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Intent-Based SEO & PPC: 5 Ways to Build Incremental Benefit

Learn how to maximize revenue by combining SEO and PPC to build intent-based content marketing strategies.

Intent-based marketing takes into account the motivations and driving needs of the consumer, so you can be the best answer at that moment.

Search is a great channel for intent-based marketing, given that the keywords searchers use in their queries can reveal a great deal about the underlying reasons for the search.

This is true of both SEO and PPC, and this is another way in which the two tactics work better together.

How can you build incremental benefits and best tap into search intent using SEO and PPC together? Here are five ways.

1. Use PPC to Fill Gaps in Campaigns

The first and most obvious tactic is to use paid ads to augment your organic presence.

Keywords that are proving unattainable via SEO – those where you cannot achieve a top three ranking organically – can be targeted with paid search ads.

The added benefit here is that when SEO and PPC work together closely, you can avoid wasting PPC budget where organic is already achieving top rankings or SERP features such as a featured snippet.

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2. Get Broad Coverage on Ambiguous Queries

Understanding the specific intent behind a query allows you to use SEO and PPC in more precise ways.

For example, the query [london eye] could mean any number of things:

  • I’m doing a school project and want to know the history of the London Eye.
  • I’m going to London and heard about this thing called The Eye.
  • I’ll be in London next week and want tickets for The London Eye.

You can improve your visibility on this query by focusing on organic as an informational play, and PPC as highly transactional.

3. Touch on Different Pain Points by Understanding Intent Types

The intent for two searchers using similar queries may be the same, even when the pain points differ.

For example, consider two consumers searching for [where to buy full coverage sleep masks].

We can tell there’s commercial intent here – beyond the obvious “where to buy,” the query indicates they are looking for “full coverage” and have already done their research into different mask options. They may already have used a sleep mask before and now have a distinct preference for a certain type.

But one searcher is a traveler who needs a sleep mask for regular business flights.

The other is a shift worker who needs a sleep mask to rest during daylight hours.

Knowing that these two types of customers (personas) share the same intent but each has a unique pain point, you can aim for SERP coverage for both.

Your organic placement could be a high-quality listicle-type piece of content about what makes a good full coverage mask for flights, with a sidebar or in-text call-to-action to buy.

Your paid placement could be directly transactional, with ad copy touting the benefits of sleep masks for shift workers and the link directing searchers to the product page.

Both routes get the searcher to the product page in a click or two. And each one leaves them feeling you’ve spoken directly to them and solved their specific problem.

4. Boost Local Search Performance with SEO and PPC

Anywhere Google detects local intent, the Map Pack appears. If your business is relatively new or you have far fewer reviews than larger competitors, you may find it difficult to compete in the local ranking arena.

It could also be a case of distance impacting local and organic performance.

Let’s say a searcher from the Midwest queries [las vegas spa menu] as they’re planning next week’s trip to Sin City.

Which location is closest to the searcher? Google still displays a MapPack, but with distance out of the equation, we know that the search engine is examining relevance and prominence in its local rankings.

How do you compete against Goliaths like The Spa at Encore Las Vegas and Canyon Ranch?

With PPC, where you can appear even above the MapPack (at least, on desktop; on mobile, the top results were three organic queries followed by the MapPack).

This is why actually going to the SERPs and examining the types of placements available is essential.

5. Use Intent-Based SEO and PPC to Build the Profile and Improve Revenue from Your Most Valuable Pages

Support SEO by using PPC to support the future organic placement of your most valuable pages.

For example, let’s say your company has conducted original research.

Maybe you have a data scientist in-house or have adopted AI-led technology to help in real-time; perhaps you had to hire an outside survey company.

Either way, it required a decent investment in time, resources, and energy to produce the landing page where you share highlights and offer the full report as a lead generator.

You’re going to pay for media release distribution and create supplementary blog posts and external thought leadership articles to promote the report.

But how will you get that page to rank longer term?

You need links.

And how do you get links?

You get the content in front of people who will link to it.

Cold outreach is one method. But you can also use highly targeted paid search ads to get your page in front of your ideal audience with copy that speaks directly to why they care about it.

  • Maybe your research can help them prove a point that closes deals and drives revenue.
  • Maybe you answer a question that plagues others in your industry.
  • Maybe you target journalists in your industry using LinkedIn Ads.

Think of who you’re trying to reach, what issue you can solve for them, and what intent drives their search.

Target that.

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Bonus: Share Insights to Benefit Both Channels

When it comes to tapping into the power of searcher intent, PPC and SEO can be better together – especially in industries such as ecommerce.

Use SEO data to inform the language that speaks to different types of intent to improve your PPC ad copywriting.

Maximize the value of your PPC insights by using keyword research and performance metrics to inform your organic content strategy. Look for gaps where you aren’t currently able to meet the intent of a relevant search and fill it.

Ensure that SEO and PPC are tightly aligned and strategizing together to maximize visibility in the SERPs and appeal to the specific needs of high-intent searchers and the personas that matter.

Use your top-performing PPC ads to inform smart CTAs and other optimizations on your pages that rank well in organic.

At the end of the day, you’re all aiming for the same endpoint. Getting all channels pushing in the same direction will get you there faster, more easily, and will less effort and expense.

This is where incremental benefits lie – where one channel not only complements but actually supports and builds the other.

Whatever their intent, optimize a seamless path for your searcher, and using both SEO and PPC to connect with them in their decision-making moments can result in more revenue for your organization.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Featured image and in-article image provided by author with permission, August 2021

Category SEO PPC
Lemuel Park Co-founder & CTO at BrightEdge

Lemuel is the founding CTO of BrightEdge. He brings 15 years of industry knowledge and experience in building enterprise-class solutions ...

Intent-Based SEO & PPC: 5 Ways to Build Incremental Benefit

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