Chances are your company makes use of both SEO and PPC to maximize its sales. While pay-per-click advertising doesn’t directly affect your ranking in the organic search results, it still has an indirect impact.
In this article, I’ll introduce those indirect effects and evaluate what they mean for your landing page experience. Then, I’ll share tips for improving that experience for your visitors—no matter how they landed on your page, be it through an ad or using the organic route.
Same landing page for SEO and PPC
SEO is all about relevant content that matches the visitor’s intent, whereas PPC is more strictly geared toward conversion optimization. To optimize your organic traffic, you need detailed information that’s usually less transactional than the content for paid traffic. A landing page crafted specifically for PPC is more likely to answer potential objections visitors might have prior to their conversion.
It’s not uncommon for a business to have the same landing page for SEO and PPC. And if that’s the case, then that one landing page and its features impact both traffic sources. But optimization is still somewhat different for organic and paid traffic. So, try to focus on the overall landing page experience and the factors that can improve traffic from both channels.
The positioning of your ad in the paid search results depends on multiple factors such as bid amount and ad quality score that includes relevance, click-through rate, and landing page experience. For organic results, ranking is mostly about the number and quality of backlinks and the quality of your content and its relevance to the targeted keywords.
Landing page experience measures how well your page meets visitors’ expectations. It’s one of the key considerations for both PageRank and Ad Rank. So, if your page serves both ad traffic and organic traffic, it needs to be optimized in a way that satisfies them both.
What do PPC experts say on this?
Sofie Segercrantz, Supermetrics’ Performance Marketing Lead, says:
“One of the most central parts of modern search engines is getting users the most relevant and reliable search results, which applies to organic and paid. Hence, while the organic search and search advertising algorithms are developed as separate entities at Google and the likes, the same philosophy guides them. Especially when it comes to landing page experience, the same principles apply: the page should be informative and useful, load fast, and be mobile-friendly. In my experience, sites optimized to do well in organic search often also serve as good or even great landing pages for search advertising.”
So, by focusing on landing page experience alone, you’re off to a good start with optimizing your page for both organic and paid traffic.
Example of Supermetrics partner landing page
To give an example, at Supermetrics our partner landing page serves both traffic sources at the same time, paid and organic. And the visitors we target include both those who are already familiar with Supermetrics and those just looking for partner programs to join.
In our paid campaigns, we also don’t shy away from tapping into the potential of competitors’ branded keywords. Many affiliate partners can easily switch between offers in the same niche. This means we can target the same partners who search for a different affiliate or partner program on Google. In this case, of course, our page doesn’t meet the exact expectations of people using such search queries but it does match with their broader intent of joining a partner program in that niche. We also make it clear in the ad text that our result is an alternative program.
So, we cover both branded and generic keywords. But it’s worth pointing out that we also have an affiliate marketing category on our blog, which we use for targeting mainly organic affiliate marketing -related traffic. In those articles, we use CTAs to direct the visitors to our partner landing page and closer to converting into partners. But we also leverage dynamic search ads for those articles that don’t yet rank at the top for their targeted keywords for one reason or another. These articles with minimal organic traffic benefit from the paid campaigns the most.
Source: Supermetrics Data Studio dashboard
The conclusion is that our partner landing page doesn’t need to provide any detailed information on affiliate or partner marketing. It can have a strong conversion-focus and simply introduce our program.
Source: Supermetrics partner landing page
We’ve placed a “Join now” CTA button at the very top of the page, accompanied by a benefit statement. By scrolling down, visitors find more detailed information such as a description of how the program works, who can join, what the benefits are, and so forth.
How do SEO and PPC impact one another
Before delving into the landing page experience in more detail, let’s look at how SEO and PPC impact one another.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no direct impact between the two. Even according to the most notable research on this topic by Google, 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic traffic if the ads are paused. Based on this, one could conclude that search ads don’t cannibalize organic traffic.
But it’s worth noting that this research is from 2011 and 10 years is a lifetime in this field. Now, so many algorithm updates later, it could be almost water under the bridge.
This is what Google Ads has to say on the question whether PPC can help SEO efforts:
“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.”
But even if Google is doing its best to keep SEO and PPC separate, it has no control over the indirect impact. There’s a lack of thorough research on the matter of what those indirect effects are. So, we have to rely on the collective experience of marketers. Moz, for example, has suggested that searchers who see an ad might be more likely to click an organic listing.
List of indirect effects between SEO and PPC
Here’s what I would include in the list of indirect effects that we can probably all agree on:
- PPC, coupled with SEO, allows you to occupy more SERP real estate
You get double exposure for your page. That’s undeniable. Whether seeing your ad result makes users more likely to click on your result in the organic listings is not so obvious.
- PPC increases brand awareness and sometimes drives organic sales
The part of your paid traffic that lands on your page but doesn’t convert at first can sometimes return and convert through organic search. Having landed on your page and being familiar with your brand can help them convert later. Es
pecially if your paid campaigns promote a page that doesn’t rank well organically, it means you wouldn’t achieve such brand familiarity otherwise.
- PPC sometimes boosts organic ranking and impacts organic CTR for certain queries
Another benefit of the added brand exposure is that some users who land on your page through PPC can link to it, mention it, or interact with it elsewhere. This additional coverage and engagement can be on social media or another website and it can boost your organic rankings.
For certain queries where paid ads drive a substantial share of the clicks, having an optimized ad for that query can also impact the CTRs for the entire SERP, including the organic results.
- PPC lets you discover better keywords for organic search
Targeting the most relevant keywords is at the heart of your SEO and PPC strategies. But it takes much longer to get results for your organic search efforts. The immediate results of your paid campaigns, however, give you valuable keyword data to leverage in your SEO efforts.
Given that landing page experience measures how well your page serves its visitors, the relevance of your content is a key factor. But it’s not the only one. Here’s a list of factors that have a major impact on your landing page experience for both organic and paid traffic:
- Content relevance and quality
- Site navigation and speed
- Mobile friendliness
Check your landing page experience on Google Ads
On Google Ads, you can check the landing page experience for each keyword. On the sidebar menu, choose “Search keywords” “Quality score” and then tick the box for “Landing page exp.” and click the “Apply” button.
Source: Google Ads
Now, your keywords report should display a column for landing page experience for each keyword in your campaign. You can assess whether a better landing page experience correlates with a higher conversion rate.
Source: Google Ads
A landing page that provides a poor user experience may show less often or in some cases not at all in the search results. And it’s even less likely to convert anyone if it doesn’t match the intent of your visitors.