Although similar in many ways, paid search and search engine optimization (SEO) are two very different beasts when it comes to digital marketing.
Despite all of the SEO conspiracy theories floating around, there is no correlation between paid search and organic algorithms. In fact, Google very intentionally keeps these two departments completely separate to avoid any potential crossover on either side.
Even though there is no direct way to use paid search campaigns to improve organic performance, there are a few easy ways to get these strategies to work in tandem to optimize campaign results.
1. Use Keyword Research Tools To Optimize Both Paid Search And SEO Strategies
It’s already been established that the Google Adwords’ keyword planner is an unbeatable research tool for both paid search and SEO.
However, many people don’t get nearly enough mileage out of these trend insights.
For instance, instead of bidding on high competition, high cost keywords through paid search, consider pulling those search terms into organic campaigns instead.
Most marketers know the very real struggle of optimizing PPC campaigns on a shoestring budget. However, in many cases, testing out new or underperforming keywords between your SEO and paid search strategies is one of the best ways to optimize spend efficiency and maximize campaign results.
By using this approach, you also get the added benefits of increasing cross-departmental collaboration and decreasing the amount of time wasted on duplicate efforts for both teams.
2. Find Low Hanging Fruit Through Low Competition And Low Cost Search Terms
Bidding on high competition keywords is one of those marketing costs that can escalate quickly. For instance, if you want to target users searching for “personal injury attorneys” the cost per click (CPC) can range from $100-$250 or more depending on how much your competitors are spending on that keyphrase.
Although it can be difficult to avoid incurring the cost of core keywords like the example above, there are a number of ways to offset those bids with low competition ad groups and search terms. All you have to do is find the most qualified, intent-driven keyphrases with the lowest CPC.
You can easily find this kind of “low hanging fruit” by using the “low competition” keyword filter in the keyword planner or by tracking breakout search queries through Google Trends.
3. Use Paid Search To Test Out New Keywords For SEO
Over the years, Google has made it increasingly difficult to monitor and optimize SEO campaigns based on individual search terms. However, one way to get around this is to use PPC to test out the value and qualification rate for low cost, long tail key phrases.
Even if you only run a short campaign with minimal spend allocated, you can run a controlled test with targeted filters based on demographics and location. By using this tactic, you get valuable insight on whether or not those keywords are relevant to your target audience and you also get more granular data on similar search terms that people are using to find products and services like yours.
Of course, these are just three of the many ways you can use paid search to help inform and improve SEO performance. Have you found other ways to use PPC data for organic campaigns? If so, please share them in the comments section below!
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* Adapted lead image: Some rights reserved by sandy.zieba