It’s a question we get asked often, “if I spend money on ads with Google, will that boost my organic results?” The answer is no. Spending money to advertise via Google Ads does NOT impact the organic rankings of your site.
However, while running Google Ads doesn’t change the rank of your website in organic search, SEO and Google Ads do work together in other ways.
First, running a paid search campaign is a great way to quickly gather valuable keyword data. Paid search campaigns allow you to occupy real estate on the first page of Google instantly. By running a paid campaign with variations of your keywords you can determine what keywords are seeing the most search volume, which keywords are driving the highest quality traffic and what keywords have the best click-through rates. Having this understanding before investing in SEO will save you time and help direct your SEO strategy.
Second, Google gives each keyword a quality score. While a lot of factors are part of Google’s quality score, one large factor is the relevance between the keyword and the landing page. Reviewing the keyword + landing page combinations with the highest quality scores is one strategy for evaluating on-page optimization for a particular keyword.
Next, much like real-time keyword data, ad text is a great way to research text for your metadata. Improving click-through rates for your organic listings can improve organic rankings as SERP CTRs are part of Google’s algorithm. Therefore, having insight into the text that drives click-through rates is valuable.
Last, there is evidence showing that organic click-through rates increase when a searcher sees an ad above the organic listing. Owning more real estate on the SERP increases your brand visibility and helps you appear as a leader in the keyword space. As a bonus, building brand visibility build trusts which in turn increases conversion rates.
While Google does not grant organic credit for spending money in Google Ads, a strong search marketing strategy includes both SEO and paid search. And a savvy search marketer shares data between strategies to improve results for both initiatives.
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Originally from Pittsburgh, Lori has been working in search engine marketing since 2001. Lori is the published author of The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords and is a leader in the paid search field. When not at work, Lori spends time with her family and can often be found hiking and skiing the Highland Bowl.