SEO and PPC are two of the most popular and widely used digital marketing channels. While there is a lot of instruction and discussion out there when it comes to individual optimisation strategies for these respective channels, there is perhaps a lot less said about how these two channels can actually work well together.
In this article, we want to explore two specific ways in which your business can benefit by having your SEO and PPC processes aligned.
This is equally applicable whether you have an in-house team or if you’re working with a specialist SEO agency or a specialist PPC agency.
One of the first and most obvious ways in which PPC and SEO can be aligned is when it comes to keyword research. Both channels require keyword research which is the process of finding out what exact words prospective customers for a business are using to find what they’re looking for online.
You then look for how much search volume there is against each individual keyword, as well as other metrics when it comes to PPC such as the average cost per click and how much competition there is to appear for a particular keyword.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of areas in which SEO insights can help PPC and vice versa.
PPC is usually much more directed at the lower end of the funnel, which means the PPC team will usually only be spending ad budget on keywords that convert or have a very high likelihood of converting or assisting a conversion.
Therefore PPC is actually a really good way to test whether or not a keyword is relevant and will ultimately help business objectives before investing a lot of resources into it to help it rank at the top of organic search results.
On the other hand, the SEO team may be able to provide some useful insights to the PPC team when it comes to keyword research as well. Usually, the SEO team will also look at what other websites are ranking for a particular keyword and that will give them a hint as to the intent behind the search query because that is what Google takes into consideration when choosing which websites to rank for a particular term.
In that research, the SEO team will usually also look at the landing pages and on-page copy of competing websites that are appearing for a particular search term.
This usually provides a lot of insights into what types of customer fears, motivations, and values appear to be important, which competitors are trying to target with their own page copy.
All of this can be particularly useful insights for the PPC team, especially if they choose to target a keyword and then produce a landing page specifically for that keyword.
User Behaviour Insights
One of the other ways in which both the SEO and PPC teams can work well together is by looking at the behaviour of users once they arrive on the website, whether that is through paid search or through SEO.
With SEO, you will tend to have a broader spectrum of keywords driving traffic to the website, because with PPC, you will tend to only spend money with a very specific objective of driving a very specific action through your ads.
With SEO, you have a little bit less control over what keywords drive traffic to your website, but of course, you can shape this somewhat.
One of the best ways of understanding how effective and relevant a particular keyword is by analysing the behaviour of users that use that keyword to arrive on your website and seeing what they do next.
You will be looking at which pages they tend to engage the most with and which sections of those pages they tend to engage the most with. Of course, you’re able to do this through tools such as Google Analytics.
You want to see: are there any particular pages that have very high bounce rates? i.e. are people leaving the website right after visiting that particular page? Now, of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that there’s something wrong.
They may have simply received the information that they were looking for and then chosen to leave. However, sometimes high bounce rates can be indicative of a problem with the user experience that you can then go and fix and hopefully improve your conversion rates.
Similarly, the paid search team can provide insights into what types of copy and message are working better because they’re able to produce specific landing pages for particular keywords and campaigns.
They’re able to test a lot more than perhaps the SEO team can, therefore they’ll have a much richer data set of what types of keywords and messages tend to convert better, which can then be utilised on the SEO ranking landing page.
These were just a couple of ways in which having SEO and PPC processes a lot more integrated can benefit your business. There are many other benefits of having SEO and PPC working in tandem, such as capturing more SERP real estate and optimising ad spend, which perhaps we can get into in a future article.