There are different opinions about the relationship between SEO and online advertising. Therefore, to better understand the relationship between advertising and SEO, it is crucial to examine this point.
On the one hand, it is in the interest of Google to provide users with engaging content. On the other hand, publishers intend to increase their income by displaying advertisements. This conflict of interest causes Google to try to reduce the number of ads that hinder and distract users from consuming content. Therefore, the rationale behind Google algorithm updates is always to create a better and simpler user experience in the online world. This article on smart strategy blog explains the relationship between SEO and online advertising. Keep us!
Ads at the top of the page
The discussion of the effect of advertising on SEO goes back to 2012. When Google updated its algorithm in site design and layout, this update was about the google page layout algorithm:
If you go to a website with no visible content at the top of the page, or if a large part of the main page is dedicated to advertisements, it will not be a good user experience. Therefore, such sites will probably not get a high ranking from Google.
The effect of online advertising content on on-site SEO
It seems that the way to implement ads on the site for some publishers is to place the ad and then leave it. Publishers do this because they believe the ad network will filter out inappropriate ads for them.
Each advertising network has its guidelines. Sometimes regional regulations rule over these laws. However, it is essential to note that regardless of the extent to which an ad network allows you to control the content of ads displayed on your site, you are responsible for the overall quality of the displayed ads from the perspective of search engines.
How to evaluate the quality of online advertising by Google
Google can determine the quality of your hosted ads in two ways: using a human evaluator or a technical solution.
Usually, allocating 30% of page content to ads is suitable for SEO purposes. This number is extracted from several kinds of research. But in SEO, how Google robots work and how users interact with the website are very important. In addition, the type of ads you serve and where they are placed is also necessary. To find the balance point and reduce the impact of ad density on the user experience, you can use testing methods.
Interstitial ads and popups
Interstitial ads and popups create a poorer experience than pages with content available to users. In addition, these ads can become problematic when transitioning from search results pages to the site on smartphone devices with smaller screens. In this case, to improve the user experience from search engines, such pages will be ranked lower by Google.
Google has an intrusive interstitials algorithm that is about user experience. If the page of the site that the user opened is not organized and according to his desire, the user will close it, and the bounce rate will decrease. One of the unpleasant factors on sites is a significant advertising window that disturbs the user and forces him to close it before using it.
When the user experience is affected by such factors, Google will deal with annoying popups and interstitial ads with algorithms like Page Layout. In addition, the intrusive interstitials penalty algorithm also started working in 2017 with the same goal. This algorithm aims to penalize sites that only care about advertising and do not care about the user experience.
For the reasons stated, some SEO experts avoid this advertising model altogether, but this is not the proper reaction because not all popups are created equal. Instead, use ads in a way that doesn’t disturb users. Then, after searching on Google, the user should be able to access the content he needs quickly and easily.
Distinguishing ads from original content
Distinguishing the ads from the site’s main content using a particular attribute (label) is not an SEO rule. Still, it is essential to follow. This attribute can be Ads, Sponsored Content, Sponsored Listing, Sponsored Results, or whatever name you choose.
The effect of online advertising on site performance (page loading speed)
There are many metrics and tracking tools to measure the site’s performance, but here we will only focus on the measurement tool provided by Google.
CLS – Cumulative layout shift
This criterion has a significant impact on advertising. For example, if the page loads slowly, you may click on an option when the site opens but be redirected to a different location than you intended. This event, called CLS error in SEO, happens when another part of the site is loaded after you click, causing the page elements to move. The way to deal with this problem is to statically reserve space for ad slots.
LCP – Largest contentful paint
FID – First input delay
This metric measures the time between the user’s first interaction with the page (such as a click) and when the browser can start processing in response to this event. FID is measured at this moment and cannot be optimized. Therefore, in terms of advertising, you have not done much in this department.
The best way to improve the performance of online advertising
If you talk to technical SEO experts familiar with increasing site speed, they will probably suggest you use the lazy loading method. Be careful; using this method may significantly reduce the income from advertising, but the question is, how much more organic traffic will you get with this? Will this traffic make up for that lost revenue?
