Welcome to day 17 of the bigmouthmedia SEO Advent Calendar. You can read day 16 here.
When devising your 2012 marketing strategy, will you opt for pay-per-click (PPC) or SEO? The answer should be both. A Google study which looks at how the number of organic clicks changes when paid adverts are also used reports that over 89% of the adverts clicks are incremental.
Melanie Mitchell (Vice President of SEO/SEM at AOL) reports a 32% overall CTR increase and 420% increase in brand recall when using organic and PPC together.
In essence, users are more likely to convert if both SEO and PPC are used.
Marketing channels should never operate insularly – leverage the strength of each channel in order to achieve the best possible results. This includes creating a union between SEO and PPC efforts.
Strategy setting and sharing of data across disciplines should be an on-going process – users search habits are not stagnant and your digital marketing shouldn’t be either. So how can you make SEO and PPC work together I hear you ask? There are several ways in which you can ensure these two channels work together in perfect harmony.
Whether you manage your SEO and PPC in-house, use an agency to manage both or use a different agency for each, you should be sharing insights. This will help spot opportunities and avoid ineffectual duplication.
The most obvious benefit of combining SEO and PPC efforts is added exposure on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Clients are often tempted to reduce PPC efforts once a search term ranks number one. However, it’s important to remember that the top two or three results on most SERPs are PPC ads. Dominating the organic and paid search results will greatly increase traffic, and give the impression that you’re an established presence in a particular market.
Using Search Query Data
PPC search query data can be assessed in order to discover keywords and terms which perform well for paid search, but not so well organically. Marketers can target these keywords within their SEO strategy, creating optimised content with the aim of ranking organically in the long term, at which point PPC spend can be reduced.
Adjusting PPC spend on keywords which perform well organically and targeting PPC spend where SEO is weaker allows you to make the most of your budget.
Monitoring existing visibility within search and PPC and maintaining an element of flexibility within your marketing planning allows you to reduce PPC spend for terms which perform well organically and increase for terms which do not perform as well in the natural search space.
Analysing your Landing Pages
Are there certain landing pages which perform well for organic conversion? Think about adapting these and using them as the destination for PPC campaigns. A high quality landing page can help quality score and reduce bounces, so use these to shape your PPC strategy.
The same rule applies to ad copy: if there are messages which perform particularly well on paid advertising landing pages, consider whether they could be integrated into site optimisation and vice versa.
Building a digital Keyword Strategy
PPC and SEO insights can be used to shape your keyword strategy. Broad terms tend to be difficult to target organically whilst long tail terms generate fewer, but more relevant, visits. Depending on objectives and budget, you can use PPC to target broad terms whilst pursuing longer tailed terms via SEO efforts. Feed this knowledge into your marketing strategy and use PPC and SEO to support each other.
Short term and long term planning
SEO can generate great results for your site but must not be viewed as a short term strategy. Achieving the results you want within the organic search space requires time and effort. PPC on the other hand can achieve instantaneous results (depending on how much budget you have to spend of course).