When your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) teams are in complete silos, it’s time to change that.
Frequently held opposing viewpoints are: PPC is too complex and SEO is too slow. (I do not agree to the recording.)
When these two teams work together, you will be rewarded with magical insights, insights, and results that no team can achieve alone.
These channels are not meant to be isolated, and targeting them is one of the most underrated ways to improve your overall digital marketing performance.
PPC is one of SEO’s most powerful tools – and vice versa. Here are seven ways to be successful in both SEO and PPC.
1. Avoid paid keyword traps.
Sharing keyword information is a standard best practice. Sometimes certain types of keywords can be subtle and be aligned with the wrong intention. Understanding the intent behind search terms is important because you want to Avoid keyword traps.
SEO focused marketers are proficient in understanding search intent. Hence, the collaboration between SEO and SEM is vital.
For example, the restaurant POS software offers Toast “Telephone systems for restaurants” but they don’t sell phone systems! They provide largely matching commandments for terms that contain “Restaurant.”
Because of this, Google has become a modern casino for advertisers. Toast’s marketing team is betting on the sheer possibility that restaurant managers looking for a telephone system will also be in the POS software market.
While it might work, the potential for bleeding is likely. That said, Toast is venture-backed and valued at $ 4.9 billion. So this is probably a game of chance that they are happy to take on.
You must study the search results carefully if you are to master the art of understanding keyword intent. Google often signals its own interpretation of a search term based on the result types.
For example if you use google “Sales funnel” The search engine results page (SERP) indicates that you are looking for the definition of a sales funnel.
The results are mostly definition-style SEO pages. Hence, it is obvious that a product page is not ranked for this query.
Let’s examine another example of a keyword trap. When you do a google search for “Online training” The displays show two very different results.
- Cisco – Virtual classroom solutions
- Udemy – Bestselling online courses
These are two completely different search intentions. How do you know if a searcher wants online training software versus online courses? There is no way to be 100% sure.
The organic results, however, are mostly online course companies such as Udemy, Lynda, and Coursera. The Questions field also indicates search intent, as most questions are related to online training.
Based on the organic listings, I’d come to the conclusion that Cisco’s ad is largely irrelevant. You might get lucky and get a few clicks, but you will likely lose money on this ad set.
The question now arises whether they care. Probably not. After all, it’s a $ 180 billion market cap, which means Cisco can afford to keep making Google rich.
What about the little boys? This is where SMBs have a huge disadvantage and cannot afford to bleed on paid ads like the giants. For this reason, I’d recommend startups prioritizing SEO efforts to avoid the royal rumble of paid ads at giant companies like Cisco.
We also examine “SMS Marketing Examples ” where Mobile Monkey pegs the search intent with this page and is rewarded with the organic snippet. In the meantime, advertisers are wrong.
- Vonage – in the hope that a subset of searchers might be interested in APIs for SMS.
- Noteworthy – in the hope that a subset of searchers might be interested in SMS marketing solutions.
What’s the bottom line?
SEOs regularly check SERP signals to ensure that the content they publish matches Google’s organic search results and ultimately deliver a high level of satisfaction with the fulfillment of the search tasks.
Does your content help searchers do the job they need to do?
This is especially useful when there are potential keyword traps – words and phrases that sound good but have double meanings or a mismatched intent.
If potential double meanings exist in your industry, SEOs will capture them. All you have to do is get them to share their insights with your PPC team.
2. Share PPC insights with headlines and descriptions with the best performing.
When your SEO team decides on a new keyword, it can take months to show measurable results. If it was the right keyword and phrase for the goal, it is success.
But if your click-through rate (CTR) and engagement are low – even if it’s on page one – now you’ve spent your time and budget running circles on an SEO hamster wheel. By the way, CTR is an indirect SEO ranking factor.
SEM is just the opposite. They know whether the PPC ad copy is working or not – usually within a few days with a small investment. So you could consider using PPC for quick, short-term results and using those insights to fuel your larger SEO strategy.
Test as many ad copy variations as possible until you have the data to support your SEO campaigns.
Here are a few things you can test:
- Headings, title tags and description copy.
- Keywords and topics.
- Specific keyword angles.
- Landing page variations.
- New product news.
The results of the PPC campaign show the impact of each headline on clicks, time on the page, bounce rate, target achievement and other important engagement signals. By doing longer tests, you can also learn how demand for a particular keyword fluctuates from month to month. That way, you can set more specific expectations with your SEO team.
