It sounds easy to get PPC and SEO to work together, but creating an effective joint strategy can be challenging. I will outline some proven strategies on how these two platforms can work together.
1. Keyword Research. We have great tools, but many companies effectively use their PPC campaigns to test and perfect new keyword streams and approaches before writing SEO copy and implementing new SEO pages on their websites.
2. Effective PPC Ads = Better Meta Descriptions. Meta descriptions can be tricky to write and have a major effect on click-throughs from effective SEO placement. Using copy techniques from PPC ads that enjoy high click through ratios in meta descriptions is a proven technique to improve search traffic.
3. Browser Device Variations. It has become a challenge to track search results through all browser and device variations. PPC allows results to be more consistent and ensure top placement across the board for the most important Keyword Streams. Many online marketers tend to pause keyword streams that enjoy top 3 rankings on the first page of organic results, but the consistency of top page results makes this challenging.
4. SEO Pages Make Great PPC Landing Pages. Copy that is added for vital SEO Keywords on your website make great PPC landing pages. In theory, SEO pages should be designed for maximum conversion and should naturally improve quality scores for PPC keyword targets. This will not work in all instances but is a solid strategy for most clients, especially small and medium-sized businesses with limited online marketing resources.
5. Branded Results. Showing up #1 in search for your company name is a given, but does that justify turning off branded search in PPC? Maybe not, especially if you have a generic search term as your business name, ie. Quality Auto Repair. Do not let a competitor sneak into primary position for your customers just looking for your phone number. Many clients are concerned about maintaining top of page position for mobile search users. In that case, simply turn off desktop search in your campaign.
6. Organic v. PPC Rankings/Conversion. Despite the concerns voiced in #3 above, I would recommend using tools like SEM Rush to find placement reports for organic v. paid search. If organics are not ranking for paid search terms that are converting for you, it indicates that more effort should be placed into organic placement for these terms. In contrast, consideration should be given to pausing or constricting results by designating “exact match” for paid search terms that are not converting where organic placement is strong. You will want to search a sampling of the rankings found by automated services with manual search to ensure that placement is accurate.
The key is balancing your paid spend and efforts to gain organic placement to ensure that you have placement in the searches that will drive qualified customers to your business. Using paid and organic search strategies together will improve relevant search traffic and optimize online marketing investment.
Eric Van Cleave is Managing Partner of Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa California based online marketing firm.