PPC and SEO Working Together

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Most companies are often faced with the dilemma of determining how to maximize limited online marketing budgets. Are you looking for high performance, but need to be conscious of costs? So what tactics should be used, PPC or SEO? The answer is both. PPC and SEO are often viewed as two very different online marketing strategies, with each side having their own supporters as to why their respective online marketing effort is the most effective. SEO can generate great results, but it often requires patience to achieve higher rankings and is seen as a long term strategy. PPC has more control, but can be very costly depending on the industry.

If your PPC and SEO campaigns aren’t talking to each other, you’re wasting a lot of time and money. Whether the work is being done in house, at a single agency or by multiple agencies, it’s important to share insights learned in each area to avoid duplicated efforts and missed opportunities.

Here are a few things to consider:

Campaign Structure:

Your sites architecture and your Ad Words campaigns should not be that different. In fact, both should have a natural flow from high level content to very specific topics and subcategories. Those subcategories can be considered ad groups or pages on the site with the keywords appearing as text on the pages and in the ad groups.

Keyword Strategy:

It’s important to establish how your keyword mix will intercept your audience and how PPC and SEO will fit in. Broad terms tend to be hyper competitive and the most expensive, while long tail terms tend to be less competitive, but they drive higher qualified traffic. Depending on campaign goals it might make sense to optimize longer tailed terms while utilizing PPC to catch the broader search terms as ad copy, landing pages, ect can be quickly controlled. The key is to know when to emphasize one over the other, or when to use one to support the other.

Another cross tactic approach is to take advantage of PPC search query data. Analyzing PPC search query data might uncover terms that are driving a lot of paid traffic, but don’t perform well in organic search. Those keywords become an opportunity for the SEO team to create optimized content around which will increase your traffic volume without increasing your PPC budget. This type of cross tactic sharing should be happening regularly as your target audience will not remain in the status quo with their search habits.

Landing Pages:

Assuming the necessary tracking is in place on all pages and keywords, you can take valuable learning’s from the actual landing pages. If you notice that certain pages created for organic keywords perform well from a conversion stand point, why not re-purpose those pages as PPC landing pages? This allows you to create offers and calls to action for those specific keywords.

These are just a few examples of cross tactic sharing. Once the SEO and PPC efforts start informing each other you will think of additional ways to repurpose content and data to benefit your overall online marketing results.

Erik Whaley
Erik Whaley is the director of Local Search Traffic, interested in local map listings, local search marketing, local PPC and franchise marketing
Erik Whaley

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