Up until a few years ago, it was quite normal to have one agency for SEO and another for PPC. And why not? The two disciplines were at opposite ends of the search marketing spectrum and it made sense to have specialists working on each one separately.
However, the line between SEO and PPC has faded over the years.
In today’s search marketing landscape, SEO and PPC are co-dependent; you’ll never get the best results out of either unless they’re working in sync. To achieve this, you’re going to need a team/agency capable of integrating organic and paid search into a coordinated strategy.
1. Cover the entire customer journey
There was a time when SEO and PPC advertisers were marketing rivals. On one side, you had the long-term, cost-effective organic search strategists and, on the other, the more immediate influx of traffic from paid advertising.
The two philosophies are almost polar opposites but the more important point is that they each generate different types of leads. With organic search, you’re more likely to attract people in the research stages of a purchase decision, for example, while paid search will capture those who already know what they’re looking to buy.
Businesses need both types of leads and you need the right mix of SEO and PPC campaigns to cover the entire consumer journey.
Instead, search marketing teams have to create an integrated strategy that ensures the right kind of organic opportunities are being captured while paid ads are bringing in high-quality leads that are likely to convert in the more immediate future.
To achieve this, SEO and PPC teams need to share data to make sure they’re covering all the right bases. First of all, you need to identify where the touchpoints are so you can pinpoint where the organic and paid search opportunities are along the way. With campaigns delivered in the right place, both teams need to ensure they’re working together and not competing against each other.
For example, you might want organic and paid results on the same page to maximise visibility but you’ll need to keep an eye on impressions vs CTRs on those PPC campaigns to ensure performance doesn’t suffer.
2. Greater return on investment
“Housing SEO and PPC under one agency roof will often provide greater returns on advertising investment” says Vertical Leap’s Head of Services Lee Wilson.
“Integrating these marketing channels effectively can be the key to maximising every pound of marketing budget, and leveraging the combined digital opportunity to its full potential.
“It is the proactive sharing of data and insights, with creative working between departments, which leads to faster action-taking and ultimately greater results – this is generally much easier when SEO and PPC are at the same agency.”
3. Organic and paid search are merging
We’ve covered the pure marketing benefits of combining SEO and PPC before – the data says it all. There’s another key factor that brings SEO and PPC together, though. Google and other search engines are increasingly merging organic and paid into the same experience for users.
Take a look at the top of this Google results page:
There’s a mix of paid ads and (organic) local listings before getting to the standard pack of results. Now, in this case, paid ads and local listings are competing against each other, but they can also work together.
With your PPC team ensuring paid ads appear for searches that return your local listing, you’re going to double up your SERP presence and your SEO team could even triple it by ranking your content in the organic text results.
Your PPC strategy can also help mitigate losses where your local listing doesn’t appear. The recent Possum 2.0 update shrank the vicinity for local results, meaning you have to be much closer to a user when they conduct their search to appear (in most cases).
By increasing visibility in the paid slots for these searches, using ad extensions and experimenting with ad positions, you can generate traffic via PPC that you’re not able to win through local SEO.
4. PPC isn’t just about search anymore
Google dominated paid advertising for so long that PPC came to mean one thing: Google Ads. Everything revolved around search and you could nicely package SEO and PPC under the term of ‘search marketing’.
Now, we have the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and co. monetising their social networks through paid advertising, which adds another dynamic to modern PPC. So today’s PPC teams have to be more than search experts; they also need to extensive knowledge of social media, content marketing, CRO and a range of other strategies.
The modern elements of marketing don’t work independently; they work in unison. Which bring us onto our next point.
5. Your marketing goals need to be aligned
A few years back there was little choice other than working with multiple agencies. You would have one for web design, another for development and any number for different marketing channels. It was a challenge.
Designers were only interested in design, SEOs about organic search and PPC advertisers about buying more ads. Nobody was talking about the best overall marketing strategy for your business.
With a single team handling a client’s marketing efforts there are no egos or hidden agendas. The priority is to set out goals and then devise the right kind of strategy to make them happen. When PPC needs to take the front seat, it will. If organic search needs more emphasis, it’ll get it. Marketing decisions are made based on achieving your business objectives, not the interests of different agencies.
Talk to us about your search marketing
We are one of the leading search marketing agencies in the UK with large teams of SEO and PPC specialists working closely together. If you’d like to adopt a more integrated approach to your search marketing, speak to our team today on 02392 830281.