As an SEO Consultant, I have always held the resilient and somewhat biased belief that PPC was the “dark side” of online marketing.
I was a loud and proud advocate that SEO was the one true answer for successful inbound marketing. However my mind has been changed!
I have learnt that the wicked ways of PPC aren’t actually that wicked after all. In fact, I discovered that combining your PPC and SEO efforts can lead to ultimate search domination that will give your business the competitive advantage it needs.
Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of an integrated SEO and PPC campaign:
PPC is a fantastic way to help decide which keywords to focus on in your SEO campaigns. As PPC is a touch more sprightly than SEO, keywords can gain visibility in minutes rather than months. Data can be quickly and accurately collected, thus establishing which keywords are driving the most traffic and conversions.
From here it can be decided which keywords to place the most emphasise on and build into your organic campaigns. Waiting an initial period to collect data can save a lot of time and effort as you will know exactly which keywords to target (rather than spending months focusing on keywords that ultimately don’t convert). Furthermore, with organic keyword data being increasingly encrypted, (read more about encrypted data here) this research tactic will continue to play a larger role in SEO keyword selection strategy.
Note – A concerned reader has pointed out that people shouldn’t just jump into AdWords without first doing a bit of training as we’re talking about real dollars here. If you have never used AdWords before, check out this link to avoid any ‘over spend’ disasters.
Thanks to BC (you know who you are) for pointing this one out!
Click Through Rates
Once again, PPC trumps SEO in agility and pace. As ad copy can be changed and split tested, data can be collected very quickly regarding which ads are garnering the most click throughs. This data can be leveraged and transferred to your SEO campaign through title tags and meta descriptions.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) Real Estate
To put it simply, the more visibility in SERPs, the better! With the latest Hummingbird algorithm update (read more about hummingbird here) and the addition of more and more ad extensions, there is a significant opportunity to maximise your SERP real estate. The more prevalent your brand is in both organic and paid search, the higher the chances of gaining a click through and a potential customer.
Here are some quick and easy tactics to gain SERP real estate:
AdWords Ad Extensions
Ad Extensions allow you to expand your ad via a number of different extension formats. The latest additions to the ad extension suite from Google include image extensions, review extensions, offer extensions and product listing extensions. They are basically the equivalent of rich snippets/structured data in SEO land. Here are a couple of examples:
Another tactic is to fully maximise your use of all Google+ features including Google+ Local Google+ publisher tags, Google+ authorship tag and Google+ AdWords linking. See the below image of how these four Google+ features can help increase your SERP real estate:
What I’ve touched on above is just the tip of the iceberg. Once I moved my mindset away from a siloed approach to SEO and towards a wider digital marketing focus, the opportunities I was able to chase for my clients really opened up.
I recently came across an amazing SERP collage created by +Dr. Pete Myers over on the Moz blog (read the full article here). The image below illustrates just how many opportunities there are for people and businesses in the search engine results page on Google these days.
Disclaimer – this not an actual search results page, but rather, a combination of all possible rich search results available. The image was created by combining multiple real search results into one master ‘MEGA SERP’: