If we are doing organic SEO, do we need PPC?

It’s a commonly held perception that PPC influences organic search results. It does, too, but not in the way that you would expect.

Search engines like Google and Yahoo work on organic ranking results and intentionally do not let PPC impact on how a website or page is ranked. Why? Because there are protection measures in place to avoid organic results being influenced. Quite right because without it they’d lose all credibility in being an independent source of information. That’s why, even when you undertake a PPC campaign, it is wise to make sure that your brand or product is also ranking organically through a high-quality content creation campaign.

Having said that, there are some things that the search engine companies don’t control directly, and these may have an impact on organic search results. For instance, searchers may be more willing to click on an organic ranking if they see it alongside a paid-for advert. We’re all susceptible to doing that – we sometimes prefer not to click a PPC link in the results but scroll down to the organic listings. There are several reasons for this, not least that advertising (PPC) is seen as less independent than PR (organic SEO).

We must bear in mind that PPC does still work and some people, often for speed and convenience, do click onto them. And, people that have seen you PPC appear in the results may be more subconsciously biased to click on your organic search result after they scroll down – so that is another way that PPC might improve your SEO rankings.  For example, if an architect searching for insulation types into a search engine; ‘fire rated insulation for rainscreen cladding’, they are more likely to click the organic search result for a particular company, even though the PPC ranking appears above it.

At first glance that’s seems quite a costly way of generating a sales’ enquiry – paying for both PPC and organic SEO - and we agree, even though we offer PPC services! In fact, our clients find that they get better, longer lasting results by focusing on organic SEO though our content marketing campaigns. Its common sense, really, not least because once you stop PPC you immediately lose your rankings, whereas with organic SEO – blogs, white papers, thought-leadership articles – this collateral stays on the web indefinitely where it continues to help your business rank.

Another factor where PPC can improve your SEO ranking is where paid-for clicks results in increased links, mentions and sharing that boost organic results. For example, when a person clicks on a PPC advert they may subsequently follow you on twitter or LinkedIn or mention your brand on their own social media posts. These all help your SEO rankings and came about because of PPC.

The answer to the question; ‘Do I need to invest in PPC if I’m doing organic SEO?’ is not as straightforward as you may think. Yes, as we’ve discussed, there are benefits to having both an organic search and PPC campaign running at the same time. Undeniably, they will both get results, but it is expensive, whilst PPC is a double-edged sword – once you start you have to carry on, otherwise you lose all your ranking when you stop the campaign, if you’ve relied on it completely. It’s therefore more a question of value for money and the nature of your business. Organic SEO delivers value for money and the benefits are longer lasting.  Conversely, if you are a business selling thousands of widgets and need guaranteed top position on Google Page 1 then PPC might be the best way forward.

The best approach for many of our clients in the building products and construction sector is more towards the organic SEO. Principally, it’s because they know architects and contractors are looking for high quality information when searching on Google and so are more likely to choose an organic result than a paid advert such as PPC. They may not find the information they need by clicking on a PPC but are more likely to find it on and organic search result, for example, a white paper or technical article.

Whichever you feel is right for your business, we can help you make the most of your online presence.

Dragonfly PR is a content marketing, SEO and social media agency with over 20  years’ experience in helping clients in the Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester areas. For more information about increasing your social media presence and generating leads and sales, contact our PR and social media team by emailing hello@dragonflypr.co.uk or calling 0114 349 5341.

Call us on: 0114 349 5341