can ppc affect seo


10 years ago I took an Search Engine Optimization class at a local college. My teacher would always iterate that Google’s objective is to return the best possible search results to the end users query.

Since then, the search algorithm has improved tremendously to the point where a number of unethical or “black hat tactics” I’ve once used in the past can now get a website penalized or even removed from the search results. Nowadays I only practice ethical or “white hat” SEO.

Mobile has officially passed desktop when it comes to search users thus making responsiveness and page loading key factors as we’ve seen in more recent years.

Of course there are numerous factors that come into play to determine search ranking such as content, backlinks, site structure and so on, which all may vary in terms of weight.

I read someone’s tweet that “PPC has no affect on SEO” which is something I’ve told clients for years. Absolutely no correlation at all. But does it?

It’s been discussed on a few blogs and videos that bounce rate can impact a websites search ranking. However I’ve realized there is much disagreement to this theory.

I for one believe that user experience is taking on a larger role as it provides valuable information on how relevant a search result may be. Starting from click through rate of a search result to time-on-site and bounce rate to name a few.

Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization are two separate methods to drive traffic to websites which have long since been deemed as unrelated. While PPC can drive targeted traffic from keyword bidding in a short span of time, SEO does not require a budget and requires a lot more time and effort.

If you’re running a PPC campaign and managing it properly then you’re likely to pause keywords that yield a high bounce rate for target keywords otherwise you’re just burning through your budget, unless you have a 1 page website.

Based on observing several Google Adwords accounts I’ve found that bounce rates can range from 20-30% which is a lot lower than the 50% average you would expect from the organic search results.

If your websites bounce rate is significantly lower than your competitors then it’s likely that this may also be taken into consideration (along with all other factors) when determining a websites relevancy.

Now whether any metrics from PPC are even considered might be a separate argument but I do believe that if bounce rate are a factor and PPC can contribute to lower bounce rates. Therefore PPC can indeed have an affect on how a website ranks in Google.

Do you think PPC affects SEO? What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.