XML, LSI, LSA, HTAccess: As a competitive SEO theres no shortage of acronyms to keep up with. But if youre truly committed to becoming the best search-engine marketer you can be, I think one of the most important ones is: PPC.
A working understanding of pay-per click marketing is one of the easiest ways to spike your resume and stand out from the SEO-"only" crowd.
Not only does PPC experience make for a far more well-rounded internet marketer, but youll also be able to quickly apply paid marketing principles to your organic SEO. To name but three:
- Improve click-through rates for organic results
- Identify search phrases with the most profit potential
- Use PPC data for content development
Improve Click Through Rates for Organic Search
Copy influences click-through rates in the SERPs. After you've improved a PPC ad's click-through rate by 2% for a high-value keyword because of a tweak like Product Ships in 24 Hours instead of Free Shipping, you'll experience a shift in mindset you'll be able to apply directly to crafting more relevant title tags and meta descriptions.
If there's one principle an experienced PPC manager understands, it's the different motivations behind every ad group in a campaign. Every search, every market will require a unique set of marketing messages that belong right along with your big list of keywords.
Identify Potential Profit
Not all keywords are created equal. Basic PPC knowledge can help SEOs better identify which keywords are delivering the best return per dollar spent.
One simple way to identify whether or not a keyword is performing is by conducting a search in Google to see if ads are being displayed for the query in question. If there are a lot of advertisers, it's there might be money to be made with that search phrase.
The next step in this process is to look at how many ads are targeting the exact key phrase you entered in an ad headline. The more exact matches to the search you find in the headline, the more likely PPC managers are targeting that keyword and aren't just displaying for a broad match result.
Use PPC Data for Content Development
This is probably one of the best benefits of understanding PPC: you get a feel for each keyword for the volume and type of traffic, and the return that can be expected it.
This information can be solid gold when creating a content development plan since you already know the volume of traffic and an estimate of how well it will convert when you rank for it. (Use this automated Excel setup to to estimate traffic for number one positions)
How do you use your PPC experience?
10 thoughts on “3 Organic Search Benefits Of PPC”
Another benefit of PPC is focusing on areas where your organic search presence is weak. Visitors clicking to your site on those ads will return to your site later on through searches involving your brand name… assuming that you provide a high-quality experience. See http://www.slideshare.net/jcolman/total-search-marketing-optimization-smx-advanced-2010seattle for more information and test results.
That’s a pretty slick presentation Jonathon. I like it.
Love this post. I’ve told a few of my clients that PPC combined with website analysis may open up the possibilities for new products and services.
And you’re absolutely right in terms of it being a great tool for SEO. Why waste weeks and effort on keywords that don’t bring the results that you want? Test everything on PPC first, then spend big on SEO.
PPC is still relatively cheap, SEO campaigns can be expensive so it’s important to get it right the first time.
Good points, Ryan. Testing on PPC definitely seems worth it. Do you think there’s a difference between what people click in organic and PPC?
There’s a huge difference. Studies show that after people enter their search results their main focus is front and center, then they scan down, lastly they scan to the right.
What’s important is to have eye catching text, with a clear call to action, in the meta description. That way when the user comes across your web page on the SERP they are more likely to click.
Going a bit further, a strong meta description (that is written more like ad copy) can actually attract more clicks than the #1 ranking with a weak meta description. The web page will still need to be above the fold though.
So what better way to test ad copy for your meta description?
Very true — but would you say then it is mostly valid for commercial/transaction type of descriptions?
Thanks for the mention Brett.
I agree there are definitely synergies between PPC and SEO knowledge.
I wish it were as easy to split test headlines and descriptions with our organic listings as it is with PPC.
I definitely agree with the first two benefits you mentioned, but the third one has a big pitfall: the traffic you estimate for one or two keyword phrases may be extremely exaggarated if you use a broad match in your adwords campaign. So estimating according to exact match is a necessicty when short phrases are considered.
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