A lot of small businesses get Google AdWords, and SEO mixed up. They assume that since they are paying Google a lot of money, then their organic rankings will boost. Or that if they focus on SEO’s best practices, then their ads will gain a better position in organic search results.
Let’s try to shed some light on this topic. While it’s true that there is a correlation between AdWords advertising and ranking, it’s not exactly what you imagine. Paid search has no direct influence on your SEO ranking.
Are you still confused?
The purpose of this blog post is to explain whether AdWords can help your SEO and, if so, how.
Direct Ranking Factors versus Indirect Ranking Factors
Before we dive into the topic, it’s important to make a useful distinction. Two types of ranking factors influence search results and customer reach: direct and indirect.
Direct ranking factors have been proven through accurate and consistent data analysis to impact your reach significantly. Some of these include but are not limited to website security, time spent on site, content length and direct traffic.
When it comes to indirect ranking factors, on the other hand, experts have noted a correlation between these signals and organic listings but have no data to backup their claims. Readability, the image to text ratio and social media are examples of factors that aren’t included in Google’s algorithm but may still influence your organic ranking.
AdWords has an effect similar to indirect ranking factors.
AdWords Doesn’t Have a Direct Effect on Your SEO Ranking
We’ve heard a lot of small businesses claim that the moment they started pumping more money into AdWords advertising, their position in search engine results improved dramatically. Ask them to produce some evidence that will back up their allegation, and you will discover that they can’t. That’s because there’s no direct influence between Google AdWords and SEO.
Google is very particular about how its system works and is quick to penalize any abuse. They won’t give you a competitive SEO advantage just because you are using their advertising platform just as you can’t cheat your way to the top of search engine results.
However, AdWords can have an indirect effect on your SEO ranking.
Here’s what we mean by that.
- AdWords Advertising Influences Link Building
Despite the fact that Google tries its best to keep organic searches unaffected by paid advertising, it can’t control all the factors. As such, Google ads could boost your link building efforts. When you advertise your business on Google, you expose it to influencers that may link to your website if they like your content.
That’s not equivalent to saying AdWords impacts SEO directly, but it can generate some traction and make the process of acquiring links easier.
- Even If You’re Already #1, Google Ads May Still Benefit You
Counter-intuitive as it may seem, reports show that even when your site is number one in search results, half of the clicks your ads get will not be replaced by organic clicks when your ads don’t appear.
Let’s unfold this a bit: let’s say that after a lot of hard work you manage to rank on the first spot on google. However, you continue to rely on AdWords too to bring in qualified leads. A lot of people will click your ads if they see the same result in the organic listing. But if you decide to end your AdWords campaign, 50% of your former ad clicks will be lost, while the other 50% will turn into organic clicks.
Keep in mind, though, that this report focuses solely on the number of clicks and it doesn’t consider the conversion rate. So, try to figure out what works best for your business because results can vary.
- AdWords can Increase Your Click-Through Rate
Running an AdWords campaign is an excellent way to test the performance of your keywords. By analyzing the conversion and bounce rate for a specific keyword, you can determine whether it’s worth pursuing or if it doesn’t deliver the results you were expecting to see.
Another benefit that SEO could take advantage of from paid advertising is that with AdWords you can test different variations of your ads. That way you can see which keywords, headlines or specific benefits generate the highest click-through rates and tweak your SEO strategy accordingly.
- Minimize Your Bounce Rate
A high bounce rate can have a serious impact on your search ranking. Think about it this way: you cracked your smartphone’s screen and are now looking for a service that could repair or replace it. During your Google search, you find a website that promises to solve your problem quickly. You click on it, but when you land on the page, you can’t find what you need as quickly as you would like. Evidently, you bounce back and continue your search.
Here’s the thing: a high bounce rate doesn’t affect just your organic ranking. It also means that you are sending free traffic to your competitors’ websites.
An AdWords campaign can be an excellent way to drive targeted traffic to your website. Just make sure that the information you provide is helpful and engaging so that you can increase the time prospects spend on your page and reduce bounce rate.
- Enhance Your Social Media
Engagement is fundamental to how high your site will appear in Google search. But you know that already. What you want to learn is how AdWords advertising can improve your engagement rates.
Well, AdWords isn’t just an excellent way to drive targeted traffic to your site but also to generate social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments on your existing content. Be careful to include social media button on your landing page and make them highly visible. Your prospects don’t want to work hard to share your content or comment, so make it as easy as possible for them to engage.
To conclude, yes, AdWords can help your SEO, but not directly. Instead, it can offer great opportunities to fine-tune your SEO practices. Focusing on both paid advertising and search engine optimization will translate into more customers and revenues for your business.
Because online marketing can be a complex endeavor, you can always rely on the help of Australian Internet Advertising. Whether you need to work on your SEO or promote your business with AdWords advertising, we can take care of your core online marketing needs.