Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

Should You Use PPC If You’re Ranking Organically?

So your website is on Page One of Google’s search results. And you haven’t given a cent to Google for PPC and paid search advertising. You’re feeling pretty complacent; now all you have to do is just sit back and let customers find you, right?

We all know business doesn’t work like that—not on the Internet. Especially when you have powerful online tools like Google AdWords and Bing Ads offering you customized paid search solutions. These tools can help you gain a serious edge over your competition.

So should you invest in paid search campaigns if you’re already ranking highly on organic search listings? What about for brand terms?

The answer to both is YES. And we’ll tell you why.

Paid Search and Organic Listings: Two are better than one.

Fighting for organic rankings can seem like swimming upstream in a flood. You are constantly against the ever-increasing tide of other businesses competing for consumer attention. But the numbers are in: PPC can give you the edge you need.

How much of an edge, you ask? Well, try this statistic on for size:

An in-depth study from NYU proves that a company that uses both paid and organic search listings increases its profits 4.5% higher than only using one.

You read that right—using paid search advertising in tandem with organic rankings CAN increase your revenue. They have what the study calls a “positive interdependence.” This means that both paid search advertising and organic search can further your reach and get you clicks on their own—but they really shine when used together.

Why is this, exactly? It has everything to do with how your customer processes the information on the search results page.

Searchers are encouraged by a “second opinion effect.”

Page results matter. It’s why your high organic rankings are making your site trustworthy in customers’ eyes. However, paid ads offer them a “second opinion,” making customers more likely to click on websites that show up in both organic listings and the ads at the top of the page.

Just like how seeing your company’s name high up on the first page of Google can cause customers to click your website over others, the NYU study shows those same customers will feel persuaded to click your page if it also shows up in a paid ad. It’s all about being visible. If you’re already ranking highly, paid search ads get you double the visibility.

Double the visibility, double the chances of getting clicks. That’s why using PPC search advertising with organic SEO is an absolute no-brainer.

For this reason, it is also important to bid on your brand terms. Seeing multiple instances of your company’s name adds familiarity, offering a recognizable name customers are more likely to trust. And once they do, the clicks—and conversions—will follow.

Search results showing SEO Inc. in the top spots for both organic and paid search results.

Bidding on your brand can increase the chance that customers will click to your site.

So what do you do with this info?

So you’ve learned that PPC and organic search have a lot of good chemistry. Great—but what does this mean for your SEO campaign? Well, good SEO provides a boost to your organic rankings; that’s the bread and butter of all SEO services. But when used with PPC, you’ll benefit all the more.

There should be no “organic search vs paid search” argument any longer. You can’t be holding your business back by only choosing one; you’ve got to use both.

It can be hard to understand the complex relationship between pay per click and search engine optimization. But one thing’s for sure: Using the tools available to you—both SEO and PPC—will have a positive effect on your business. The data is there; it’s up to you to take advantage of it.

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for Homepage.com, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee, Entrepreneur.com., Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.