Admittedly, SEO and PPC are two separated marketing channels with unique roles and tactics. But, what we sometimes tend to forget is that they both have the same goal: attract qualified visitors to website.
Many statistics confirmed this complicity between SEO and PPC. We observe an increase of click-through rate of all SERPs when both levers are activated.
|Type of listing in search results page||CTR|
|Only Paid Search Ad||14%|
|Paid Search Ad and Organic on SERP’s||27%|
The key to achieve a true SEO and PPC synergy is to define your priorities.
In this post, I’m sharing with you some tips that i have discovered while seeking to obtain better results through an SEO and PPC synergy.
SEO and PPC Synergy, What For ?
First, let’s start with a finding. Only few search specialist believe in a synergy between these two levers. Quite often two arguments are put forward:
- It’s complicated to setup a synergy
- The time spend to set it up is more important than the savings we can achieve.
In reality, these two arguments are valid. However, if both SEO and PPC teams sit and work seriously on the synergy, then the savings will be real and huge!
Imagine the savings you can made by entrusting to SEO a generic keyword like “best midsize luxury suv 2020” – which can cost you up to 18 € per click !
Vice versa, think of all conversations you can win in addition – via paid search ads – on a keyword that is lagging behind the Top 3 organic results.
In addition, if we look to the conversion paths report on Google Analytics, we realise that SEO / PPC interactions do exist.
1 – Optimise Time Spent On Launching Search Campaigns
An SEO and PPC synergy can only be real if the respective teams work together. And believe me, the opportunities to work together do exists.
Concretely, SEO and Paid Search will be able to:
- Mutualise semantic analyses – especially, in the beginning of a project
- Work together to design and optimise landing pages
- Overall, optimise the customer journey
Unfortunately, very few players have this type of synergy. As both SEO and paid teams prefers to advance alone when it comes to carrying out initial analyses or recommendations..
2 – SEO / PPC Synergy: Optimise Landing Pages
In SEO, the ideal landing page contains a lot of text, the keyword is repeated several times and has many related terms. On the other hand, the ideal landing page for PPC contains as little as possible of what has been said above; so as not to confuse the user and push for conversion.
Creating PERFECT landing pages should not be only a PPC concern. Organic visitors also enjoy landing on well designed pages that match their needs.
So, ensure your SEO and PPC teams sit together to discuss their needs in term of new pages and/or content. Thus, you avoid that your client receives 2 different requests.
3 – Test The Effectiveness Of SEO Keywords With PPC Data
Running a paid search campaign is a great way to test the relevance of keywords you selected in SEO. This will allow you to see which keywords have already been searched, clicked and converted.
By knowing the conversion potentiel for selected keywords, the SEO strategy becomes clearer. SEO efforts should be focused on keywords with real sales potential (and not just traffic potential).
4 – Use PPC Data To Get Content Ideas
Another point of the SEO and PPC synergy would be to identify ads copy that perform best. Then reuse text ads in SEO content to get the most out of them.
For example, you can use your best PPC ads copy and extensions in you title or meta description tags.
You can also explore the Search Terms reports in Google Ads to identify keywords to prioritise when creating SEO content.
Thereby, the “Search Terms” report can be used to identify content opportunities. Example: SEO teams can explore “how to” queries to create infographics, white papers …
Another idea is to find contents with high CTR on GDN network, then determine popular topics. So you can develop these ideas via blog posts to generate more organic traffic on your website.
5 – Ask SEO To Help Optimising Quality Score
Quality score depends in part on the quality of the landing page. It must in particular match to the user query.
This is exactly the mission of SEO: ensure that website content matches users search queries.
So consider using the SEO team’s content writing skills to improve low-quality keywords.
This will improve your ad ranking, lower your cost per click, increase the conversion and engagement rate.
6 – Transfer Expensive Keywords To SEO
Stopping or reducing spending on expensive keywords is one of the key goals of SEO and PPC synergy.
Example: Casper or Ikea can reduce their investment in the keyword “mattress” because they are in top positions in organic. Average CPC for “mattress” is 13,07$
Concretely, the cost of ranking organically on a generic keyword like mattress – will be much cheaper than an investment in Google Ads.
7 – Double Brand Exposure On Strategic Keywords
Being visible in SEO and Paid Search Ads simultaneously on strategic queries will allow to Reassure users about your brand legitimacy. (Exp: for an auto manufacturer, appearing via a search ad on “electric car” and being in the Top 3 organic on the same request is super reassuring).
