Before we present today’s blog post, we’d like to recognize with a special thanks, our partner, WordWatch, who graciously has taken the time to create it. This is the first guest post we have had on our blog and we’re honored to have it come from an individual and a company whom we respect very much for their accomplishments in the paid search space. Thanks again to WordWatch, and now, without further adieu, their awesome post.
When it comes to choosing an Internet marketing strategy, several strategists cling to one end of the spectrum, completely shutting out the other. SEO diehards might tell you that PPC is a cheap thrill but doesn’t prove to be cost-effective in the long run. They also might argue that without good content on the pages your ads link to, you’re sunk anyway. PPC aficionados may well retort that with SEO, it could take months upon months before you’re seeing the results you need to get any visibility and that it’s hard to define a CPA going that route.
If you choose to take those comments at face value, they aren’t technically wrong, but no business is the same as the next. If PPC hasn’t been effective for you in the long run it’s likely that you’ve neglected upkeep, haven’t tested new ad copy, and haven’t researched new keywords and avenues for sales. Maybe competitors have flooded your market, and your keyword bid management strategy needs revision. And yes, SEO takes a little longer to really show up, you can’t just write a blog post today and expect to rank on the first page tomorrow. It’s an on-going process.
Instead of saying that one is right and one is wrong, I choose to say that they’re both necessary in conjunction. And they play nicer than you might think.
An integral part of both marketing methods, you can (and should) use the keyword data you have to make informed decisions about your PPC accounts and your SEO strategies. The keywords you’ve been building rank for through SEO efforts should absolutely be copied over to your PPC advertising. You might not always be on page one or two of organic search but with strong ad copy and a tightly-knit keyword group, you can have advertisements on page one within days of opening an AdWords account.
You can also use PPC to test new candidates for organic rankings. By testing the success of those keywords in a paid search campaign, you’ll gain valuable data that will help you determine which keywords you want to put to work to rank higher organically. Another way you might find keywords for BOTH efforts is to keep track of what your customers are searching for once already on your website if you have in-site searching enabled.
Finally, running PPC and SEO campaigns simultaneously allows you the opportunity to double the amount of keyword data you receive and analyze. Once you’ve determined which keywords are doing best, you can use that information to optimize your overall marketing strategy.
You might think that if you’re ranking in one of the top spots in organic search, it’s a good idea to tone down your PPC efforts because it’s unnecessary. The silly thing about that is that there are still plenty of organic terms you may not be ranking well for at all yet. Further, if you’ve looked at SERP lately, you’ll notice that it’s completely dominated by paid search results. In some instances, you’ll only see one or two organic results before scrolling down.
Another interesting statistic supports the validity of combining SEO and PPC. Google released a study concluding that the average customer employing both marketing strategies receives 89% more clicks than if they had tried either alone.
Write Better Descriptions
When you’ve determined which of your PPC ads drive the most conversions, you’ll have some ideas for title tags, meta tag descriptions, and even text for pages you’ll want to rank for organically. Using PPC to test the content expedites the process, because your impression share should be much higher than only using organic data, which can take quite some time to adequately test.
Will this article put an end to SEOs and PPCs arguing about which is more effective? Probably not, but at least now you know how to take the best of each practice and roll it into a winning marketing strategy.
Trace Ronning is the media coordinator for WordWatch. WordWatch specializes in AdWords management services and Google Product Listing Ads. You can find more of Trace’s articles on the WordWatch blog and follow him on Twitter @WordWatchPPC.