Lauren Kaye

A lot of marketers mistakenly think they have to choose between organic and paid strategies. If you’re already using PPC, you may be leery of making an investment in web content and worry about the money it will take away from your ad campaigns that are already working.

If you’re seeing strong traffic from paid ads, it makes sense that a change could trigger hesitancy. What if your content doesn’t work and you don’t have any traffic going to your site? How will people find your content if there’s no guarantee that it will show up in SERPs naturally?

The happy reality is that these strategies are two peas in a pod – and most companies find they work better together than apart.

What you consider “working” might be the tip of the iceberg

Let me first ask: What metrics do you use to measure your PPC strategy’s ROI? Is it traffic for a specific keyword? That’s a great start on the road to conversions, but it’s not the whole enchilada of ROI by any means.

Most PPC campaigns provide less data about the types of visitors that are coming to the site for those search terms, and whether those visits lead to conversions. That’s where SEO and content marketing start to pull ahead. People who enter sites organically tend to spend more time engaged with content, clicking around on pages as they learn about products and services.

Check out this blog post for a closer look at how to qualify visits from your paid and organic traffic: Not all traffic is created equal: Qualifying SEO & PPC visits

SEO gives PPC campaigns legs to drive long-lasting results

If we’re being honest, the reason why marketers are afraid to reduce their PPC budgets is that all the traffic they love to see might start to disappear. Paid campaigns only drive results as long as you put money into them. The upside is that they tend to provide instant gratification, and you’ll see the needle move faster than with organic SEO and content, although the latter will continually build momentum over time and drive ongoing results.

There’s a metaphor that PPC and SEO differ in the same way as renting and buying a house. When you rent, you make regular payments to live there. When you buy, you’re making installments on a permanent residence. Consider a PPC and SEO campaign like a rent-to-own situation. You’re getting the best of both worlds – instant gratification AND a long-term payoff.

Here’s a blog post that dives further into the relationship between these two strategies and explains Why Your PPC Campaign Needs SEO

Strike the best balance for your brand

So much of web marketing is about hitting the stride that’s right for your company and the goals you want to reach. Companies will be the most successful when they evaluate what each element brings to the table and how it supports the strategy as a whole.