You cannot buy your way to the top of the search engine results page. People have tried before. It doesn’t work.
At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for a well-optimized website. There’s no substitute for understanding your audience, knowing the search terms they use, and providing them with the content they’re looking for. Google knows that – there’s a reason its own support site lists high-quality content as a critical component of a “Google-friendly” site.
Knowing this, you might expect PPC advertising to be largely irrelevant to SEO. But you’d be mistaken. As it turns out, Google’s own advertising platform, known as Google Ads, is a powerful SEO tool in its own right.
Formerly known as Google Adwords, Google Ads allows advertisers to bid against one another on certain keywords. The winning bids get the opportunity to place ads on the SERP. Still seems like a very different approach to traffic generation from organic SEO, doesn’t it?
There are actually quite a few places where the two intersect, and quite a few ways Google Ads can be used to enrich your SEO strategy.
- Re-targeting. Google Ads allow a website to display advertisements to a user who’s previously visited or engaged with it. These targeted ads can be a powerful means of bringing in qualified leads, and the people who respond to them will likely already be more engaged than someone who’s unaware of your brand.
- Keyword data. What makes Google Ads powerful from an SEO standpoint doesn’t actually involve payment or placement at all. It’s informational. What search terms are most competitive or most popular? What search terms are people paying top dollar for? What’s the audience for a particular ad, and how does that mesh with your own brand?
- Location data. The Google Ads Dashboard allows you to segment data in a number of different ways – up to and including location. If you’ve placed ads through the platform before, you can view location-based performance data to see where people were when they clicked, something which can help you adjust your local SEO efforts.
- Creating better copy. By studying the ads that worked – and the ones that didn’t – you can get an idea of how to structure and optimize your own content to get more clicks on the SERP.
PPC advertising and SEO are two very different approaches to achieving the same goal – website growth. But they need not exist in isolation with one another. The data gathered from Google Ads can be extremely valuable to your SEO strategy.
Moreover, combining the two means you’ve got two sources of fresh traffic for your site, and that many more potential leads as a result.