Great post from Aaron on mixing organic seo and ppc.
One of the more valuable aspects of mixing seo and ppc is keyword research:
“One way to test how much traffic there is for a given keyword phrase or group of keyword phrases is to start up a test Google AdWords account. If you need a primer on PPC marketing my free PPC tips ebook may be of use.”
As Aaron rightly points out, keyword research tools can be prone to error. A ppc campaign can give you a far more accurate indication about search volumes and actual searcher behaviour.
I always do ppc first. Seo is phase two, using the insights and data gained from the ppc campaign. Is there a market here? Do people who use the keyword terms actually convert to desired action?
This approach saves me a lot of time and effort, and decreases the risks associated with opportunity costs.