Anyone who wants to drive traffic to their site should absolutely be participating in SEO. Participating in paid search via Google AdWords and Bing Ads can be highly beneficial as well. While SEO is more of a long term effort, paid search can help drive traffic to your site right away.
In reality, there are numerous cases in which SEO and PPC are working together. Therefore, just because you’re optimizing your site for Google and other search engines does not mean you shouldn’t be driving a positive return on your investment via paid search.
Businesses should attempt to get in front of their target audience in as many ways as possible. Having a good SEO strategy in place is very important and will help build organic visibility over time, but it typically takes a while to see results and there are no guarantees at the end of the day. For businesses that have little to no organic presence or who can’t afford to wait around for organic improvement, PPC is a great supplement as it provides immediate visibility/traffic, as well as valuable information about what people are searching for and what messages resonate with the visitors.
– Harris Elliot, GWC Law
If you’re running a paid search campaign in Google, you have access to an extremely valuable tool – Google’s keyword planner. The Keyword planner allows marketers access to search volume for any keyword you may want to optimize straight from Google. On top of this, you’re able to break down the search volume by a certain time period or area of the country.
More visibility in the results
Maybe you’re ranking in the Top 5 of Google’s organic search results. This is certainly great for your brand and gives you good visibility and a lot of organic traffic. However, even if you’re in the top spot of the organic search results, your website still isn’t technically in the top spot. That’s because there can be up to four pay-per click ads above the organic listings.
If you’re near the bottom of the first page of search results, users are going to see other PPC ads after the organic listings. The point I’m making here is, one way your strong SEO efforts can work with your PPC is by taking up more real estate in Google and giving a user another option to visit your site and buy from you. Even though you’re comfortable with your Google rank, giving users another choice to come to your site is another positive.
Take advantage of PPC data for SEO
Paid search can give marketers highly valuable data in terms of which keywords are being clicked on, and what the clickthrough rate is. Maybe you’re debating on optimizing two highly searched, non-competitive keywords for SEO. However, after looking at your data in AdWords, you see that Keyword A has a much better clickthrough rate than Keyword B, even though they’re in roughly the same average position in the paid search results. This is yet another piece of data marketers can use to improve their organic results.
PPC data is also valuable in terms of things like the conversion rate for your landing pages. If after looking in AdWords you can see a certain page is performing well above the others, it makes sense to bring more SEO efforts to that page and funnel more traffic there.
It’s also certainly possible that when you log into your Google AdWords account, you happen to see keywords that looked good from the outset, yet aren’t performing well. This is data you can take into consideration when optimizing your landing pages for SEO.
Let PPC ad data influence SEO copy
Marketers often run at least two ads for each one of their campaign’s ad groups. This is a great opportunity for A/B testing and seeing which ads the user prefers. Using this, it can be beneficial to let ad copy influence your SEO copy, such as your meta description. If your ads have high clickthrough rates, letting them influence your meta descriptions means your organic listings with have higher clickthrough rates as well. You may want to let ad headlines influence your title tags, too.
Test possible landing pages
Let’s say that you’ve got a few ideas you like for one of your landing pages. Obviously, you can only use one.
However, that’s not necessarily true. For paid search specifically, you can create multiple landing pages to send users to in an ad’s final URL, and then use the data to make a decision on what you want your eventual landing page to look like.
The key to this would be to place a noindex tag on the landing page(s) you’re testing out against the main one, just to make sure you’re avoiding duplicate content issues, which is going to negatively affect your SEO efforts. To do this, place the tag on the pages you want to test out.
Use your SEO strategy for expensive keywords
When going through paid search data, you may find keywords that are just flat out expensive. In this case, go ahead and compare it with your SEO rank tracking. If you find a situation where you’re ranking near the top of the organic search results for a keyword that can put a nice dent into your budget, this could be a situation where you decide to reduce or just not bid at all on a certain keyword.
Leveraging PPC for new landing pages
Let’s say your company just started selling a new product, or just started offering a new service. Therefore, you’re ready to launch a brand new landing page and have gathered all your keyword research and competition metrics, and the page is optimized and ready to go. However, even though you’re confident in the site’s ability to rank, it’s going to take some time to put a dent into the search results.
In this case, it’s a great opportunity to leverage pay-per click advertising and competing on this page’s keywords, as well as keywords related to the page before your SEO efforts really start to make an impact and drive traffic to your site.
Search engine optimization and paid search are certainly different marketing entities and work in a different way. However, in the end, you’re attempting to accomplish one thing with both channels – drive traffic to your site, and in turn, conversions as well. When it all comes down to it, both your SEO and PPC efforts should be leveraged together as much as possible to bring business to your website.