In an earlier blog post, we shared some insights on how you can leverage PPC data to inform organic keyword decisions. Check out the post for details, but the overall message was that you can better understand keyword needs for your website SEO by looking at the data that your Google Ads provides you – and you can gain these insights much faster.
So how else can PPC help you with SEO?
Well, it can help with engagement with your organic listings. First let’s be perfectly clear, there is NO direct effect or benefit on Google organic rankings when you’re advertising on Google Ads. In other words, Google doesn’t give you a boost in rankings when you’re using their platform to advertise. To be sure, Google likely goes out of their way to make sure that advertisers don’t get an organic advantage over those that do not spend money on their ad platform.
That said there are indirect benefits that PPC ads can provide – including keyword insights as mentioned above in our previous post. Let’s examine the benefits!
1. Searchers click organic listings at higher rates when they see an ad
According to HubSpot, 70 – 80 percent of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. But, they see Google Ads front and center on nearly every search, and if you’re running ads and ranking well, that brand awareness with an ad can pay dividends.
A Google research report from a while back, in fact, found this to be true. So, while there is no direct benefit being passed on to organic click through rates (CTRs) by Google directly, human nature tends to give more credence to an organic listing if they’ve seen a brand advertisement. That leads us to our second benefit.
2. Ads increase brand awareness, can lead to future organic clicks/conversions
Marketers know that a searcher may not act the first time that they see your brand. Whether it’s in an organic listing, a search ad, or a banner ad on some other site, the searcher typically doesn’t act immediately. They might notice, but not take action. The more they see your brand, via ads, organic listings, or social media the more likely they are to eventually click to check you out.
If you’re not ranking very high organically then an ad can do the trick but even so if an ad shows your brand, and then the searcher sees your organic listing, on page one or two, they will be more likely to trust and click your organic listing. There are still many people who will not click on ads yet will allow an ad to inform them.
3. Google Ads increase SERP real estate
When you run search ads on Google those ads take up real estate on the page. The more space you take up on the first page of the search results the higher the likelihood you’ll receive a click, including organic clicks.
This is especially true for branded terms. We often recommend running brand campaigns on Google to keep competitors from stealing traffic by running ads at the top of the page for your brand. Also, when you run ads on a branded term, you’re adding to a SERP that is already likely packed with your organic website listing, your social media channels, and any other brand listings that might be relevant. The real estate that ad takes up might just push any competitors right off the first page.
4. Combat Negative PR with a combination of PPC and SEO
Pushing a competitor off the first page might be mission critical. A quick side note, when I say “competitor” I’m talking about any entity or site that you compete with for a specific keyword. It might not be specific companies you think you compete with in your industry or niche. It might just be a “reviews” site that’s competing for your brand terms where someone posted a bad review.
You don’t want that bad review hurting your site traffic or business by showing up on the first page search results page. If you find yourself in this situation employing Google Ads with sitelinks, and all possible ad extensions, to push negative results off page one is a must. You also can put out press releases, blog posts, and other “real-time” content in hope that these will be indexed and added to the front page of the SERPs.
Finding yourself in this situation is never fun, but be diligent and keep producing content, in ads or site pages. Eventually that negative content will lose its rankings.
5. Google Ads increase brand mentions, shares, and external links, which can all boost organic rankings
Brand activity such as social mentions, website visits from social media channels, along with an increase in links to your site, can help boost those factors that go into organic rankings and visibility. Again, Google isn’t directly passing benefits along to PPC advertisers, but there are benefits given the ranking factors that go along with the above-mentioned activities. Drive up your brand awareness with ads and it can boost visibility across the internet.
The ability to test headlines quickly with Google Ads, means you can accumulate data on what messaging for your product or service gets more clicks. As an agency we use this data to help inform organic SEO elements such as heading tags, Meta data – titles and descriptions – and even site content and calls to actions.
Getting a read on what messaging points are generating clicks within weeks, with Google Ads, sure beats the months it might take with traditional SEO.
The important point that we’re getting at here is that there is more to learn and leverage when running PPC advertising campaigns than just whether or not you’re able to convert ad clicks into conversions and sales. You can use the data, successes and failures, to inform other areas of your business. Website content, email campaign messaging, print advertising messaging, and more.
If you’d like to have a conversation about how Digital C4 might be able to assist you with your PPC campaigns, SEO and organic listings, or finding what messaging works with your target audience, please feel free to reach out for a free consultation!