Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) are often seen as competing strategies. You either invest in one or in the other. But if you invest in both, you can achieve strong synergies: 1+1 can equal 3. Here are six ways to combine SEO and PPC to maximize your ROI.
1) Keyword Synergies
SEO and PPC both involve plenty of keyword research. At Colorado SEO Pros, we use advanced tools and methodologies to identify every keyword that might be applicable for our clients. While semantic search and dynamic ads are making keywords less important, keyword research is still the foundation of both SEO and PPC. If you invest in SEO and PPC together, then your SEO team and your PPC team can share their keyword lists on a regular basis. This way you’re putting each list to use twice and doubling your ROI.
PPC especially can help your SEO team to mine new keywords, because Search Terms data in Adwords show you exactly what words your customers are using to search for you. A good PPC account can cut the keyword research time for SEO in half, and vice versa.
2) PPC Informs SEO Strategy
PPC data can also inform your SEO strategy. Adwords will tell you which of your keywords are getting the most clicks and the most conversions. These are the keywords searched by people who want to be your customers. If a keyword is converting well in Adwords, then you should focus your SEO resources on boosting your rankings for that keyword. That might mean using this keyword more on-page, or prioritizing link-building to the page that this keyword is mapped to.
SEO is partly a game of prioritization: if you’re ranking on or near page 1 for 50 keywords across 50 pages, which keywords do you want to focus on in order to maximize your ROI? PPC data can give your SEO team key insights into the most valuable keywords to your bottom line.
3) Conversion Optimization
A good PPC campaign gives you a wealth of information about what your users are looking for, and what on-site factors convince them to buy from you. Your PPC landing pages should be optimized to drive high-quality conversions. With a/b testing, you can identify which headings and subheadings, images, and copy is most attractive to your users.
Your SEO team can then use this information to enhance SEO-optimized pages so that they’re converting plenty of organic traffic into customers. While SEO-optimized pages typically need at least 500 words of informational content, for example, you can often intersperse this content with images that your PPC data shows appeal to users.
Ad copy can also be repurposed as titles and meta descriptions in your SEO campaign. One purpose of titles and meta descriptions is to entice clicks, and ads are (or should be) rigorously a/b tested to maximize clicks. While the length of ad copy compared to the length of a page title or meta description doesn’t quite line up, ad copy can still be a valuable base for your SEO team to edit into metadata.
Finally, Adwords Search Terms gives you key information about the words that your customers are actually using to describe their problem and your product. By incorporating those phrases in your on-site copy, you can build a stronger sense of connection with your users.
4) Identifying Your Primary Value Proposition
Your PPC team should a/b test landing pages based on the page’s primary value proposition and call to action. This lets you identify which giveaways and features of your product most entice your users. Once you know that, you can include those elements on relevant pages that earn lots of organic traffic, boosting your conversion rate for that traffic and enhancing the value of your SEO efforts.
5) Building Trust and Authority
Top-tier content marketing is vital for SEO. Backlinks and technical SEO remain valuable, but high-quality content that solves users’ problems is king. This content doesn’t just earn organic traffic, it also builds trust with future customers. By offering free, relevant content to the user when they’re top-of-funnel, you can establish a relationship with them and build trust in your service offering. When that same user is looking to buy a product, and is clicking on PPC ads, they’ll be more likely to click and convert on your ads versus a competitor’s.
6) Leads Now, Leads Later
SEO is a powerful traffic-generating strategy, but it takes several months to ramp up. Keyword research and link-building are both a slow process, at least when done well.
Running a PPC campaign during this build-up can help you generate leads right away. As your SEO campaign builds steam, you can scale back your PPC campaign, or keep reinvesting the profits into both channels.
The data from an early PPC campaign can also give your SEO team information about valuable keywords right away, which insures that they can prioritize SEO resources to target the lowest-hanging fruit. Your PPC campaign will also offer insights into what users are looking for. This can inform how you craft the layout and appearance of SEO-optimized pages when they’re being developed, so you don’t have to go back and retrofit high-converting elements onto them.
SEO and PPC don’t have to be rivals for your marketing spend. If you invest well in both, you can see stronger gains than if you had invested separately in either one. Implement these tips, and you’ll find that 1+1 equal 3.