Do Google Ads Help SEO?
If you’ve been trying to get the website for your business to show up more in the Google search results, you may have been using digital marketing strategies that are commonly called “SEO”, which stands for search engine optimization. Just as the name implies, SEO represents various efforts to make your website optimized, or the best that it can be, in the eyes of Google. The more “SEO attractive” your website is to Google, the higher your website will rank in the Google search results.
For most digital marketers, SEO is thought of primarily in terms of publishing high quality content and backlinking from other high quality and authoritative websites. Additionally, for local-based businesses, another primary component of SEO strategy is the management of local listing directories in order to be indexed by Google and show up as prominently as possible in local search results on Google.
While these are certainly the core, best practice SEO strategies, there are some other strategies that you can employ using the Google Ads platform that can also help your SEO efforts with Google.
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads is actually the name of Google’s official paid digital ads platform. In the Google Ads platform marketers have the ability to run all sorts of paid digital ads. Everything from search ads, to display ads and even video ads can be run out of the Google Ads platform.
The type of ad that is run the most out of the Google Ads platform are the search ads. You have probably seen many Google search ads over the years, but may not have even realized it. Google search ads look just like SEO search results listings for websites. The main difference is that the search ads actually say “Ad” on them in very subtle fashion. If you look carefully, you will see the word “Ad” at the beginning of every Google search ad. On most Google search results pages Google will have 3-4 search ads at the very top and very bottom of each page.
How Do Google Ads Help My SEO?
There has been a debate for some time as to whether or not Google Ads actually help SEO, and if so, how?
This debate has mostly been settled by Google itself over the years that Google Ads do not directly help SEO. In other words, Google has made it clear that just because you may spend a lot of money on Google search ads, it does not automatically mean Google will do you a favor and help your organic SEO rankings.
While there is clearly no direct, cause-and-effect relationship between Google Ads and Google SEO, there is an indirect relationship between the two that can be advantageous to business owners.
Google Ads can indirectly help your SEO efforts in three ways:
WAY #1: FILLS GAPS IN SEO
Perhaps you have been working steadily on SEO content strategy efforts to climb Google’s organic search rankings. You have been making progress on many of the keywords you have been targeting, but there are still a few keywords that you have had a harder time ranking organically for.
These types of organic keywords can be great options for use in Google search ads. While your website may not show up high enough in the organic listings for these keywords, you can run paid Google search ads that will place you higher up in the rankings for those keywords. It is true that doing this will cost money in terms of paying for the search ad space. However, it is also true that to produce enough quality content and get enough backlinks it would also take a considerable monetary investment to achieve the desired result. Why make the investment to get your business present in the Google results today, instead of 12-24 months down the road after publishing a tremendous amount of content and getting lots of backlinks?
WAY #2: GREAT WAY TO TEST KEYWORDS
Another great way to use Google Ads to indirectly help your SEO efforts is to test keywords that you are not currently optimizing for in your SEO efforts, but that you might want to start targeting. For example, let’s say you own a roofing company and you have not been focusing your SEO efforts on ranking for keywords involving the term “metal roof”. However, over the last year you have been getting more and more interest from customers about metal roofs and now you are considering making an investment in additional SEO efforts to get your website ranking well organically for metal roof keywords.
Before you spend 12 months or more of your time and money producing content and making backlinks, it would be in your best interest to test metal roof keywords first in your local Google search results to make sure your SEO investment is going to be worth it.
How do you do it? You run Google dynamic search ads for a short period of time targeting metal roof keywords. These Google search ads will place your website in great positions within the Google search results so that you can get traffic from metal roof keywords to your website and then track to see how this traffic performs towards reaching your business goals of sales and conversions.
If the traffic from these Google search ads was high-quality traffic that leads to increases in revenue, then this may give you the evidence you need to start making a longer term investment in SEO efforts towards ranking organically for metal roof keywords. On the other hand, if the traffic for these Google search ads did not prove beneficial, then you would have saved yourself 12-24 months of time and money trying to do SEO for metal roof keywords that would not have brought you ROI on your efforts.
WAY #3: REMARKETING LEADS TO ORGANIC SEARCHES
A third way that Google Ads indirectly help SEO is what we here at Results Digital call the “retargeting effect”. Retargeting is a display ad method within the Google Ads platform that serves display ads (also called banner ads) to customers after they visit your website. You have probably experienced this before as a customer many times where you went to Amazon and looked at a product, but did not buy it and then later on as you were browsing the internet you started seeing ads from Amazon for the product you looked at. Those are retargeting ads. According to Forbes, 92% of the people who visit your website are not yet ready to purchase. This means that you need to keep bringing the same customers back to your website over and over again until they make a purchase. Retargeting ads are a great way to accomplish this.
What we mean by “retargeting effect” is that a great method of indirectly helping your SEO efforts is to run retargeting ads for your website. What happens is that after a customer visits your website they will continue to see your brand all around the internet on your retargeting ads. Eventually, due to the brand recall effect (which just means customers saw your brand enough times that it is on the minds) customers will go to the Google search engine and search for your brand organically. This organic search activity by customers will indirectly help your SEO efforts over time.
SEO Diversification Through Google Ads
The core SEO strategies of high-quality content publishing, backlinking from authoritative websites and local listings management remain the fundamental and proven strategies for building your SEO credibility with Google over the long haul. When it comes to SEO, these strategies should remain your primary focus.
That being said, it does not hurt to diversify to a smaller extent into an indirect SEO lift to your website through the specific Google Ads strategies of filling the gaps, keyword testing and retargeting—all done within the Google Ads platform.
Results Digital is on the Cutting Edge of the Google Ads Platform
Our Google Ads Team here at Results Digital stays on the forefront of all the latest developments in the Google Ads platform. We understand not only Google Ads, but also Google SEO. It is rare to find a marketing team that are experts at both of these disciplines. Because of our deep SEO experience, we know exactly how to use Google Ads to indirectly give a boost to your SEO program. Contact our Spring, TX, SEO experts today to learn how to use Google Ads to boost your SEO!