SEO and PPC: A Data Match Made in Marketing Heaven

by Jordan Bell December 5th, 2013 


The fight between pay per click marketing and search engine optimization has been raging for years. Listen to one side, and you'll hear that marketers need to focus their resources on search engine optimization (SEO). Others argue that pay per click (PPC) provides bigger revenue - after all, 50% of people who click through from ads are more likely to buy.

But it's not a battle, so sheathe your swords. In fact, SEO data can provide you with many PPC opportunities, and failure to utilize all the metrics available to you can lead to wasted ad spend, ineffective copy, and unnecessary bounces. In this article, we'll review two of our favorite ways to use SEO data to improve your PPC performance.

Low Search Rankings Mean Opportunity

When you check your brand's organic search performance, don't just evaluate it based on one or two established, high priority keywords. Identify holes in your keyword strategy by searching for new, potentially high-traffic or high-conversion terms, and testing them.

For example, let's say you sell shoes. You might have PPC campaigns set up for "red platform heels" and "athletic running shoes", but you also sell rain boots. One day, you notice that your organic traffic for rain boots is actually fairly significant. You could then craft PPC ads based around rain boots.

Try adding more broad, more specific, or long-tail keywords to your site - if the results are better than expected, throw them into your pay per click keyword list.

On that same note, if a broad match term is netting good results, but in your pay per click campaign, it's not pushing conversions, consider lowering those bids or limiting them to exact match keywords only, to lower your cost per click and boost conversions.

Widen Your Borders

How do people find you if not through paid ads? It's likely that they're coming through search. And just like you used SEO metrics to find new keywords, you can also use your organic search data to find new geographic opportunities for your PPC ads. Dig into your visitor statistics to see if you've excluded any locations from your paid ads that are actually good traffic sources. It goes the other way, too: lower your bids in locations that aren't generating organic clicks.

In either case, you can use this data to both bid more efficiently and tweak your PPC ad copy. For example, if your product has traditionally been sold in the Northeast, but you see that clicks start coming from the Pacific Northwest organically, try optimizing for this area with a new set of keywords. Geographic keywords can be as simple as tacking on a location name before or after your current broad-match keyword - consider researching suburbs and neighborhoods in and around your targeted location, too.

While search marketing experts might be sceptical about the long-term viability of traditional SEO tactics, they still provide a wealth of data we can use to enhance our paid ads and generate return on investment-creating a continuous improvement cycle that can help brands reach new audiences and engage old ones. Finding additional options for your pay per click advertising is a fantastic way to leverage your data.

Jordan Bell

Jordan Bell is the Marketing Manager for, the online advertising network connecting thousands of top brands with publishers around the globe. A Marketing Jack-of-All Trades, Jordan has specialized in various functions including direct marketing, email marketing, advertising, promotions, social media, public relations, market research, content development, and sales. His career has spanned numerous industries including online marketing, music products, higher education publishing, insurance, and hospitality.

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