PPC Tips Written by 1

Seeing PPC and organic SEO as two opposing marketing techniques is one of the biggest mistakes any online marketer can make. The debate on which marketing method is better has always been a heated one, but what you may not realize is you are comparing two very different methodologies that complement each other. Integrated properly, PPC actually paves the way for more successful search engine optimization while providing the early benefits of paid ad campaigns.


How PPC Benefits Organic Search

Although PPC and SEO are two very different approaches, the two methodologies intersect in some ways. These intersects, which will be discussed in the next section, bring the following benefits:

  1. The most obvious benefit is that PPC provides instant visibility and early conversions while organic search-boosting elements are still being established. Additionally, visibility is only limited by an advertiser’s budget. The length of exposure a brand will receive via PPC will depend on your bidding and placement strategy.
  2. PPC provides a platform for testing keyword and copy strategies. Because of PPC’s nature, you can get early results, which you can later collate with their SEO A/B testing results in order to develop a more effective organic search marketing plan.
  3. Long-running PPC campaigns give insight to what keywords they should target organically. This helps save time doing separate keyword for the same brand and integrates the two campaigns by having consistent target keywords in mind.
  4. In relation to the previous item, long-running PPC campaigns also give insight to market identity and behavior. By examining audience reaction to various PPC campaigns, you get a clearer picture of the identity of your target market and determine crucial conversion touch points. These touch points can mold your SEO campaigns in the future.

Points of Integration

In order to integrate PPC and SEO successfully, you need to find the different intersects in both campaigns and see how one’s approach to that specific task enhances the approach of the other. Take the following starting points of integration and see if you can find other common ground in your campaigns:

  • Keyword Research

Why It’s Important: Keyword research is the heart of both SEO and PPC. Choosing the right keywords to target helps you gain visibility in relevant, converting markets through well-targeted content.

How To: Monitor the early results of A/B testing for PPC ad campaigns, especially for long-tail keyword campaigns. This will be useful for your content-driven organic SEO campaigns later on. Check the style and the message of the copy that generates higher conversions as well, and use this as your guide for SEO later on.

  • Competitive Search Market Research

Why It’s Important: PPC separates the analysis of branded and non-branded keywords strictly, because it’s not a placement-reliant marketing strategy. With SEO, it’s a different story usually – branded and non-branded keywords may not be separated as strictly because at the end of the day, the placement on the SERPs still affects the overall conversions. Examining non-branded PPC campaigns can tell you where the opportunities are in non-branded search, and what kind of approach will work best for your target market.

How To: Check the conversion performance of PPC campaigns and compare it with the overall growth of site conversions. Is the PPC campaign you are examining contributing to the general site conversions, and by how much? You can attribute growth movements to specific PPC strategies you’ve implemented, and translate these strategies to organic SEO when creating your copy or choosing placement for your content.

  • PPC as a Content Marketing Funnel Tool

Why It’s Important: High-quality content you produce for your SEO campaigns can serve as landing pages for your PPC campaigns. This lets you use PPC as a tool in your content marketing funnel, directing users towards your content, achieving three goals: establishing the brand you are promoting as an industry leader, leading relevant leads towards the information they want; driving relevant traffic and links to your site; and eventually driving conversions. Clayton Wood of Seoreseller.com sums it up quite well – ‘content marketing is NOT the new link building – rather, it is a more effective means of building links’.

How To:  Take the customers at the earlier stages of your marketing funnel and target them in your PPC campaign. Test different landing pages to determine what kind of information they really want to see, and use these as your guide for creating pieces of content you can use as landing pages.

  • User Browsing Behavior Analysis
    Why It’s Important: Examining a user’s behavior after clicking on a PPC ad and browsing a landing page from your campaign website lets you know what areas of the website you can improve (on-page SEO).

    How To: Track elements like PPC bounce rate, average number of pages per visit, and average time on site. This should tell you which pages are converting, and which ones need improvement.

  • Traffic Value Analysis
    Why It’s Important: One thing that PPC and SEO campaigns have in common is that it’s not about the quantity of traffic a site receives – it’s about the quality of traffic each site gets. Examining the quality of traffic you receive from PPC campaigns can determine how useful they will be for your organic search campaigns. It can also help you know your market better, allowing you to make more targeted organic search campaigns.

    How To:  You’ll need to look at factors like unique queries and returning visitors. Returning visitors can indicate your potential conversions, which you can bring into your lead nurturing funnel until they are ready to complete a sale.  Examine the cost of each campaign as well, especially for non-branded, high-competition keywords. If it is difficult to bid for a specific term while leaving enough margins for revenue, it may be difficult for you to rank organically for that term without incurring similar costs and effort.

What you can take away from this discussion is the knowledge that PPC and SEO aren’t competing against each other – in fact, they complement each other very well. The intersection points given above are only a few examples you can begin with. Campaigns vary greatly, and more intersects appear as you examine your own campaigns more closely. The interplay between these two marketing methodologies will only increase as online marketing campaigns become more and more integrated.

Michael Evans is a passionate blogger and social media enthusiastic. You can connect with him at Google. He often contributes to 3Leaps Content Marketing Agency.

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