SEO and AdWords: A Perfect Marriage

7/28/2017

- Chuck Forbes, Senior Client Strategist

Search Engine Optimization and Paid Advertising departments are often split at marketing agencies, having specialists in each department working on their particular area of expertise. However, a knowledgeable agency will tell you despite these two departments being uniquely specialized, they should work in tandem to provide clients with the best results and insights for their program. Far too often clients will forget this as well and they think of SEO and AdWords initiatives as being very different – when in fact, they create a perfect marriage. I would like to walk you through some fundamental similarities and tips on how search engine optimization and your paid campaigns in AdWords can help you achieve deeper insight and reach your goals.

Keyword Research 

Selecting the correct keywords for your paid campaigns and organic search strategy are important steps for everyone. A great tool to utilize is the AdWords Keyword Planner. This will allow you to look up potential keywords for your campaign and evaluate their relevancy based on your product, service or landing page. Not only does the Keyword Planner give you the search volume, but you will also be able to see forecasts on keywords like predicted number of clicks and the estimated number of conversions you may receive. This will help guide you on what keywords you should select of your campaign, also keeping in mind your selected budget. 

TIP: You want to find keywords that are highly relevant to your campaign and keywords you are able to optimize for. You can further investigate the competition of your keyword selections by entering in the exact keywords into the Google search engine. Note the number of web results returned and then divide the global search volume by that number. This will give you a ‘competition score,’ with the higher ratios being easier to organically optimize for. 

Now you can take the keywords that made the cut and begin your keyword-page matching strategy for the URLs on your site. From there, you will eventually produce content and build out the pages of your site to speak to those keywords highlighting the targeted product or service of your business. While keyword research for paid campaigns and organic services may be done by two different specialists, collaboration and exchanging strategies can strengthen your overall search results. 

Click Through Rate Check-In 

A metric always measured by paid campaign managers is Click-Through Rate (CTR). After your campaigns have been running for 1-2 months, looking at the CTR is a great indicator to see if your copy and keyword(s) are engaging the users you want to reach.

TIP: In AdWords you can test different titles and/or descriptions until you find that winning combination that gives you the highest Click-Through Rate. This may take a longer period of time to collect enough data and could potentially even bring down your CTR for a time period (remember this is a test) but in the end you will find the combination that works best for your campaign.

The results of these tests can be shared and analyzed by both the specialist managing the paid campaigns and the SEO specialists leading the organic strategy. Using the same or very similar titles and descriptions that produced the highest Click-Through Rate in your paid campaigns on your website URLs will help boost your overall search engine presence by having a better chance to capture users through paid ads or organic results, as they have deemed that search phrase highly relevant to them.

Other Considerations 

Seasonality for many businesses is a factor that goes into planning marketing strategies. AdWords and SEO can work in conjunction to test different images, links and ad copy during these seasonal shifts. When doing this you can discover new organic content or landing destination ideas to improve your organic results based on the seasonal ads that are performing best. 

Geo-location in AdWords can jump start conversations with your SEO team to see if it makes sense to create new content around a particular city, state or region of a country. Data has shown that ads and landing pages that speak to a more granular audience, in the way they would communicate, can yield higher conversion rates. 

Ex: A sunscreen company is running ads and targeting users living in Miami. 

Generic AdCopy: “Grab SunFun before you hit the beach this summer”

Location Specific Ad Copy: “Hey Miami, need SunFun before you hit South Beach?”

Overall

The biggest benefit that SEO and AdWords working together will give your business is a stronger presence. Users are more apt to click and trust brands that show strong, relevant placement for their paid ads and organic results together. It shows depth in your digital footprint and allows your strategies to work together. Search Engine Optimization and AdWords have a lot of similarities and with the right tests, collaboration and creative thinking - you can gain higher positions in search results, capture more users and more efficiently use your budgets. 

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