established presence in your industry. Previously many people would either purposely or subconsciously ignore paid ads on SERPs, instead favouring the organic listings. However, as per the image above, it's now a lot more difficult to instantly determine which listings are paid and which are organic (especially on mobile devices, which is where over half of Google searches now take place!).

Keywords road sign
Interchanging keywords between SEO & PPC efforts can be an extremely effective strategy.

3) Research New PPC Keywords Using Your Own Site Search Data

Remember, one of the main battles you'll face with PPC is knowing which keywords to bid on. You could spend eternity mining, researching and analysing new keywords for your Google Ads account, but could there be a hidden goldmine of terms right under your nose..? If your website has a "search" function, you can quickly and easily identify the most popular terms your visitors search for on your website. This can also provide invaluable insights into your visitors' expectations and behaviour.

4) Use PPC Ad Copy To Generate Organic Content

OK, so this basically just puts a couple of our other points into reverse, but it's worth mentioning all the same. Remember, a lot of what works for your paid ads will also work for your SEO marketing. Take a look through your Google Ads and see which ad texts result in the best conversion rates, lowest bounce rates, highest CTR's and so on. You can then use these terms to create far more effective page title tags, meta descriptions and fresh website content that search engines will love.

5) Don't Forget Social Media!

To add an extra dimension to all of this, social media activity is having a greater and greater impact on SEO. The major search engines use your activity on the popular social media platforms to determine your brand's "social signals"; i.e. are people talking about you, and if so, what are they saying? How prevalent is your brand on social media? Are you active in comparison to your competitors? Are you engaging with your following?

In summary, all of these things are vital to your overall digital marketing mix, and that is exactly how you need to view it going forwards. Having just one strategy in place is unlikely to yield anywhere near the same results as having a good plan in place for multiple online marketing strategies. We can help with or all of the above; give us a call on 0208 133 6491 to chat with one of our friendly experts today.

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