What is the ideal balance of SEO and pay per click marketing?

There is no universal panacea to striking the perfect balance between search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (PPC). Each business with its unique business model and distinct industry challenges has to develop its own strategy to balancing SEO and PPC. This strategy should not be based on gut feel but needs to be substantiated by solid analytical tracking and analysis.

There are however a few solid and valuable guidelines to keep in mind.

The benefits of ROI’s SEO Services

But first, let’s clear up some myths surrounding search marketing.

Myth #1: You do not need paid search if your site is already in the top 10 organic search results
SEO is a long-term strategy and it will take time for a website’s search engine optimisation elements to begin lifting a site’s rankings above the fold. Traffic is also known to be less reliable than with paid search. Further to this, if your site appears twice on the first page of the SERPs, this serves to reinforce your brand, demonstrating credibility and commitment. Furthermore, you cannot control timing, message or geographic targeting of natural search while paid search campaigns have immediate impact. A website launched yesterday can attract traffic today with PPC advertising, before the search engine spiders are even aware of its existence. PPC is timely and excellent for time-sensitive campaigns.

Myth #2: You do not need to bother with organic search because you can pay to get top rankings
Numerous research studies indicate that according to search engine user behaviour, users prefer organic listings to PPC listings, with organic listings getting 70 to 80 percent of the clicks. According to Jupiter research, six out of seven sales from search engines resulted from the organic rankings.

Guidelines to striking the PPC vs. SEO balance

Timing – PPC is a far more agile tool that google SEO as it allows immediate exposure and is of particular importance when running tactical, short-term or reactive campaigns

Analysis – The results and insights tested in PPC can be effectively used to target long-term SEO strategies. Once you know a keyword is on the money, maximise its revenue earning potential by integrating it into your SEO efforts

Pre-testing – PPC is a great tool for pre-testing keywords before committing keywords to your SEO initiatives

Messaging – PPC offers a medium for more targeted and customised messaging, allowing you to position your brand accordingly online

Filling in the gaps – While your SEO strategy targets the popular and expensive “money terms”, PPC can be used to cover broader keywords that are not optimal for SEO but collectively deliver a strong return.

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