Use PPC insights to pick the best topics, write and tweak your headings and meta descriptions, and align with your audience’s needs and expectations.
3. Optimize your landing pages for both SEO and PPC benefits.
If you spend money on paid ads without running efficient landing page testing, it can be a waste of money and effort.
The benefits of optimizing your landing pages are obvious: You don’t spend valuable marketing dollars on ineffective content experiences.
If you need more detailed information on creating landing pages to convert, we recommend checking out 19 of the best landing page design examples to see in 2020.
Ultimately, SEO and PPC teams need to target their most valuable resource – landing pages.
There are 3 important measures to be taken:
- You have an unindexed, conversion-focused landing page for PPC advertising. Your main goal conversions are form fills, demo requests, live chat requests, etc.
- You will work with the SEO and CRO teams to create new landing page variations with smart hypotheses. Your goal is to split these pages up and monitor the results.
- You will work with the SEO team to create a separate asset that is longer term, educational and related to the same topic that you want to improve organic visibility for.
Ultimately, marketers should develop a surround sound search engine marketing strategy.
For example, let’s say a shopper searches for your brand or product name, clicks your PPC ad, stays for a minute, and then leaves.
Days later, they search for guides to find a solution that will lead them to some educational content that you created on the same topic.
Your brand is on their radar as they click around, browse, and scroll through the online listings. You get used to your tone, graphics, and messages. If they liked what they saw in your PPC ads, the next time they’ll search a sea of organic offers for your name – and vice versa.
Brand marketing reminds what is repeated, and what to remember will be done.
SEO expert Rand Fishkin wrote of the ridiculously strong influence of brand repetition in his 2020 election review article:
“Listen to a song over and over, and even if you hate it, your brain will unconsciously hum it. If you keep hearing a brand name, you assume that the company behind it is a big, important, and probably a trustworthy company got to. “”
4. Work together to achieve SERP dominance.
It is no longer enough to have the first organic place for your target keyword. There’s so much noise and clutter on Google’s results pages that you need to occupy as much digital real estate as possible.
Udemy clearly figured that out. Check out their ad + organic listing flying high for SERP targeting “Excel courses.”
Check out GetVoIP’s SEO + PPC combo strategy for an insanely competitive SERP. They have killer landing page targeting “”Business VoIP“” and it soaks up both organic and paid traffic. This particular SERP is a double punch for GetVoIP as it also contains the valuable snippet.
You can also see the Nextiva ranking organically on GetVoIP. With Nextiva getting a positive mention and having great reviews on GetVoIP’s listing page, this is a strategic move that is part of the surround sound search marketing playbook coined by HubSpot’s Irina Nica.
The list of SERP features that could put your organic success on the side is endless, including:
- Rich snippets.
- Google shopping results.
- Knowledge cards.
- People ask too.
- Video carousels.
- Image packages.
- Localized results.
This can leave your SEO team feeling disappointed and doing all that strenuous work to get a # 1 organic ranking only to be thwarted by Google’s UX programs.
The reality is that Google is blackmailing companies to play brand defense. (Bing is equally guilty).
While this is challenging for some marketers, don’t hate the player – hate the game. You can still defend yourself with intelligent collaboration between SEO, PPC and partner partners.
Aside from Google’s questionable ethics, you should continue to bid against the high quality search terms that you have already ranked for what is known as SERP dominance.
This is how the ClickUp productivity platform achieves this.
Of the five best results we can see above the crease, ClickUp has included two. The paid result will take you to a product page, while the organic result will be a blog post – both very specific to the search term.
To implement this, analyze your SEO performance to find your top ranked articles and run paid ads for those keywords. This unlocks SERP dominance for your most valuable keywords.
5. Show “hidden keywords” on the buyer journey.
It’s unrealistic to expect every keyword, blog post, landing page, and paid search ad to convert visitors into leads. In fact, I spoke extensively with Chris Walker about the Demand Generation podcast. Stop creating content for lead generation only and instead focus on educating a niche audience.
All roads lead back to user intent. Your keyword research needs to be focused on the searcher’s ultimate goal and broken down into three main areas of intent: Transaction vs. research against education.
We planned the customer journey at Nextiva as part of the marketing of our commercial telephone service offer. There is a certain emotion associated with each phase of the buying process.
- Unaware: Unaware that I have a problem → I never thought that we could have problems communicating with our customers, prospects and partners.
- Problem-aware: I think I have a problem, but I’m not doing anything about it yet → I think we have problems communicating with our customers, prospects and partners, but I haven’t looked for a solution yet.
