Using Paid Search (PPC) for Intelligent SEO
Annemarie Hunter - Search Marketing Specialist
Keyword Research & Refinement
Using Keyword Research tools such as Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery and Google’s Keyword Tool can often display skewed and conflicting results. You never really know the true traffic volumes you can expect, or what variations of a keyword or phrase will deliver the best results.
With paid search however, you get the raw data. You’re able to test an infinite number of keyword variations and track each of them extensively. In addition to the number of “clicks” generated, “impression” data (the number of times an ad is shown) provides a fairly reliable metric for a keyword’s search volume. You may discover the singular version of a keyword outperforms the plural, or that a multi-word phrase is most optimal.
Paid search uncovers the exact keywords and phrases to target organically. This is especially powerful given SEO campaigns can take months to produce solid results. You need to be certain which keywords are worth your time, effort and investment from the outset.
Keywords that Convert
Having thousands of visitors to a website each day means little if they don’t convert. The most valuable insight a paid search campaign can provide, is uncovering the keywords that actually produced a conversion. With Conversion Tracking, it is possible to identify the exact keywords and phrases that resulted in a desired outcome – whether that’s a lead, a sale, a sign-up, an enquiry or a download. Identifying and then using these phrases on the website is hugely valuable for maximising its overall SEO strategy.
Long-Tail Content Opportunities
Searchers are increasingly using “long-tailed” search queries (3 or more words) to find exactly what they need. These refined, highly-targeted, specific searches indicate intent and generally lead to higher conversions. Paid search campaigns allow you to identify and mine these valuable phrases to then create additional, highly-optimised web pages.
Testing Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
One of the most important elements in organic search is the Title Tag. They’re vital in influencing a page’s ranking, as well as a user’s “click decision”. They’re not only very difficult to test, they’re risky in that they may jeopardise the page’s current rankings. With paid search however, you’re able to trial multiple ads using various title options. You can then determine which performs better in terms of clicks, CTR or conversions.
Landing Page Optimisation
A/B split and multi-variant testing through paid search is an effective way to craft the ultimate landing page. With Google Adwords and Google Website Optimiser, you’re able to reveal the better performing page layout elements (content, headings, images, design), as well as the best placement for them. You can test different sales copy, deals, specials and calls-to-action to see which combinations drive the most conversions, to then use in your final version.
Paid search and SEO should work in unison to deliver optimal results and maximise the overall ROI. This relationship needs be on-going and shouldn’t stop once the organic search strategy is producing strong results. No matter how effective an SEO campaign is, there are numerous advantages in using paid search when you’re already ranking organically.
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