PPC and SEO synergy in 2024


PPC and SEO collaboration is not as strong as it should be in most companies. And I think that is a big mistake. Sometimes, it feels like those two are competing rather than helping each other out. SEO people say that PPC is a waste of money and we can get clicks for free (in 3-12 months). PPC folks say SEO takes too long, but results can be achieved more easily faster. And there is a lot less risk of being affected by yet another algorithm update.


While both sides are right, it’s time to put aside this and start working together.


There is a lot both sides can gain from aligning their efforts and strategies. I thought I would share some ways SEO and PPC can work together to maximize their gains.



Having each other’s back

We sometimes forget that users who search on Google might not care if it’s an organic result or an ad. Sure, organic results might seem more natural and get higher click-through rates, but an ad is not that far away.


With Google pushing SGE (search generative experience) and AI campaigns in Google Ads, sharing insights between the two might help keep the same messaging across all properties.


In time, AI might take over more and more results for each search. You will not only have to think about E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) but also work on optimizing landing pages, where Paid teams have more experience.


I’ve mentioned algorithm updates, which are usually followed by a dip in your organic traffic. This is where your PPC can come in handy, covering those dips until your organic results get back on track. This way, you will ensure that you don’t lose traffic from your most important keywords.


On the other hand, SEO can be there to help PPC efforts when your costs climb up and you can’t afford to increase your daily spending.



Covering the entire user’s journey


I’m sure you are familiar with the funnel concept.

  • TOFU, top-of-the-funnel traffic
  • MOFU, middle-of-the-funnel traffic
  • BOFU, bottom-of-the-funnel traffic.


Your search keywords fall into either of those. People will either search for keywords like “product x price”, which falls under BOFU, as the user is closer to converting. Or someone might search for “bulk email software“, which would fall into MOFU. Users are aware of the problem but are not yet ready to commit.


You might be bidding only on one stage or all. The same goes for your SEO strategy. It doesn’t matter if the customer is presented with the right message at the right time. You can’t think in silos anymore.


Do your organic keywords and paid keywords cover all stages? You don’t have to cover all of them, but you have to be aligned. Should you attract more MOFU with SEO and then use PPC to close the deal? It depends on a lot of things, and it is up to you.


You have to ensure that people get what they searched for and then use that traffic to bring them closer to a conversion. For example, your SEO strategy should be more focused on attracting TOFU users, who are a broad audience and are less likely to buy. You can use retargeting strategies to move them to the next stage.


You can also have both PCC and SEO efforts at all stages. Then, it’s even more important to align with the messages users receive. You might be doing YouTube Ads to attract new traffic, but what happens if, after seeing a video, someone searches for your brand and clicks on an organic result? Or maybe they do a different search and land on one of your comparison pages or even the About Us page? Does the message in the video align with what they will see on organic pages?


Focusing on the journey, not on a channel, will be key in 2024.


Keeping up with changes

There is a lot that will happen this year:

No one can say for sure how all these changes and updates will impact your organic results and paid traffic. It is still a question of how Google will monetize SGE with ads, but it’s safe to assume that it will happen.


It is important for both teams to keep an eye on the updates and share insights after each one. Some updates will impact more SEO teams, others Paid, but a combined approach is where you might find how not only to mitigate risk but also find opportunities for growth.


There is an assumption that Performance MAx campaigns will be at the front of SGE and ad collision. And knowing this does not make our lives easier, as PMax campaigns are a black box. No one knows what is happening inside.

I’m sure no one really knows how the content should be optimized for SGE as well.

What I can bet my coffee on is that when SGE rolls out, some companies will see a dip in organic traffic, and others won’t. But as I mentioned before, PPC should be right beside you, ready to offer that helping hand.



Learnings beyond Google

When I say PPC, it’s not only related to Google Ads. When thinking about SEO and PPC synergy, you have to broaden your field. SERP is flooded with results from TikTok, Quora, and Reddit.

Then, you have LinkedIn and X.com, with their posts shown along with the rest of the results. All these platforms have ads.


Not only that, the search behavior changes as well. You probably heard that younger audiences do not go to Google to search for something; they use TikTok. And even if they do search on Google, which results do you think they will favor?