The factors and criteria that Google considers as the core web vitals. These factors are related to the UX or user experience of the site. Considering these criteria is excellent and practical, but you should know that core web vitals do not change everything. For example, it will not remove everything from the site or prevent it from being indexed in Google. So check user experience and find and implement the right ways to advertise. But not to give up altogether.
If you want to make significant improvements in your ad performance, make sure your ad network:
- It provides images in newer formats (mainly WebP) that are smaller in size and do not slow down the site’s speed.
- Provide images from a well-known CDN (Content Delivery Network) to display images correctly and on time.
- Using the delayed loading method of advertising images (Lazy Load), the user experience is not disturbed.
Minimizing the negative impact of on-site advertising SEO
- You can have up to a reasonable number of ads at the top of the page. (Make sure to provide the content the user is looking for.)
- You are responsible for the content of advertisements on your website, even when third parties post them.
- You should monitor the quality of the ads as much as possible.
- Keep the page ad density below 30% and experiment to find the best place to display ads.
- Interstitial ads are not taboo; you can use them without negatively impacting SEO.
- Advertisements should be easily recognizable by a specific label.
- Like any other element on the page, ads affect the site’s loading speed. But when ads are implemented correctly, this problem is minimized.
- Lazy load ads hurt revenue. Upload ad images this way; Optimizing them in this way is a trick to avoid a drop in revenue.
The impact of online advertising on SEO
When discussing your company’s online marketing strategy, you may have heard different arguments from those for and against the use of online advertising for search engine optimization or SEO. This argument makes sense because it seems pointless to allocate capital to goals that you might be able to get for free. However, before deciding, remember that both methods have many advantages. Here are some of these benefits:
Organic SEO is a powerful tool for getting clicks, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of targeted online advertising. According to research by advertising management company WordStream, paid ads generate almost twice as many clicks as organic SEO. WordStream prefers the performance of general organic searches over paid ads, but calls paid ads more effective for inquiries related to business topics important to online businesses.
Note: A 2012 Google study showed that online advertising and SEO are more effective when used together. When paid ads are placed next to relevant organic search results on the same page, the click-through rate of these ads increases.
Higher ranking in SERP
Google’s study in this field showed that by using online advertising and organic SEO, advertisers could increase the probability of appearing on the first page of search results (SERP). The connection between online advertising and organic SEO can improve your position and increase site traffic and sales potential.
Changing SEO guidelines
Having paid ads in your online campaign strategy can be an essential buffer against changes in SEO backlink policies. Unfortunately, Google periodically changes its policies about what is acceptable in SEO and what links are spam.
For example, if Google sees a website using keyword stuffing tactics, it will penalize them for excessive optimization and lower its value by putting them in the spam category. An online advertising program will save you some traffic while allowing you to retool your organic results as needed to meet new SEO guidelines and policies.
The impact of online advertising on SEO
You can measure these effects by testing and investing based on the best performance. For example, you can turn off online ads and compare the results obtained before to see which one had the most impact on the clicks of your site.
Numerous studies have shown that SEO affects the number of clicks Pay Per Click ads receive. Google has found that a site with strong organic search results increases its click-through rate for its PPC ads on the same SERP. This phenomenon can also work in reverse; This means that paid search can boost the results of organic campaigns.
Advertisements are an integral part of online content, and SEO experts have always looked at Google’s opinion on the impact of online advertising on SEO. Having ads and interstitials on your site can go hand in hand with SEO and, if implemented correctly, should not negatively impact organic traffic to your site.
In many organizations, the paid search team running PPC campaigns and the SEO team focusing on organic search are separate departments. As a result, they move in parallel, sometimes even competing with each other. However, research conducted by Google has shown that the two work “better” together. Therefore, you can define integrated campaigns from click advertising programs and organic SEO for better results in marketing. You can ask through the Smart Strategy PPC service page if you have any questions about this.
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