SEO carries a lot of baggage as a business investment.

Many consider it a “magic bullet” that, if you invest in it, automatically boosts search rankings and drives conversions from search audiences.

Those familiar with SEO know this is far from the truth. In fact, SEO is a business strategy and process that takes time and consistent effort to be truly effective.

That being said, there is tremendous value in an effective SEO strategy. Many e-commerce businesses survive solely on the strength of their SEO.

To create a strong SEO strategy, your business needs to have a holistic strategy that features a diversity in SEO services. In particular, the strongest strategies incorporate both paid search campaigns and organic SEO services.

This article outlines how to format a strategy that uses both paid search and organic SEO to establish better search rankings for your company and reap the benefits of SEO.

High Organic Rankings Provide Self-Reinforcing Benefits

Your business needs to invest in organic SEO for long-term search marketing. Organic SEO, if well established and maintained, can provide exposure for target terms over an extended amount of time.

If you are able to achieve top stops for certain terms, your place among top results can be self-reinforcing.

High search rankings encourage a variety of favorable search rankings factors, particularly regarding referral traffic:

  • Referring domains
  • Backlinks
  • Referring IP addresses

If your business can earn top rankings, you can encourage searchers to visit your website and link or refer to it as a source for content or research, which in turn reinforces your search ranking.

For example, a Moz article from 2015 holds the no. 3 organic ranking for the term “SEO services”.

Given its high ranking result, this post naturally attracts engagement and clicks from searchers. As it draws more traffic and searcher engagement, Google will keep the page in top rankings, particularly if searchers don’t bounce off the article.

How to Use Paid Search Data to Enhance SEO Strategy

Your company should use paid search to complement SEO efforts.

Running paid search campaigns provide your company exposure to top search results for target search terms (at a cost). In addition, search campaigns allow you to study trends in searcher engagement with your target terms based on your ad formatting and language.

Before you launch into any sort of paid search campaign, though, you should put in the time to understand the mechanics of how paid search works.

The most common form of paid search campaigns is a PPC campaign that you operate through the Google AdWords platform.

Your company can bid on the sponsored ad placements for target search terms in the platform Your search ad runs based on your bid for the term, in terms of cost-per-click.

Learning the basics of a PPC campaign is crucial for companies, whether or not you hire an agency to handle your paid search campaigns or you decide to maintain them yourself.

Even if you are using a PPC agency or SEO company for help with paid search, understanding how the platform works allow you to communicate on a much more sophisticated level with your partner about your expectations and ideas for your campaigns.

Use Paid Search to Inform Your Organic SEO Strategy

Like most everything else, paid search is a trial and error process.

After you learn the basics, experiment with paid search, albeit conservatively. Paid ad campaigns cost money, so don’t go crazy.

However, even if you lose $50 targeting a search term with little engagement, it’s not the end of the world. The money you lose from trying out a bunk term or phrase may allow you to avoid investing time and organic resources toward that term later on–which more than makes up for your initial losses.

Beyond the exposure and potential leads, part of the value of PPC advertising derives from long-term marketing insights they provide.

In particular, PPC campaigns provide insight into two major areas of SEO focus: the terms that your audience are interested in, and the language that best engages them.

Your company can use these insights to format your organic SEO strategy, particularly with regards to your keyword optimization.

For example, say you learn from a paid campaign that your target audiences engage more with the term “SEO services” rather than “SEO companies”. Given this insight, you can re-format the headers and title tags for relevant web pages to be listed as “SEO companies” to increase the chances that these consumers engage with those pages.

Paid search campaigns can complement and inform your company’s long-term SEO strategy. Given their value, your company needs to incorporate both into your search marketing strategy.

The more educated your company is on this matter, the better you can communicate your expectations and goals to the resources you depend on for SEO and track the success of your efforts.