When you perform a search engine query, you’ll often see two types of results: organic listings powered by SEO and paid ads. Both are based on your search term. One is the result of a hardworking digital marketer. The other is driven by a bidding-based system. Both are important for your digital strategy, and some have wondered if PPC can affect your organic rankings.
What is organic traffic?
Before we answer that question, we should first define “organic traffic.” If you searched for “pizza near me,” then Google will first use your IP address to determine your location. Then, using the SEO data scraped from various websites, provide you with a listing of the closest pizza establishment.
When you click on those links, that’s organic traffic. Organic simply means that the data that was not paid for but rather based on the SEO content on your website.
How is organic traffic different than PPC traffic?
This means that PPC traffic is the opposite. PPC stands for Pay Per Click and is driven by a bidding system within Google AdWords. Let’s assume that you are a pizza restaurant owner and you’re willing to pay upwards of $5 per click. However, your competitor down the road is willing to pay $6 per click.
Most likely, they will win the bidding war (unless they’ve exceeded their budget). In that case, the result for their restaurant will appear with a tiny “Ad” box next to it. However, this ad will be listed above the organic listings, meaning it stands a higher chance of being clicked on by the user.
Does PPC hurt organic traffic?
PPC can hurt organic traffic, though not in the context you’re asking. PPC can replace some of your organic traffic, but it won’t hurt your hard-earned SEO-based ranking on a search engine. All PPC does is put you at the head of the pack, so to speak, including your organic listings. However, it won’t deprioritize your rankings. It’s a subtle yet distinct difference we’re talking about here.
However, it could potentially hurt your competition’s organic traffic. If you are the only pizza restaurant in your area running PPC ads, then it stands to reason that your website will “steal” some of the web traffic from your competition.
So does PPC boost organic traffic?
Ah, so here’s the question at hand. A better question might be “Will running PPC gives you better SEO?” The answer to that is no. You’re not going to magically have search engine-optimized copy because you’re running PPC ads.
Can it boost your engagement, time on page, and authority? It’s possible. Remember, one of the unspoken components of SEO is page value. If website visitors frequently browse multiple pages on your site after clicking through via a PPC ad, or if they share
your content after having arrived via the said PPC campaign, then this demonstrates authority. That will help to boost your SEO indirectly.
A complete SEO plan includes both organic and PPC strategies The important part is to always have a well-written copy with appropriate backlinks, alt-text, and a well-defined user flow. Those SEO components will then help to encourage site exploration when users arrive via your PPC campaigns.
In other words, it’s not an either-or situation. You need both SEO and PPC to have a successful digital marketing strategy. If this sounds a bit overwhelming, then let us know. We’d be happy to chat with you to see how we can help align your SEO and PPC goals, providing you with a world-class strategy to optimize your digital initiatives.