- Solution-conscious: I am actively looking for a solution → I finally realized that we have a problem communicating with our customers, prospects and partners. So I’m looking for a solution online.
- Product Aware: I found a few solutions including your → I saw your solution, but I am not entirely convinced that you are the right one for me.
- Most consciously: I have chosen your product and am ready to commit → Show me the buy button.
This concept is nothing new. HubSpot pioneered the buyer’s B2B journey before it became a big deal.
Based on the buying process, you should divide your keywords for SEO and PPC campaigns into the following areas:
- Instructive: Guide, tutorial, resource, questions like “how”, “what” and “why”, examples, tips.
- Solution: Best, reviews, integrations, comparison, above.
- Transaction: Demo, free trial, purchase, pricing.
Advertisers should avoid bidding on education keywords and focus on solution + transaction.
The graphic below is a brilliant resource from Mike Sonders that lists the keywords with the highest demand for SaaS viewing stage content:
At this point you should coordinate the following with your PPC team:
- Which keywords have a tolerable CPC (cost per click) + high conversion rates?
- Which keywords have the best cost per acquisition?
- Which keywords are the most profitable?
- Which keywords actually generate meaningful pipeline value?
- Which keywords have the best sales completion rates?
- Which keywords are driving the longest running LTV customers?
This is where the greatest SEO and PPC magic usually takes place.
6. Use the audience’s insights to test and clarify messages.
I mentioned the value of instant results achieved with PPC campaigns versus SEO. Another important benefit of PPC is the ability to test ads based on various demographics and interests.
You can analyze specifics such as:
- Age groups
- Household income
- Interests and lifestyle
We once tested some ambitious news on the Nextiva homepage. And I’ll be honest, it’s bombed.
At least we were able to make course corrections quickly thanks to the speed of learning via paid ads.
The biggest benefit of targeting is that you can test brand and product specific messages against different demographics and interest groups. Some companies claim they have mastered the art of personalization based on the website traffic segment visiting the page, but I haven’t seen a company do this brilliantly.
Pro tip: Check out the search terms report on your Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) platform to find these long-tailed gold mines. These are the search terms that actually generate clicks from your general and phrase match campaigns.
With this unique store of knowledge, you can better inform your SEO strategy by unlocking hidden long-tail opportunities that are tailored to your different target audience segments.
7. Apply PPC conversion data to your SEO strategy.
The advantage of search engine optimization is that the longer you do this, the more actionable your data becomes. At Nextiva, our SEO strategy is closely aligned with our PPC campaigns, so we can increase organic traffic in meaningful ways, rather than adding vanity through top-of-funnel visibility.
We followed HubSpot’s classic columnar clustering model to rank for highly competitive headlines like VoIP (a staggering 80,000 monthly searches) backed by neighboring longer-tailed content that are all networked together.
Not only is this a brilliant internal linking mechanism, but it also helps your website build authority and current depth. Eventually, Google begins to closely associate your brand with major concepts and entities. This is how you develop beyond SEO 101 and unlock the SEO championship.
The ranking for an 80,000 monthly search volume keyword is darn cute. But it’s even better when you’re in position zero with a delightful snippet.
Why did Nextiva focus on ranking for VoIP? Because our PPC data told us that this offers greater possibilities for pipe sizes. That’s the beauty of aligning SEO and PPC – exposing these valuable hidden insights.
Your PPC team works like a stockbroker and optimizes for the highest return on investment. This means that their marketing campaign reports tell them which keywords:
- Convince most visitors, subscribers and leads to become.
- Generate the most engagement.
- Lead to most purchases.
- Are the most profitable.
Believe it or not, most SaaS companies don’t run profitable Google Ads campaigns. There are many reasons for that. I spoke extensively with Chris Walker about the State of Demand Generation podcast.
What’s the bottom line?
PPC conversion data is powerful. Associating these keywords with your SEO goals allows you to focus your organic SEO efforts on keywords that will make the most difference to your organic search traffic – including brand awareness, engagement, and new customer acquisition.
SEO + PPC = Search Marketing Glory
When you break down your SEO and PPC silos, you have a wide range of options. Use this list and unite your SEO and PPC teams without getting overwhelmed.
It’s no longer about SEO vs. PPC – it’s about developing a holistic approach to search engine marketing, increasing your competitive advantage through your best performing channels and reaching your target customers exactly when (and how) they are looking for you.