Integrating SEO with Sponsored Search
Depending on whom you talk to, SEO is more important than PPC, or vice versa: the answer you’ll likely get will depend on whether the person you talk to is primarily an Search Engine Optimization specialist, or a Sponsored Search / PPC practitioner.
The numbers usually demonstrate that SEO does generate the greatest ROI, but it also takes time to earn and maintain rankings, and additionally you do not exercise the same level of control as with PPC, which is immediate.
Marketers are often faced with decisions between the universal business need for results today with Sponsored Search -vs- a longer-term, better yielding ROI Strategy through SEO.
Fortunately, the two practices are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, they can typically complement each other given that both have a common environment within which they operate: Search Engines.
Following are a few Tips when coordinating SEO & PPC programs:
Leverage Keyword Identification
Both PPC and SEO utilize keywords which make for great synergy and strategy coordination. Utilize PPC Tests to determine highly profitable keywords and keyword phrases. Then, work consistently with your internal team, or initiate a program with a 3rd party SEO Firm that can create a customized, focused SEO plan for the selected keywords that creates a solid ROI for your business.
Improve CTR thru Testing
A significant benefit of establishing a prominent organic ranking combined with a dedicated sponsored search listing on that same keyword is very powerful. Not only are you increasing the potential click from a pre-qualified consumer, you can also test and track multiple marketing messages – these learnings can also help further refine your SEO meta descriptions and title tags to improve the effectiveness and CTR of your organic listing as well.
Better Understand your Audience
Knowing the audience segments that visit and engage with your site through the natural listings (tracked through Google Analytics) can significantly improve your Sponsored Search program because of the incredible array of targeting options PPC offers including: targeting by location, by time of day, by demographic and so on. Dedicating time to understand your daily visitors through Organic Search will help you become more efficient with your PPC investment.
SEO & PPC are not mutually exclusive activities — your greatest ROI will come from making them work in a closely coordinated plan. SEO does generate the greatest long-term ROI, although PPC is typically immediate. Together, SEO + Sponsored Search are a powerful combination, share similar resources and provide valuable information that can benefit both investments.