Breaking the Myth: Does PPC Have an Effect on SEO?

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Search engine advertising, also known as PPC (pay-per-click), is a common way for businesses to attract web traffic to landing pages. Marketers put a lot of energy into this method of increasing leads and conversions. And most pair PPC with their SEO efforts.

But if you think PPC is going to affect your SERP position positively, you’ve fallen victim to the myth.

PPC is not a component of SEO.

Yes, you can adhere to SEO best practices when creating the paid ads that are displayed in search results. Keyphrase research has significant benefits for those who choose to use targeted search ads.

However, targeted paid ads shouldn’t be confused with search engine optimization.
PPC does not positively affect a website’s SEO. A paid ad’s mission is to guide searchers to a landing page which is written to convert site visitors to leads/customers.

Search engine advertising does not improve a website’s organic SEO rankings. Organic SEO comes from onsite factors, such as long tail keyword use, and from offsite factors like quality backlinks and social sharing.

PPC often links to an orphan webpage. An orphan webpage does not have a link on the website’s navigation bar or homepage. Its purpose is to drive conversions.

Because of its narrow focus, PPC does little – if anything at all – to improve a website’s position in the SERPs.

The best way to think of search engine advertising is as a profits pusher, not a visibility builder.

For some business models, search engine advertising is a promising investment. Although paid search ads aren’t getting as much attention as social media and content marketing, when done correctly search engine advertising is an excellent inbound marketing effort.
Yet and still, search engine advertising is not an SEO enhancer.


Let’s say your business already ranks highly for keywords by way of organic SEO. Bidding on those keywords for paid ads that link to webpages with a specific call-to-action can increase click through rates. The call to action may be to fill out a contact form, subscribe to an e-newsletter, call for a 30-minute consultation, sign up for a 60-day free trial, etc.

However, in order for that exception to apply to any business, organic SEO has to be in effect already. If your company is still in the process of increasing visibility in search engine results, keep in mind that PPC generally does not improve SEO… only conversions.

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