Utilizing digital marketing strategies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) will get you some serious brand building and revenue opportunities along with greater levels of engagement on your site. The goal for these tactics is essentially the same: to recruit and drive qualified traffic to your website. But for a variety of reasons, merchants  have trouble focusing on both at the same time and some worry they might cannibalize one another. But it’s important to remember that search engine marketing is an additive and complementary game. When SEO and PPC efforts are strategically integrated, they can actually complement and assist one another.

SEO Benefits

SEO is the process by which a site is improved or optimized so that search engines rank it higher in organic search rankings. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo try to deliver the best results based on the searcher’s needs. Over time, the types of methods and algorithms search engines use are optimized for improvement.

Following and staying up to date on search engine best practices is key for online success.  For example, can Google “crawl” your site and display your content on mobile devices? If not, you could be penalized by the top search engines who will push your site further down in the search results or worse, never show it at all.

Due to ever changing methods and algorithms, SEO needs to be monitored over time. It’s important to continue the “care and feeding” of SEO tactics to keep rankings high. For example, search engines reward freshly and continuously updated, relevant content. Optimizing catalog content and product descriptions, images, and video is vital to your SEO success.

PPC Benefits

With paid search or Pay-Per-Click, you are attracting people with ads who are already searching for your product or service. PPC is the fastest way to efficiently drive targeted traffic to your website. PPC can also tell you a lot about how your pages are converting. For example, if your ad is getting a lot of clicks, but not a lot of conversions, you may have a landing page issue. Maybe the page is difficult to navigate. Or, maybe your page doesn’t offer what the customer expected. Keeping track of PPC performance is critical for making smart decisions and optimizing along the way.

PPC is easily tailorable to your budget needs. You set your own price-per-click and pay only when a customer clicks through to your site. If your budget increases or decreases, so can your PPC efforts. When it comes to managing your overall marketing budget, PPC offers the highest ROI when compared to e-mail, banners and other forms of online advertising.

SEO and PPC: The 1+1=3 Effect

Digital marketing including PPC and SEO often takes a back seat to the technical activity of building and maintaining a Magento store. While there are important technical aspects to your eCommerce Magento site, what drives success is a thorough understanding of your customers’ purchasing behavior. The value of SEO and PPC lie in the knowledge of understanding your purchase funnel as well as driving site traffic and conversions.

SEO and PPC each help with different parts of the sales funnel. SEO is felt to be more useful at the top of the funnel when prospects are in the earlier stages of research, while PPC is sometimes viewed as more appropriate if the prospect is closer to making a purchase decision.

But how does 1 + 1 = 3? When you have PPC and SEO rankings showing on the first pages of search engines, your chances of a conversion increase immensely.

Sometimes merchants are reluctant to commit budget and energy to both SEO and PPC at the same time. This viewpoint does not take into account the additive effect of having your brand come up twice on the page through both initiatives. In addition to the benefits of each of these tactics already mentioned, merchants get that extra branding bump with greater levels of engagement that comes from the old trope — frequency and repetition.