How does Adwords PPC affect SEO?

May 14, 2017 / Kevin Abrams

When advertising with Google’s Adwords PPC (Pay Per Click) program it is often assumed that your website will rank better for a number of reasons. Some marketing agencies blatantly say this – however it is not true – but more on that later. There is also the belief that if you are buying ads from Google then they will increase your ranking. If this is your belief, let us help address the difference between PPC and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as well as how they work in tandem. But first let’s clear up the initial question.

The Short Answer: It Doesn’t

Google Adwords PPC program has NO affect on your organic SEO ranking. None at all. But someone told you differently? Good, go ahead and send them this article so we can help clear things up for them too. So, how are we so sure?

Straight from the Goliath mouth:

A PPC ad solution like AdWords doesn’t have the same results as SEO, and won’t improve your organic search rankings… Google’s first responsibility is to provide Search users with the most relevant possible results. If businesses were able to pay for higher rankings in the search results, users wouldn’t be getting the information they’re looking for.

Google Adwords PPC – The Short Distance Sprint

Google Adwords PPC & Organic SEO Results from the search team "toys".

Note the little green “Ad” symbol under in the Adwords results. You may also see a “Sponsored” phrase if the ads placement is elsewhere on the results page.

Google Adwords is a powerful tool for any small business. Adwords ads place businesses in a different physical space on Google results than traditional organic results. These ads can often cost a bundle per click depending on the keywords you are targeting. However they are a great resource to test target keywords. You can find what keywords drive traffic and conversions to your site. This can help prepare you to mount a powerful SEO campaign.

This is why some businesses will start with PPC prior to investing in SEO. By testing keywords with PPC you can find what keywords are bringing in traffic, inversely you find which ones are not. When businesses start with SEO campaigns they are investing in long term content strategy to improve the organic ranking of a site. Think about that for a minute. If you haphazardly choose keywords and invest in SEO without knowing how well they will perform you could potentially be investing in keywords that will bring in no conversions for your site. This is the power that PPC and SEO have when working in tandem.

Search Engine Optimization – The Marathon Run

SEO for small businesses consists of many different elements, there’s On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO. These topics are not the subject of this article but you should check out the corresponding articles if you are not familiar with them. Executing a proper SEO campaign takes time (often months, sometimes years), money, and resources to increase your ranking. SEO is the pursuit of increasing your organic ranking in the search engines for targeted keywords. Targeted keywords are selected leveraging a keyword, or a competitive analysis. However testing these keywords with PPC can often save time and money when it comes to finding the right keywords to leverage in an SEO campaign.

Need help with Google Adwords PPC or SEO?

Contact us to request a quote. If you are just getting started, great. We will help you get setup and running with an SEO strategy or a Google Adwords campaign. If you are already advertising or pursuing an SEO strategy, we will manage your campaign and support your site’s SEO goals.


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Kevin Abrams

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Digital Renegades is a digital marketing and web solutions agency that partners with small and midsize businesses across the US. Our services include web development, branding, digital advertising, graphic design, SEO, DevOps, business automation, and more.

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