Yin & Yang: How to Unify Your Paid & Organic Search Strategies

7/23/2015

- Kristin Lesko, Digital Content Manager

All too often, businesses draw a metaphorical line in the sand when it comes to their Paid and Organic search strategies. But separating the two is essentially like saying, “Paid initiatives, you play over here with this plastic shovel and, Organic, you go over there and use the sandcastle mold.” The truth of the matter is that businesses would benefit from everyone playing nice in the sandbox – and sharing their tools to build great content.

Here are some ways you can unify your Paid and Organic search strategies, for a greater ROI.

Share Your Keywords

Organic search is based on unpaid, natural rankings determined by search engine algorithms. Paid search, on the other hand, allows you to pay a fee to have your webpages displayed in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for a given keyphrase.

Example of Paid versus Organic search results in Google:

And while each has a different means of getting there, Organic and Paid specialists both leverage keywords as part of their strategy, one to naturally target content toward a given keyword in hopes of ranking and getting click-throughs and the other to bid on a keyword in hopes of getting impressions and click-throughs. So if your content team is revamping your website copy, consider having your Paid team share any past keywords that they’ve bid on or seen success from. They might perform well Organically, too.

Create a Consistent Voice and Tone

If your Paid and Organic teams don’t regularly interact, there’s a good chance that they don’t regularly write content in a unified voice and tone either. Additionally, there may also be disconnects with the look and feel of the designs created by each team. While this may not seem like an issue to everyone on the inside – who sees the two teams as working toward different objectives – the audience viewing the content and designs on the outside is getting mixed signals. Consider scheduling a reoccurring meeting between those responsible for each side of the strategy, to help get – and keep – everyone on the same page. It may also challenge them to think about new and innovative ways to distribute and promote content that would have never occurred to them if they continued to work in silos.

Repurpose Great Content

Is there a webinar, podcast or downloadable guide that your team produced, which received a great deal of Organic traffic? Consider repurposing it on a paid landing page, and gating it behind a form. If you choose to gate content, however, ensure that the content is truly worth the entry fee. Otherwise, requiring users to supply personal information (such as an email address) in order to receive content could be a deterrent.

Add Action to Your Videos

If you’ve ever footed the bill for a professionally produced video, you know that it doesn’t come cheap – and that there are still no guarantees of ROI. Consider adding a call-to-action overlay to your videos, which displays in the lower-thirds of your video and can help direct users where you want them to go after watching. It can also include a link back to any webpage you’d like, such as a product or service page.

Also, don’t forget to optimize your YouTube video’s title and description for a relevant keyword, which can help increase the likelihood that it gets seen in Organic search and YouTube results pages.

Give Your Facebook Content a Boost

If you have a major campaign, announcement or event that you want to ensure gets visibility in newsfeeds, consider boosting the post. Posts can be “boosted” directly from your business’ profile page, at any price point you choose.

Once you opt to boost a post, you have the ability to either specify the people you show your boosted post to and refine their location, age, gender, and interests, or to select to show it to only the people who like your Page and their friends. You can also remarket to current fans or users who have been to your website. Some page managers who have used this feature previously reported seeing twice as much engagement from boosted posts over non-boosted posts.

Regardless of the path you choose to get your content out there – Paid, Organic, or a blend of both – there is one aspect of it that matters more than its distribution: its quality. So before putting the manpower and dollars toward getting your content seen, start by writing something that truly warrants being read.

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