ppc and seo correlation roseanna sunley

It’s a question that gets asked a lot…

“Will spending money on PPC (pay-per-click advertising), such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, improve your SEO (search engine optimization) and your ranking in SERPs (search engine result pages)?”

If I was going to give you a short answer, then it would be, “no, your PPC activities will not directly affect your position in SERPs.”

In other words, you will not score any additional SEO bonus points with Google by spending more money with them via their Adwords platform.

But as with everything in the digital world, that’s not the full answer.

Although there is no direct link between PPC advertising and SEO, your ad spend does have an indirect effect on your organic traffic.

So, the proper answer to the question is, “kind of”.

I know that’s not the most useful answer in the world, so let me share with you 3 ways in which your advertising spend is boosting your search engine ranking and organic traffic.

1. Brand awareness

By running paid advertisements on Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc you are introducing people to your brand – people that previously might not have known you even existed.

They may have clicked on your advert, headed to your website and got a feel for what you are all about.

Fast forward a few days and they may be searching Google for an answer to a question – a question that you can help them with.

They view the search results on Google and notice your website name, or, in other words, your brand.

Users are more likely to click through to a website that they recognise (and one that previously delivered the goods and gave them a positive experience) compared to a source that they have never heard of or have little trust for.

If your website is sitting at position number 4 on the Google list but starts to get more click-throughs than those in the positions above you, then Google will take this hint and proceed to move you up the rankings.

2. Paid adverts can lead to additional organic traffic

I have two scenarios for you.

Scenario 1

A user searches Google and clicks through to a piece of content, possibly a blog post, on your website via a paid advertisement.

The user proceeds to share your post on their Facebook and Twitter accounts and signs up to your mailing list.

The user had now become a regular subscriber that you can direct back to your website and stay in touch with via your emails.

By sharing the post, the user had introduced your website to their followers which may result in additional visitors, additional shares and additional email sign-ups.

Scenario 2

You run a series of Facebook adverts promoting an engaging piece of content that you have published on your website.

A user views your advert, follows your Facebook Page and shares your post.

Do you see what is happening in both of these scenarios?

Your paid-for advertisements create a ripple effect – with the initial paid-for-click being the droplet of water, but then the follows/shares/likes, etc creating the ripples.

This helps you to build your audience which in turn allows you to drive more traffic organically.

3. Double-team your paid adverts with organic results

This one is a little harder for me to explain, but I’m going to do my best so bear with me on this one.

Okay, so we know that the higher up the rankings on Google you are, the greater the chance of someone clicking through to your website.

BUT…let’s say you hold the top spot on Google AND have a paid advertisement above it.

We’ve all seen it where the advert is advertising the same website that is first in the organic results.

Technically, we could say that you are holding positions 1 and 2 as you are the top two results that your user sees (albeit one of them is not an organic listing).

You would assume that this doubles your chances as you’ve now got two horses in the race. But in actual fact, it would MORE than double your chances.

Say, for example, that your chances of a click-through on the paid advert is 1 (let’s keep it simple and work with easy round numbers) and the chances of a click-through on your organic listing is also 1.

Put them together and you would think that your chance of a click-through is now 2 (1+1).

But in actual fact, your chance of a click-through would be more like 2.3.

Of course, the user would have the choice of clicking on the paid-for advert or on the organic listing, but by being next to each other they indirectly affect each other’s performance.

In Conclusion

Although PPC and SEO are not directly connected, the money that you spend on online advertisements can have a positive effect on your organic traffic.

This is done through increasing the awareness of your brand, encouraging social shares and engagements, building an audience, and increasing your click-through rates in search results.

In an ideal world, you would be using both of these forms of traffic generation as they help to magnify each other’s effectiveness. ( – SEO will also help your PPC campaigns, but more on that in another post.)

I hope that you found this post helpful, please post a comment below and let me know what you thought.

Roseanna x 

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Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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