March 09 2016

Three weeks ago, Google dropped right side ads from search engine results. In Part 1 of this series, we went over the implications of the ad removal for paid search. To recap, the removal reduces the overall number of ads in search results, but also adds a 4th ad spot above the fold for more visibility early on in results. Because the number of ads has reduced overall, it can also make ad space more competitive.

In Part 2, we discussed the impact Google’s ad removal has on organic search. With a 4th ad above the fold in many instances, organic results are sometimes being pushed down farther below the fold, making the focus heavily on paid advertising. Again, the space to show up at the top, above the fold, has become more competitive.

And now for Part 3, we talk about both PPC and SEO together as an integrated approach to stay competitive with this Google update (and future ones!). At TopSpot, this is our approach towards internet marketing. In fact, it’s how we’ve structured our teams since the very beginning. If you do both SEO and PPC with us, you have your own Customer Relationship Teams which includes a Team Lead, SEO, PPC and Conversion Improvement (CI) specialist. We’ve found that this approach is successful because it allows better synergy among all departments, especially SEO and PPC.


Often businesses are looking at SEO and PPC as 2 completely separate entities. While they are certainly different, it’s time to start looking at SEO and PPC as 2 entities that make up 1 complete internet marketing strategy. With both spaces becoming more competitive for visibility at the top, SEO and PPC can and should work together. Here are a few examples of  how SEO and PPC can work together:

how seo and ppc work together

The image above shows how SEO and PPC can work together in search results. When both an organic and paid listingare shown on the same page, the click-thru-rate (CTR) can increase overall.

Keyword Strategy

While keyword strategies for both SEO and PPC are approached differently, their goals are often the same – bring qualified users into a website who are likely to convert. Data from both sides can help shape the keyword strategy for each and make it better. Also, PPC keyword data is perfect to supplement the lack of organic keyword data on the SEO side because of (not provided).

Content Strategy

While we’re on the topic of content, it’s a good time to bring up the importance of content as it’s the biggest influencer to good positioning for organic and can significantly help paid search.

Gone are the days where a few lines of content could make you rank and perform well for certain phrases. If you want to show up well for a phrase, you have to have some of the best content on the internet for it. And you have to keep working at it to stay ahead.

PPC data can influence content strategy for new page ideas, content expansion and more. Suggestions and improvements SEOs often make to content in turn benefit paid search efforts by improving quality scores, which potentially can reduce cost-per-click and make budgets go a little farther.

better content lowers cpc

The image above shows how one of our clients saw a reduction in their Cost-Per-Click after they launched a newsite with improved content based on SEO suggestions.

Content is one of the most important factors that support your SEO and PPC efforts, but more importantly, it’s part of the user experience which helps inform and educate your potential customers.

User Experience

This is an important one. In a world where the internet has evened the playing field and establishing an online presence is attainable for many, great user/customer experience is what sets websites and companies apart.

No matter how good your SEO or PPC results are, users must have a good experience on your site and get the information they need to ultimately choose you. It’s possible that, like SEO, usability and certain user behavior metrics start becoming more important factors for PPC ad visibility. Couple PPC and SEO data with a Conversion Improvement Specialist, and you help bridge the gap between search result and website experience. Some of our tools like form analytics and call analytics can even influence and improve the experience after a user contacts a business.

When it comes to the search engine world, there are a lot of changes and updates that are out of our control. Google dropping right-hand ads is a great example of this. But the one thing that helps you stay relevant no matter the update is a good customer experience. When a user visits your site through SEO or PPC and has a good experience by finding what they need and contacting you, that’s what it’s about. So it’s important to not look at SEO, PPC (and Conversion Improvement) as all separate things, but as an integrated marketing strategy to provide the best customer experience, you can.