Yes, you sure can. Increased traffic always impacts your SEO ranking. So this is not quite the way that conspiracy theorists might like to present it. Does Google skew search results in favor of their own Adwords customers? I have never seen evidence of this. But absolutely and categorically you can give your website a general boost in SEO ranking when traffic picks up. (To learn more information see my article about general SEO.)
My personal observation is that the amount of traffic across your website is a significant factor in ranking your website again competitors. This is especially true of websites that have a very low amount of traffic to start with. Extremely low traffic on a website is an immediate problem. It “proves” to Google that your website is not relevant and not interesting. However this is often the biggest hurdle for a website – the “Catch 22”. It’s hard to rank well if you don’t have traffic. But you can’t get traffic if you dont have good page rank.
The answer to the catch 22 is to work over your website and stick with it till you do have a good SEO ranking and start getting some organic traffic.
But the dentists I deal with often can’t wait. Few businesses can. For a dental website that is in trouble and is lacking traffic I always recommend as step one- “get some paid advertising running and drive traffic any old how”.
Having a good steady flow of traffic will up your ranking and Google does not seem (thus far) to penalize paid traffic. In fact, Google does not even seem to differentiate between paid or unpaid traffic.
Your SEO Ranking and Adwords Search and Display Options
My speciality is dental marketing, so I tend to do mostly dental websites and dental paid ads. I have done so for years now so I am very familiar with conversions and what drives them. When it comes to conversions – people who actually go to a dental website and make an inquiry the search driven ads drive dramatically more conversions. However display ads are much cheaper and thus you can buy sometimes 4 display clicks for the same price as one search click.
The reason that this is a good idea is the cost-benefit ratio means that you can pay the same amount per conversion for display, but also get the benefit of lots of cheap visitors- and thus increase your SEO ranking at the same time.
Website Conversions and What Drives Them
I have consistently seen a 50/50 split between organic conversions and conversions from paid advertising. In other words, if you have a website with a good SEO ranking and are getting a decent amount of traffic from organic search, you can expect to see steady conversions on your website from that alone.
If you would like to know more about SEO there are more articles here.