So which side of the fence are you on?
The free-wheeling, inbound lovin’ SEOers? Or the slightly-geeky, skinny-jean wearing PPCers?
Is it possible to have a foot in both camps and ultimately be the one who wins? (Albeit you may have a somewhat confused dress sense…)
My answer: Absolutely.
In today’s highly-competitive marketing world, businesses must do whatever they can to get their message heard above the noise. That’s why it’s crucial to maximise your presence in search marketing.
There are so many benefits to using SEO and PPC in tandem. With both channels working in harmony, only good things can come for both campaigns.
11 Biggest Benefits to Using Both SEO and PPC
1. The stats say it all
When a user begins their search, there are around 20 different places they can click on the results page. One of those is your organic listing. Increase that to 2 – the second being PPC, and take a look at the incremental increase in CTR depending on where your organic ranking is…
SEO Position 1: With PPC Top Position, the increase in CTR to site is 150%
SEO Position 2-4: With PPC Top Position, the increase in CTR to site is 182%
SEO Position 5+: With PPC Top Position, the increase in CTR to site is 196%
So, regardless of whether you are ranking 1st or 6th, if you are also advertising on PPC, you WILL increase the chance of that searcher reaching your site.
2. Ad Copy Can Influence Meta Tags, Meta Descriptions and Content
You can quickly and easily test USPs, Calls to Action and headlines on ads which are set to rotate evenly, which can then influence the Meta tags and descriptions you implement on your site.
These tests can also give some great ideas for what might work for your onsite content (and what won’t work!)
3. You Can’t Get Keyword Data from Analytics… So Use Adwords!
There is sooo much more to this than meets the eye.
Firstly, you can see how well your PPC keywords are performing and use those to influence the keyphrases you target on SEO. But more than that, you can use the Search Query Report to tell you what people searched in order to see your ad, and click your ad.
You can use this information to determine future strategy both for SEO and for your business. If you sell Yellow Canaries and people are searching for Purple Canaries, landing on your site and leaving, perhaps it’s time to start stocking purple canaries too?
4. Conversion optimisation
“Conversion optimisation”. I know, I know, it’s become an over-used buzz word. But it is SO important. The journey a user takes from searching for and landing on your site, through to checking out of your shopping basket (or whatever the goal of your site is) can make or break a conversion. There’s plenty of science behind it too. From button colours, to “steps until check-out”, from mini baskets to basket abandonment emails… there are so many seemingly-small things that, if optimised, can improve conversion rate.
But how do you do this with organic traffic? Well you can, but it’s a lot harder and takes longer. Instead, test it with paid search traffic. Set up the journeys you want to test, rotate your ads so that you split or multivariate test the journeys, and within just a few days or weeks you will have the answer to whether a 1-click checkout option converts higher!
You can then roll-out this journey across your site for all traffic.
TIP: Make sure you no-index the pages you are testing so that they can’t be found organically. This means that your test isn’t contaminated by organic traffic.
5. Landing Page Testing
Similarly to above, small things on a landing page can have a massive impact on conversions. But luckily in PPC, you can quickly and easily split test. Are you asking for too much information on your enquiry form? Should you move the form and the call to action up above the fold and to the right? Which image will have most impact? All of these things can be quickly tested on PPC, meaning that you can then roll out a “control” version to your organic pages.
Tip: take a look at the destination URL report which tells you which URLs (and therefore landing pages) perform best.
6. Attribution & conversion paths
When you’re using paid and organic simultaneously, you can quickly show how many times visitors engage with you before they convert. In analytics you can quickly see the percentage of traffic which clicked your PPC ad, then visited your site organically, and then converted. This means you can attribute the success of campaigns down to a multi-channel effort, rather than just one channel taking credit for the others hard work.
In the example below, its possible to argue that the site would have lost 3.59% of its conversions had it only relied on one method:
And in this view, you can see that the second highest converting traffic doesn’t convert off the back of a PPC ad, but does so if they see a PPC ad and then come back through a direct method (this could be bookmarking, remembering the exact address of the site, or clicking through from an email for example).
Armed with this information, you can prove that despite the fact that many of your sales are coming in through a direct source, they probably wouldn’t if you weren’t running a PPC campaign as well.
7. Display Data Gives You Demographics
Display ad data in analytics gives you demographics of your visitors based on the other sites they were visiting when they were shown your display ad. This is a great way of understanding your audience which can influence how you market to them based on their interests.
8. Sites which work well for display will probably work well for other marketing efforts…
If you’re running display advertising, take the best-performing placements and begin building relationships with them, and their owners. They could make a great place to post your content, share your assets with their users and social followers, create joint blogs with, and swap or purchase their email list. Outreach away!
9. Local PPC to Influence Local SEO
Local SEO is often considered a quick-win. If its too competitive to rank nationally, ranking locally could get you seen by more people, and whatever your offering may be deemed more relevant to those people. So testing this out on PPC first is a failsafe alternative to creating map listings, Google+ profiles and so on. Set up some geo-targeted campaigns in Adwords and let them run for a short while, and then assess the success. If it’s looking good, local SEO can only make things better.
10. Time is of the essence…
Within the dimensions tab you can see the best time for generating conversions. This can help you to make decision on when to launch content campaigns for example. If you are getting most of your conversions between 7pm and 9pm, try out posting your best content at 7pm and pushing this content over the course of 2 hours, mixed in with a couple of promotions.
11. Remarketing, remarketing, remarketing
Quite possibly the most important point of all is remarketing. Remarketing has arguably been one of Googles greatest paid marketing product successes. A targeted remarketing campaign can work better than a standard ad campaign. And the more traffic coming to your site, the bigger your remarketing lists and the better your campaigns will work.
If you’re using successful SEO strategies to drive traffic to your site, a remarketing campaign can help to capture non-converted traffic and help that traffic to cross the finish line.
Two of the best strategies we employ are:
1. Second Chance Remarketing
We use this to reinforce the message and the brand, bringing lost traffic back to the page they were on before (or a very similar product page). This is great for businesses selling products, and particularly good if those products have lengthy buying cycles which require the buyer to do a lot of research and comparison before buying. For example, luxury goods.
2. Best Offer remarketing
Hold your cards close to your chest. Promotions are great, but don’t slash prices unnecessarily.
Instead, try and get a conversion without a promotion of any kind. Then, remarket to the non-converted traffic with your “best offer” – whether that’s a discount, coupon, promotion – to bring them back to the product to buy.
So, there you have it. Clearly SEO campaigns can benefit hugely from PPC running alongside them. And vice versa.
Are you testing both channels? Have you found any other benefits? Let us know – comment below!