Using PPC to Boost SEO Campaigns

by KevinKaiser February 26th, 2010 

It always seems to be SEO vs. PPC. Both of them vying for attention and trying to take all of your advertising dollars. But what if you used them to complement each other, wouldnt that make things a lot easier? When it comes to SEO, sometimes its hard to know which keywords are the best ones to optimize for. This is where you can bring in PPC and specifically Adwords.

So many SEOs scoff at PPC, but they often forget some of the simple benefits any SEO campaign can gain from a small $50 spend in PPC. Lets run through an example of how this could work.

Run Your Campaign

Set up a campaign and pick out a few keywords that you are considering optimizing for SEO wise and do broad match. Set your budget at $50 (or whatever you are willing to spend). Send people to a landing page that has a few questions on there for them to answer. Not only do you want to see the volume of clicks but you want to find out why people are searching for that particular query.

Lets say you are into sunscreen and run a blog about sunscreen and have some affiliate deals and even a mini-store setup. In your campaign, do a bid on sunscreen and set as broad match. Put up a couple of questions such as what problem can we help you solve today?, is there a particular type of sunscreen that youre looking for?, who are you buying the sunscreen for?, and so on. Just make some questions up that are related to your product and what users might be looking for.

Dig Into Data

After the campaign is over, you will start to see trends form in both the clicks and survey answers. This will help you expose the long tail and create specific pages geared to those searches. Now you know that you need a page or more for cheap baby sunscreen and organic baby sunscreen because thats what people were searching for. You know that they are searching for that, so you check out the SERPs and find out they are weak. This will make your SEO campaign a lot easier and a lot more effective. Ranking for organic baby sunscreen will be easier than baby sunscreen and tons easier than sunscreen. Plus you can use the title and description of your best converting ad as the title and meta description for the new page on your site. Then you can go find specific affiliate offers or setup a store for these products.

This will take a little more of your time at the beginning collecting data, but in the end it will definitely beat what you would have done otherwise: try to rank for baby sunscreen or even sunscreen and wasted more money and time ultimately, not have a specific offer, and ignored the niche market.

Other Takeaways

Plus, you can use this data to help with building links to your site. If you have your ad run on Adwords content network, you can pinpoint what sites are sending you quality traffic that converts. Once you examine that data, you can approach the sites that best convert and see if you can build a relationship with them that both parties benefit from. You could provide them with quality content and even get targeted links back to your site that not only will build up your link juice but you also already now that it will send quality traffic that converts on your site.

Has anyone else had any luck with this approach? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.

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7 Responses to “Using PPC to Boost SEO Campaigns”

  1. Amy says:

    I manage both PPC and SEO efforts in-house. I have always felt that I have a great advantage over people just doing 1.

    As you mentioned it is a huge advantage with the content network. Our content ads show on many of our organic competitors sites. I am very aware of competitors rankings and if one changes then we see an affect on traffic and conversions from the content network. Being aware of a competitor site losing a ranking and numbers going down saves a lot of research with Placement reports.

    I also use PPC search query reports for new ideas for SEO.

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  3. You miss one big advantage – when you rank 1-3 in SERPS and 1-3 in paid search on the same keyword, you get an ~28% higher click through rate on both paid and natural search, according to data published many years ago by Yahoo!. And we have validated similar numbers with our own businesses and clients.

  4. SEO NEWS says:

    Thanks for informative blogpost, i am learning PPC and Gladly found your post. As i am just a newbie for PPC your article is good for me…thanks

    I am not clear about this comment, if possible can you make me understand this

    ======================
    when you rank 1-3 in SERPS and 1-3 in paid search on the same keyword, you get an ~28% higher click through rate on both paid and natural search, according to data published many years ago by Yahoo!. And we have validated similar numbers with our own businesses and clients.
    ======================

  5. Kevin says:

    @SEO NEWS
    Thanks for your kind words
    By that comment, it means that if you rank 1-3 in paid results and on the same page/keyword you also rank in the top 3 for organic results then a visitor is much more likely to click on your listing than if there was only one or the other.
    There is data on this subject to prove that you will get a higher click-through rate and Arthur was right to point this advice out.
    Hope that clears things up :)

  6. Thanks for clarifying Kevin. And I should have mentioned that the reason why this is true is that consumers report feeling that the brand is "real" when they see more than one mention on the page – they will trust it more for this reason and thus will click through more often because they have confidence that the company is reputable.

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