In 2024, here are 4 keys to SEO and PPC collaboration

Digital marketing undergoes significant change on an annual basis. Throughout my ten years in the business, I’ve observed that requests for PPC and SEO to collaborate tend to spike at the start of the year.

The difference in 2024? There’s an elephant in the room: AI.

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Both Google’s sponsored and organic divisions are racing to implement AI. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for both paid and organic search are changing virtually every day, from Search Generative Experience (SGE) to Gemini (formerly Bard).

To help everyone navigate the early days of AI, paid and organic teams must include four essential initiatives in their joint 2024 strategies. They are as follows:


1. Collaboration

In 2024, there will be a lot riding on collaboration—which includes communication, its close cousin.

In addition to the standard advantages of working together, such as mutual learning, strategic coherence, gap filling, and identifying trends or anomalies, SEO and PPC teams can also reduce the dangers of becoming isolated and approaching fast-paced changes from disparate perspectives.

A focus on first-party perspectives is one of the trends that we’ve seen emerge over the past year or so, and Google is actively promoting it.

Using E-E-A-T principles on the organic side and bolstering product reviews, testimonials, and case studies to support landing pages will be crucial as AI is certain to swarm the SERPs (both organic and paid) over time.

Maintaining consistent and new messaging and branding can be facilitated by teams exchanging insights about what resonates.

Communicating about changes to the algorithm is another aspect of working together as the SERP changes.

When new algorithms are released, PPC can help make up for any declines in organic traffic.
When new competitors enter the auction or when engagement costs rise above the point at which a return on investment is feasible, SEO teams can keep stepping up their PPC efforts.


2. Funnel intent alignment

It’s more important than ever to consider a full-funnel strategy.

Although your customers aren’t considering specific channels or strategies, they will react if the appropriate messaging is delivered to them at the appropriate moment. Congruence at every level of the funnel is essential for developing your marketing strategy in 2024.

Here’s a chart we use at my agency to make sure we’re mapping out – and covering – the full purchase journey:

Mapping out the full purchase journey

You won’t be able to see your funnel coverage if all relevant teams don’t agree on a single strategy.

To cut down on funnel gaps and redundancies, you need to establish a touchstone that your teams can share and keep an eye on, regardless of the format you choose.


3. Education and awareness of the changing SERPs

Now let’s get specific. There are numerous things to think about in 2024:

  • Google algorithm updates
  • SGE
  • Google Ads changes
  • Shifting search behaviors
  • Tracking changes

We’re all closely observing the introduction of sponsored content in SGE since we know Google will find a way to make money off of it. Since there isn’t much information available about how this will appear, it’s crucial to:

  • Stay in close touch with your SEO counterparts.
  • Keep an eye on industry updates.
  • Monitor click-through rates

Observing the collision between the SGE and ad algorithms, as well as the campaign types that will use it (are we all presuming it will be Performance Max?) and evaluating effects on ad inventory make cooperation and SEO efforts even more crucial.

We may witness an even more significant change in organic SGE. Because SGE is even more of a mystery than the conventional search algorithm, no SEO can declare with confidence that they can optimize content for it.

On the organic front, some brands will benefit from SGE’s implementation while others will suffer. PPC teams must be ready to take up the slack or, in the best case scenario, reallocate funds to other projects when organic gains allow.


4. Shared learnings off-Google

As search behavior becomes more fragmented in 2024, paid and organic collaboration will need to extend to platforms other than search engines.

On the B2B side, forums like Quora and Reddit are becoming more popular (even in the SERPs), and organic social results from LinkedIn, X, and other sites are still being pulled into query results. Not to mention TikTok, which a significant portion of younger users now use as their main search platform.

This creates opportunities for collaboration outside of search engines. Let’s say your brand is dominating a juicy topic on Quora, or your founder has a viral organic post on LinkedIn.

Both offer testing options to the paid team; for example, a contextual campaign on Quora or a thought leader ad on LinkedIn.

Conversely, successful paid campaigns that target specific interests or social media placements can tell SEO teams to focus on “hidden gems” that cover similar subjects.


Future-proof your search marketing efforts

It can be simple to put your head down and concentrate on what’s immediately in front of you (i.e., what you can control) when change is happening quickly. However, this is also your chance to be a fantastic teammate.

If the paid and organic sides of the house agree on how to handle any changes that may arise in 2024, your team will be more effective.






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