When we sit and think about it, this “combined strategy” really isn’t combined at all! When you keep SEO and PPC separated like this, you are likely losing out on potential opportunities at an overall lower cost. Let’s look at a better combined strategy that leans on the strengths of both marketing strategies.
Level 1: Optimizing Basics to Help Both SEO and PPC
The first step to our combined strategy is to make changes to our existing marketing efforts that will positively impact both SEO and PPC.
Google My Business Optimization
So many marketers make the mistake of neglecting their Google My Business profile! This is a panel that should appear within the first page of Google when you type in your company name and city.
If we think of the entire internet as a virtual world, your Google My Business profile is your virtual storefront. This is what users see before going inside and purchasing something. How is your curb appeal? Does it welcome prospects?
Optimizing this panel is essential for both SEO and PPC. On the SEO side, optimizations build trust within the search engine, and verify your company as legitimate. On the PPC side, the information on you Google My Business profile can pull into marketing efforts via location extensions.
As far as which optimizations to make, I generally recommend doing as many as possible based on what makes sense for your business. For example, a plumber may benefit from a “Book Now” button; however, a candy store may not find this feature as relevant to their business. The most important thing is to have your name, address, and phone number exactly as it appears on your website.
Mobile Speed Optimization
The next combined optimization we’re going to look at is your performance on mobile. Mobile friendliness is both a ranking factor for SEO, as well as a quality score enhancer for PPC. These enhancements are extremely important for businesses who are looking to show up for voice search.
Level 2: Using SEO and PPC as a Team
While most people view SEO and PPC as two separate entities, there are ways they go hand in hand. Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of both SEO and PPC, we can develop a combined strategy to improve our online marketing across the board.
Using PPC for SEO Keyword Research
Only 5.7% of all new pages will rank organically within the first year of their existence. Due to the long optimization process that corresponds with this timeline, it is essential to use as much information as possible prior to investing resources on ranking a page. We don’t want Mario and Luigi spending hours on a piece of content to rank for the keyword “Why Mario Loves Peach” if it won’t yield a good conversion metric!
A great way to identify which keywords to focus on is to look at PPC data.
To do this, simply look at PPC trends:
- Consider ad copy that converted well and apply it to your landing page copy.
- Test different page structures via split tests on PPC (form fill layouts, CTAs, etc.) and apply your findings to your landing page.
- Monitor search volume and interaction rates on specific keywords before optimizing a page for them on SEO.
- Monitor the competitiveness on the PPC side of things to get a better feel for what you might be up against. (PPC competitiveness is not always an exact correlation but can be an indicator of a highly competitive SEO market.)
As you continue to make PPC optimizations to test what will work within SEO, you may also find ways to drive down PPC costs!
Increase Time on Site
It’s no secret that the majority of Mushroom Kingdom has a low attention span. While we all want our users to find value in our content, time on site is also a ranking factor for SEO. If you’re having a particularly hard time ranking a piece of content with a low time on site, PPC may be a good way of improving your metrics.
To do this, use existing data:
- Go to Analytics and view the average amount of time spent on each page.
- Revisit (and, if necessary, revamp) old pages and look for keywords in the content.
- If you have enough users accessing your site, generate a list of users who viewed a page with a good time on site and with similar content.
- Run ads on PPC to the struggling page. Use retargeting based on the successful page as your audience.
- Consider adding the struggling page as a sitelink on your branded campaign.
The idea behind this strategy is to get content in front of the right audience. If we find a list of people who have historically found your content relevant and interesting, they are more likely to spend more time across different pages.
Implement Branding Strategies
If you’re anything like Luigi, you may be wondering, “Why should I run paid ads targeting my own name when I should already have organic listings taking care of those searches for free?” This is a great question. It’s understandable that when someone searches you, they’re already showing a strong intent to convert. So how can you effectively utilize PPC for your branding without spending all of your hard-earned coins?
Break out your branding goals.
Lean on SEO for long-term branding (aspects that are not likely to change over time) and negate related search queries from PPC. Consider SEO for:
- Your company name
- Your mission statement
- Founder information
Lean on PPC for short-term branding (aspects that are likely to change over time) that shows off your company’s personality. If nothing else, run a PPC campaign to bump an additional competitor off the first page for your own name. Consider PPC for:
- Press releases
- Charity work & community involvement
- Seasonal Offers
Read more How to target customers by PPC
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