How SEO and PPC Can Work Together To Deliver Results for Your Business
Most businesses today understand the importance of having visibility in the major search engines, such as Google and Bing. However, perhaps a lot less thought is put into how to optimize the different types of visibility that businesses can get in these search engines. The two main ways in which a business can appear in search engines is either through pay-per-click ads (also known as PPC) or by appearing in natural search results, the optimization of which is known as search engine optimization or SEO.
Businesses need to understand that to extract the most value out of both SEO and PPC. They need to put thought into how the two can work much more effectively together. Whether a business has in-house marketing teams or is working with an SEO or PPC agency, it’s important to consider how they can have these two teams working together much more effectively.
The first area to consider is keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding out what people are searching for online concerning a particular topic or a particular problem that they’re trying to solve. This is usually the first step in the optimization process for marketers, whether it’s for SEO or PPC.
Keyword research will usually reveal data such as the monthly search volume for a particular keyword, semantically related keywords, the CPC or cost per click, and how much competition there is to rank for a particular keyword in SEO or to appear for it in PPC.
As you can imagine, with keyword research, there are many commonalities when it comes to the objectives of the SEO and PPC teams. However, these teams often operate in silos and don’t talk to each other, which means that work often gets duplicated. The SEO team may conduct an in-depth keyword research project on a topic while the PPC team may be doing something very similar, even though their focus will include things like CPC, page quality scores, and a budget.
This is where having a little bit better communication between the two teams can actually save the business a lot of money and a lot of time. And often provide some really interesting insights into what’s working and what’s not.
Speaking of learning about what’s working and what isn’t. conversion optimization is another area where SEO and PPC can learn a lot from each other.
The SEO team may, by necessity, have to focus on many more long-tail variations of keywords to find opportunities to drive traffic to the website. The PPC team, of course, is usually much more focused on keywords that have high conversion intent to drive revenue and justify the investment in paid ads.
One of the key differences between the two channels is that with paid search you can test your hypotheses about the relevance of a particular keyword much more quickly and effectively than perhaps you could do when it comes to SEO. For example, you could run a campaign for two weeks to test a certain group of keywords and then look at results in Google Analytics to find out whether the traffic that you are generating via those keywords is the type of traffic that you’re looking for.
If the relevance is high and the conversion rates are good, you might look at this as a set of keywords worth investing in when it comes to producing content for SEO and driving more traffic in the long term.
Capturing SERP Real Estate
It is not uncommon for CEOs and non-marketing people within the leadership team of a business to ask if their website is appearing in position one for a particular keyword, “why bother paying money to appear for it and ads?”, and vice versa. The truth is that there is an advantage to capturing as much of the visual real estate on the search engine results page as possible.
Even though you might feel like your traffic may be cannibalized by one channel over the other, you are increasing the number of mentions of your brand and the links to your website on a page compared to your competitors. And that can usually have the effect of driving your overall click-through rate much higher than if you were only appearing via one channel.
Retargeting Blogpost Visitors
A simple yet very effective way to approach the idea of SEO and PPC working together is to focus on the strengths of each channel respectively. SEO is very good at driving traffic to your website from long-tail informational search queries, whereas PPC is very effective in really narrowing down who you want to speak to and in what context.
So you may want to drive more traffic to your website by focusing much more on long-tail informational queries. Now you may not feel that all or even most of this traffic is targeted or qualified, however, you may be able to set up certain events that you can track on your page, such as clicking on a submission form or looking at a certain product, etc.
There are many ways in which you can qualify whether or not a blog visitor is somebody to who you would have a decent chance of selling. And these kinds of people will be very good candidates to be included in your retargeting pool when it comes to your PPC campaigns.
These were just some ways in which SEO and PPC can be used much more effectively by businesses. Key things to remember are: where can we find efficiencies in working between the two different teams? And also, how can we play to each channel’s strengths?