Maximise exposure in SERPS by occupying more space in SERPs; in particular thanks to Google Ads sitelinks. Below example of Kia having 12 links possibilities in the search results page.
Multiply your conversions. As we all know, search ads only capture part of the clicks. The rest is recovered by the organic results. Imagine that you have a 10% conversion rate on “memory foam mattress” thanks to a search ad. Why not taking an additional 8% via organic SERPS!
Obviously, this is only available for business-generating queries where you should have a double visibility SEO and PPC.
8 – Use PPC To Boost SEO Performance Of Your Content
You can boost certain SEO content via paid search ads. Example: white paper, a blog post you spent 4 days writing it…
Thanks to this synergy, interactions on targeted landing pages will multiply. Which is a good signal for Google algorithm.
9 – Technical Problems Don’t Impact Only SEO
Quite often SEO and PPC teams do not communicate when there is a technical SEO problem. Yet, broken links, slow loading times, … will not only have an effect on SEO. It will also negatively impact the performance of paid search campaigns.
Make sure your SEO and PPC teams are in constant communication to optimise search campaigns.
10 – Maximum Vigilance During Website Migration
Perhaps one of the most important moments to bring SEO and PPC together is during a site migration.
Make sure the two teams work together to define the right migration timing, clarify SEO impact of the migration, … But also review the redirection plan, which is very important for the PPC team.
Finally, SEO teams will have to notify their PPC colleagues to plan for an additional budget. Indeed, with migration the website risks losing some organic positions.
11 – Consider The Same Competitors In SEO and PPC
Indeed, I saw during my experiences that sometimes SEO’s did not consider the same competitors as those tracked by the paid search team.
It is important that a PPC competitor is also considered in SEO and it can become one, one day.
12 – DSA: Best Example Of SEO And PPC synergy
DSAs are ads generated automatically by Google Ads based on users queries and the content on your website.
As part of an effective SEO and PPC synergy, there are two ways to explore Dynamic Search Ads:
- DSA campaigns can be used to understand how Google interprets the content of your page.
- A well SEO optimised page will rank in paid search (via DSA) on keywords that you have not covered in conventional PPC ad groups.
13 – Cannibalisation
Cannibalisation topic between SEO and PPC always comes up on as soon as we start talking about synergy.
Some will stop PPC if website is on top 3 organic. Others, will seek to make complex calculations, estimation, …
Personally, my approach is as follows:
- No one is bidding on a keyword for which you rank first in organic => There will be some cannibalisation if you decide to run a paid search campaign on this keyword.
- There is strong competition on a keyword for which you rank first in organic => Then, if you decide to bid on it, you will cannibalise your competitors more than yourself.
- Only few companies bid on a keyword for which you rank first in organic. In this case, it’s up to you to decide to invest in a PPC campaign or no.
Test and Learn
If you hesitate to cut or not paid search budget for a keyword, i encourage you to run a test for a week. Then, look at how many clicks (traffic) and conversion organic generates.
If you see that SEO traffic generates the same level of conversion or a little less, then you can reduce your PPC investment on that keyword.
Finally, I recommend you to start your test with a small group of keywords.
14 – Leverage Internal Research Data To Improve SEO and PPC Synergy
If you have many users using your internal search engine, then you should consider using this data to improve your organic and paid search campaigns.
Find exact phrases people used to find your products. They will probably use the same language on a search engine.
Once you have found relevant keywords, you can decide to bid on them in a PPC campaign and optimise your SEO on these keywords.
15 – Use Google Search Console To Create New Ad Groups
The idea is to analyse queries that go up in the Search Console; in particular ones recording high impressions volume. Next, identify those showing a purchase / conversion intent.
- if you already have an existing ad group that matches these keywords, then add them.
- otherwise, create a dedicated ad group for these transactional queries.
You may ask why bidding on these keywords since they already show in SEO ?
- First, generating impressions on one keyword, does not mean your rank well on it in organic results.
- Also, supposing you are first in organic, by running paid search, you reduce the chances that the user will click on your competitor in 2nd position.
SEO and PPC Synergy – Conclusion
I hope the post highlighted some opportunities for an effective SEO and PPC synergy. Don’t hesitate to tell me if you see other ideas.