Paid search campaigns are a great way to give your business a bit of visibility especially when you are just beginning the marketing for your business. If it is done the right way, it can give you an immediate influx of traffic to your website which can convert into potential leads. While very effective in terms of results, PPC can put a huge strain on your pocket. Not only that, since the demand for various keywords keeps varying, you are required to constantly watch your campaigns to see if you are not wasting a lot of money on a keyword that has lost its demand.
A good strategy to use is to start off with PPC during the initial stages of your marketing process. While you run your paid search campaigns, its a good idea to use the data you obtain from Adwords to kick-start your SEO campaigns. Why would you want to do that? SEO costs lesser in the long run. Also, if you have a solid strategy in place, most of the effort you put in will be one time. You may have to do the occasional maintenance for SEO campaigns, but in comparison to PPC, the effort you put in will be much less for a larger reward.
When you first start thinking about the strategy you are going to use for your SEO campaigns, you will find that Adwords is an invaluable tool in helping you with what keywords to focus on.
Here’s how you can use the basic metrics which Adwords provides you with, to formulate your SEO strategy:
1. Existing Metrics: The most obvious place to start is to look at your keyword list in your Adwords campaign and look at which of them are performing well. This is not necessarily the keywords that are bringing in the most traffic. Look for the keywords which convert well. Make a list of these keywords and see if your website currently ranks organically for these keywords.
2. Keyword Tool: The Adwords keyword tool is an incredible resource that you can use to estimate which keywords are most popular for your niche. You can even use the keyword tool to spark your creativity to find more creative keywords for your business.
3. Search Volume: Another useful piece of data which the keyword tool provides you with is the search volume metric. Your objective should be to look for words which have a lot search volume but less competition. This way, the keywords you choose will be valuable and you can rank high for them with just a little effort.
4. Search Query: Adwords gives you a search query report which is highly useful when you are thinking of a strategy for your SEO campaign. In this report, you will find search terms which most people used when they found the advertisement which directed them to your site. Most of these keywords will be very easy for you to rank for with just basic SEO.
5. Exact Match Types: A recent blogpost by Rand Fishkin (of SeoMOZ), suggests that Adwords can treat keywords of different match types differently. This means that if you are looking for well-performing keywords, you need to specify the exact match types as well (exact or phrase). Please bear this in mind when you are looking for existing keywords which perform well.
If these steps are followed, you will find that Adwords is a treasure trove of information which you can put to immediate use when formulating your SEO strategy.
Chris Barnwell, who is the author of this post works for SEO Inc., a company which handles PPC Management for a wide variety of clients. When he's not working, Chris loves to go trekking.