Making an SEO & PPC Program Work Together

It can be amusing seeing SEO and paid search specialists sitting in a room together, talking about work.  There’s this slightly faked interest in the other person’s work, while they each know deep down that their specialty kicks butt and that the other person can go kick rocks.

Truth of the matter is that nothing beats just a good ol’ partnership.  SEO & PPC are both great in their own ways, but together they can be the most important part of a marketing strategy.  An integrated program between search engine optimization and paid search can be tricky, but it can be an awesome asset to a marketing program that properly meshes the two together.  Often times, marketers think that simply having both an SEO and paid search program is the most they need to do.  There are things that you could be missing out on, however, if you view the two as completely separate entities.

There are two ways that SEO & PPC can work together: as an indicator for opportunity or an alert for issues.

Indicator for Opportunity

An important issue in the search marketing world is when a website is designed to go after the search phrase X-Y-Z, but when people search for the product, they type Y-X-Z or just Z-Y.   When running a PPC program, you can enter in those key phrases as a broad match so you show up for multiple variations of that key phrase.  After getting some traffic, you can see the exact phrases being entered to get your ad to appear.  From this information, you may see some discrepancies between how people search and the way your target SEO phrases are written. Using your PPC program as a form of keyword research can help ID the best keywords to target at the beginning of an SEO program.  The worst thing you can do for an SEO program is make a website rank well for keywords that don’t get searched.  It’s kind of like beating your high score in Solitaire.  I mean…that’s cool and everything, but so what?!

Alert for Issues

So you have a client that wants to show up #1 organically and in paid for the phrase “laser beam”.  You believe that this term is too generic, and therefore, for PPC, really expensive, and for SEO, really competitive.  What’s more is that you also know that ‘laser beam’ won’t bring in the type of visitors that will lead to conversions.  Since this client won’t let up, you add it as an exact match in their paid search program.  As you expected, the key phrase is getting a lot of traffic, costing a lot of money, but not converting!  You can take this information back to your client, and show them why going after the term ‘laser beam’ wasn’t a good idea to begin with…and they are now in the hole for a lot of money because they didn’t trust your internet marketing genius. (well, maybe not that last part.)

So besides the fast that you’re more likely to get clicked on if you’re in both paid and organic search results, there are other reasons why SEO and PPC work well together.  What’s more is that, as shown here, there are ways to integrate your SEO and PPC programs, not just treat them as separate entities.

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