If you are active on any of these platforms, meaning you post and make videos (organically), have you thought about how the customer’s journey looks like? Have you brainstormed additional ideas on how you can use that content in PPC?


If you’re making amazing videos for TikTok or are active on Reddit, maybe you should double down on it and have a paid team run some ads for that post or that video. The opportunities to cross-promote successful content are endless.


In my experience, influencer videos perform great on YouTube. If you’re paying an influencer to promote that product, ask if you can use it in your ads. This could yield amazing results for both of you. More visibility for that influencer and immediate credibility for your product with new audiences.


In my last post, I talked about how audiences can help you optimize your Search campaigns. Why not share it with SEO teams? Maybe there are audiences that they could focus on to attract new users to your business.


What can you share exactly?

I get it; if you’re new to this, it can be overwhelming, and you most likely ask yourself self, “So what should I share?” I will give you some ideas of what I usually share with SEO team or what I asked them to share.


By the way, don’t wait for the SEO team to share something. We all have stuff on our minds. Go and ask. They might not head read this blog post (you can always share it). Honestly, most of the time, I’m the one asking things and sharing.


Most expensive keywords

We all have keywords that are a bit too expensive for us to bid on, or we are bidding, but things could be better. We’re limited by budget. Share the list with the SEO team, and maybe they can prioritize them to get the traffic you otherwise wouldn’t have. You can show them that the keywords perform; it’s just the competition is high or CPCs are out of your reach. It’s a lot easier to convince someone when you have the data.


Top performing keywords (money keywords)

Not all your keywords perform equally. You might have a small list of those that do great, along with ads and landing pages. The SEO team should be aware of that.

Mainly for two reasons:

  • even if your keyword is performing well on paid, you might not get all the impressions or clicks. Some people prefer organic results. SEO might focus on those keywords, and you will get additional conversions, as you already do. Follow the money.
  • having two results on the same page for the same query leaves less chance for that click to go to a competitor. More business for you.

Knowing what already converts, the SEO team can focus on those keywords (and topics around them) to increase converting traffic even more.


Impression share metrics

You are monitoring those metrics anyway (at least I hope you do), because they tell you about your competition and how much of that pie (impressions) you cover. Those insights are amazing, and I hope Google will never remove them. You can see what % of impressions you are getting for each keyword. And if you monitor this metric you can easily see where it dips.

There could be many reasons why it dips or increases, including more competitors, budget increases for existing competitors, or maybe something you did.

If you’re losing impression share on paid, it might be a good signal for the SEO team to start focusing on specific keywords or topics.


SEO priority keywords

I always like to ask the SEO team what keywords they are focusing on. If they worked on those keywords for a while they might have some insights into what works. This is a huge help if you’re just took on a new client, or started working in a new company.

Both keywords and landing pages can shed more light on what works in terms of conversions. This can help you craft your own PPC landing pages better and write better ads.

For example, if SEO is more focused on brand awareness, you could run a YouTube campaign with a custom audience created based on those SEO keywords. Will it work? No idea, but PPC is about testing new things.


Top-performing SEO landing pages

If your pages rank high on SERP, this means Google loves them. It thinks the content resonates well with people. This is a great insight into paid landing pages. Not only that, but you can also use SEO landing pages and drive paid traffic there. They are converting already, so there is a high chance they will convert through PPC as well.

Though paid, it is an additional source of possible conversions. In my experience, I did it once with leads. I took a page that did very well from the SEO perspective, and just run a campaign with it. The goal was to get leads, but it performed well. The message matched the intent.


Keyword difficulty

Ranking specific keywords is not an easy task, especially if those keywords are highly competitive. It might take 6-12 months to get some results. What I like to offer to the SEO team is to test those keywords.


I get a list of keywords with difficulty metrics, usually from a tool like SEMRush, and I would pick a few to run a test. I look not only at conversions but also at engagement metrics because the SEO team might benefit from it as well. Then, I share them with the team, and we discuss if it is something they want to pursue.


This test can be done within a month and could save a lot of hours for the SEO team, chasing keywords that might not even perform well. If they decide to go for it, they will at least have some data to back their decision.