With over 71% of B2B buying decisions starting with a search on a search engine such as Google, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of attention given by businesses towards ranking high in search engines. This of course can come in two main ways- one is through search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO. And another is through pay-per-click advertising, which is also known as PPC.
While most businesses who invest in these channels appreciate their importance, one area that is perhaps overlooked is how to run these channels together effectively. There is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to business process efficiency, as well as the use of insights from one channel for the benefit of the other.
The challenge often comes from the PPC and SEO teams operating in silos. An organisation may have a PPC agency working towards a very specific brief, while they may have a separate SEO agency, or managing that channel in-house. This often leads to a lack of efficiency and some missed opportunities to improve SEO through PPC (and vice versa).
In this article. We will explore ways in which your PPC can help your SEO.
Identifying Purchase Intent
While SEO can cover a wide range of keywords. PPC is usually a lot more focused on keywords that convert. While there might be certain brands that have the luxury of spending a lot of money on simply creating more awareness, most PPC campaigns do operate under the pressure of driving a return on investment. Because of this, they have a very tight focus on keywords that convert.
This is, of course, very useful information for SEO as well. Because just driving traffic for the sake of it is not exactly the best use of business resources. Ultimately, SEO’s also want to be driving traffic to the website from keywords that have been known to show high purchase intent.
PPC can provide this data much more quickly and effectively than SEO, simply because it has many more opportunities to capture it thanks to multiple campaigns and various ad copy tests. This is invaluable data for SEO, as it can help inform SEO strategy (i.e. which keywords to focus on).
Improving CTR (and rankings) via Better Metadata
It’s now widely accepted that Google factors in click-through rates in its natural search algorithm. A great way to test different metadata is through PPC. The great thing about PPC is that it gives you a much tighter feedback loop and it allows you to test many different types of metadata without worrying about things like Google taking its time to index new page titles, for example, when you’ve changed them.
From an SEO perspective, this again gives you the ability to see which metadata is driving better click through rates and which keywords seem to be resonating a lot more with your target audience. Once you have that data to hand you can then use it to optimise your SEO campaigns.
Making UX Research Quicker
PPC allows you to create bespoke landing pages for different campaigns. And it also allows you to test multiple variations of those landing pages. This is great from a UX perspective, as you can test different elements of the design of a webpage through PPC such as the call to action button, the flow of the copy on the page, images, videos, social proof, and much more.
By utilising the ability of PPC to create multiple variations of landing pages the SEO team can have a rich source of data through which they can optimise the organic search visitor experience.
By optimising organic search landing pages based on PPC data, SEOs can increase their chances of having good engagement metrics on their pages, which in turn is also a positive ranking factor (even if it’s an indirect one).
Capturing More of the SERP Real Estate
It’s very normal for executives who are not from a digital marketing background to think that to succeed and be visible for a keyword in Google, their business either needs to pay for it through PPC ads or appear in the first position via SEO. However, the truth is a business should be present in both organic and paid search.
This is because it allows the business to have the opportunity to capture a lot more of the search engine results page’s real estate. This means that it’s that much more likely that the business will be able to generate a click from Google, whether that’s from organic search or through paid search. Ultimately, you’re just increasing your chances of capturing those clicks as opposed to your competitors capturing them.
Both PPC and SEO have their roles to play as part of an organisation’s marketing mix.
There are many specific PPC and SEO considerations, therefore it’s only natural that the PPC and SEO teams often operate in silos. However, there are a lot of advantages to be gained from the two teams working much more closely together.