The Perfect Blend: Combining Your Organic and Paid Search Efforts
Fries and ketchup. Beer and burgers. Champagne and strawberries. And chocolate and…well, anything.
All of the above mentioned things are lovely on their own, but are so much better when combined.
In SEO strategy land, our tasty combination comes in the form of organic and paid search efforts.
Granted, they don’t sound delicious at first, but when you see the end result blending the two can have on your bottom line… Well, it can be deliciously fulfilling.
How two becomes one: breaking the mindset
When it comes to your SEO you’re probably looking for the easiest route to get the biggest return.
I don’t blame you. But if SEO were that quick and easy, I’d be out of a job.
Still, many businesses search for this silver bullet answer by picking one tasty looking thing rather than considering how much better it can be if you blend a couple of strong SEO techniques. Using only organic SEO or paid search efforts keeps things simple. But it also means your business isn’t living up to its full SEO potential.
Fortunately, you can have it both ways and realize your SEO ambitions. Like getting more customers than ever before, if that’s your aim.
In this guide I’ll show you how to take your organic search and your paid search eggs and blend them together to create the ultimate SEO dish.
First page welcome mat
SEO can get very confusing and complex. However, the end goal has always been really simple: you want your business to land on the first page of customer search results.
Too often, businesses think of this first page in binary terms. That is, you can use PPC to be listed at the top or use organic SEO to try to be listed directly below that.
But here’s the thing: you can do both. Right now, it’s entirely possible for a search string (the stuff people put into the search bar) to result in a company being in both the paid and organic sections.
The result is, you occupying as much of the front page as you possibly can. And this alone dramatically enhances the odds that someone will visit your site.
First page: tactical examples
Let’s say that you have decided on the keywords you want to rank for. To show up quickly for your chosen keywords you use PPC to get those first page top spots in the Google search results (the area marked “ads” and usually featuring a couple of different ads).
At the same time, you should also work on creating and promoting organic SEO until the same term appears on the front page close to the promoted ads.
By doubling down on paid and organic efforts you’re more likely to make a strong “impression” (so to speak) on someone who’s not yet made up their mind about which business to use.
Even though organic SEO takes time to develop, it’s still worth pursuing organic and paid for PPC at the same time. Someone browsing through multiple pages of results will still see your company multiple times, and this can spark their interest, making them likelier to click.
Another technique is bidding on your brand for PPC.
This is an easy double down win, because chances are that you already show up on the first page for your own business. Throw some PPC into the mix and you you automatically double your first-page real estate for that search.
One feeds the other
Another reason I like to blend PPC and organic SEO efforts is really straightforward: doing the first helps us get better at the second.
First of all, organic SEO shouldn’t be a lonely island. You should run it in conjunction with a Google Ads campaign and collect as much data as possible.
When everything is set up correctly you can see which terms brought in customers to specific pages. This begins the ongoing learning process, which helps you discover what your customers do and don’t want to click.
This insight into your customers’ mindset is extremely valuable. And you can use the lessons learned from PPC to improve your organic SEO game.
And as you get better at both paid and organic your SEO game will grow bigger and better.
One feeds the other: tactical examples
PPC is intimidating when you first start using it. However, understanding organic SEO can make it much easier to maximize the benefits of PPC.
For example, you can research the organic keywords ranking list before you do anything else. This gives you an idea about which terms are performing well. Strong performing words are likely to cost more when it comes to PPC.
Using this technique helps you understand what your company can (and cannot) afford before you ever start running a paid search campaign.
Over time you’ll start to see trends develop. Eventually, you’ll anticipate changing trends and evolve your organic SEO marketing so it continues to serve your audience.
And you can use PPC as a way to give your SEO a kickstart or to help make up for when organic SEO is starting to lag behind.
The primary goal is achieving a balance: you want to discover what terms are worth paying for and which terms are worth growing organically. This helps stretch your brand influence without stretching your bank account.
Control the funnel
Speaking of customers, bringing them in is a matter of mastering the sales funnel. And blending your PPC and organic SEO strategy gives you the maximum amount of control over the funnel.
First, you effectively widen the net and increase the size of your funnel top. This gives you a larger number of potential customers.
Second, blending these two strategies lets you target different customer groups. That makes it a great way to market towards higher intent customers.
Finally, this approach allows you to create and market content for every section of the funnel.
So, by nurturing their entire journey you maximize the chance of customer conversion.
Control the funnel: tactical examples
Why a funnel you ask? Well, a funnel starts off wide at the top and changes shape becoming narrower at the bottom. The funnel represents a customer’s changing journey from meeting you for the first time, to lead, and finally conversion.
Blending organic and paid search efforts gives you better control over that journey. For example, you may use organic SEO and social media promotion to drive new users towards content that catches their interest.
Later, you can target warmer leads with PPC to help promote more specific content. That customer searching for an article about where to find a wedding photographer, for instance, can now be directed towards a page selling the service they need.
This helps create a positive and seamless experience for your customers and profitable for your company.
Combining organic and paid search: the bottom line
Now you know how to combine your organic and paid search methods. But are you confident about putting it into practice?
Both organic and paid SEO techniques need time and a watchful analytical eye.
To really maximize your efforts you need to invest around two hours a day on SEO marketing.
That’s a big ask when you’ve got the rest of your business to run.
This is why small and medium businesses book my SEO services. I specialize in custom digital strategies. To see how we can boost your SEO and your bottom line, you should contact me today!