Let’s be clear. Your SEO efforts will amount to nothing if visits to your website are not converting to sales. While Google Ads looms as the smart option, a clever combination of SEO and PPC (Pay Per Click) is better still. “What does that even look like?” we hear you say. Read on…
SEO and PPC are generally undertaken as separate processes. We’ll focus here on the tantalising possibilities of combining the two.
SEO exploits targeted keywords and high-quality content with the aim of boosting search engine ranking of one’s website. The search engine spiders that crawl your website can also be tempted by tweaks to your metadata, keyword placement and density. This process is known as on-page optimisation.
Backlinking is useful to boost your site’s relevance in particular niches. This involves having links to your website included on websites that are already popular in your niche.
PPC is all about keywords, qualifying customers, and building conversion funnels. Pay Per Click, as the name implies, is relatively low cost, especially compared to scattergun alternatives, such as print or TV advertising. With PPC, you only pay for your advertising when users click your ad and follow the link to your website.
Your PPC campaign’s success will hinge on creating relevant traffic that will convert. Google Ads is the most widely known implementation of PPC. Facebook also offers PPC.
How do SEO and PPC work together?
Combining SEO and PPC brings together critical information that can do wonders for your conversion rates.
Analytics should reveal much that is identical and interchangeable between SEO and PPC.
An adept SEO strategist will have good insight into the needs and interests of their client’s consumers.
Armed with this information, they can increase click-through rates and reduce the incidence of people aborting their visit to the website (bounce rates).
This information, in the hands of a good PPC strategist, can be parlayed into paid ads that show for the most qualified customers.
Integrated SEO and PPC strategies will identify many data points relating to consumer behaviour, intentions and location.
Taking them into consideration, you can design your organic keyword strategy. You can modify it to create and optimise new content to rank within specific geographic locations.
You can also employ exact phrases typically used by your target audience to align with their intentions.
Targeting The Best Keywords
When it comes to keywords, why try to rank for one that has 1,000 monthly searches and converts at 5%, when you can rank for a keyword with a 2.5% conversion rate and 10,000 monthly searches?
Your PPC efforts will give you very quick feedback to work out keywords that convert highest.
Then you can optimise for targeted traffic on each and every page of your website.
Doing this allows you to fine-tune your PPC budgets, running ads only in targeted markets and within the most effective timeframes.
You can also align your PPC ads with your offline marketing schedule to extend brand awareness and maximise conversions.
How do I get good results on Google?
Your ideal scenario is to run a strong Google Ads campaign and top the organic search results for the same keywords.
While you’re dominating the organic results, if you think that pausing your Google Ads campaign is the logical next step, think again…
Research done at Google shows that, if you were to take down your ads, 50% of clicks you’d receive from those ads will not be replaced by clicks on organic results.
All the benefits are there only when you combine SEO and PPC.
A list of the benefits of SEO + PPC
You have a chance to dominate search engine results pages (SERPs). The aim is to have your PPC ad appear alongside your high position in organic results. Combining SEO and PPC is how you do it.
- Shared Data
Running a PPC campaign alongside organic SEO exposes keywords that convert. This is thanks to quick feedback from PPC. Behavioural and location data from SEO will trigger action too. You can use all this information to optimise your other marketing efforts, including email offers and print campaigns.
- PPC Ads to Inform Organic Content
If it works for PPC, it’ll likely work for SEO. Use PPC ads to give you feedback on your web page attributes, such as page titles and metadata. Almost straight away, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t. On the other hand, organic testing takes a long time. Your long-term organic SEO strategy should be informed by PPC words that convert. This will allow you to fine-tune accordingly.
- Integrate E-Commerce Feeds into Google Ads Results
Thanks to Google Ads, you can link your ads to specified pages to boost your e-commerce efforts. Your ad can feature the product — reviews included — and take your new customer directly to the product page to make a purchase.
- PPC Keywords Gleaned From Site Search Data
Visitors to your website are looking for something. Enabling site search on your website will show you. And it’s available at no charge. It will give you further clues to improve your campaigns and tweak your website.
- Combat Negatives
If someone posts negative comments about your company, combining PPC and SEO for damage control is definitely worth a shot. You want to control SEO and PPC results for certain terms in order to steer the conversation more positively for you and allow you to tell your side of the story. BP did this after the Gulf oil spill, using PPC ads linked to the phrase ‘oil spill’. When someone searched ‘oil spill’, BP’s PPC ad topped the list and it linked to BP’s own page about the clean-up effort.
- Social Media Visibility
Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube serve ads targeted for specific demographics. With user profile information Facebook can, for example, show an ad exclusively to 22 year-olds in Newcastle whose interests are car racing and horticulture. Small group perhaps, but it’s precise. Exposing granular details about target audiences, such social media campaigns can help you refine your SEO strategies.
We want our hard-fought organic search traffic to pay off. But the bad news is that statistically, only 2% of first-time visitors convert. Retargeting is a strategy to bring them back to the fold. Avoid retargeting visitors site-wide. Instead, targeted landing pages packed with SEO goodness give you an opportunity to produce more convincing messages and increase your ROI.
How do I improve my conversions?
Make conversion a cinch for your customers.
Funnelling them through a carefully conceived series of pages and messages is a way to spring your best offer on the most qualified customers.
Four important points to consider for maximum conversions:
- Is my content easy to understand and will it connect with customers?
- Are my links obvious and is my site easy to navigate?
- Is my website design appropriate for my company and tailored to what customers are looking for?
- Is my site fully operational with all dead pages eliminated?
The end result of cohesive SEO and PPC
There is an element of chance with any marketing strategy. But there’s no doubt that having well-thought-out PPC and SEO strategies, will improve your odds.
In a real-world example of putting the two strategies together, one popular household product brand increased its organic traffic by 30% and saw a 25% increase in paid clicks by adopting this approach.
At the same time, the brand saved 35% in ad spend and recorded a 20% increase in quarterly profits.
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