Long-term business success relies on a number of things.
But improving your organic search rankings is without a doubt one of the best, most cost-effective strategies for long-term success. The only problem is it that it takes a long time. And even when you reach the glorious top rankings, you need to maintain your podium position. That’s where SEO and PPC come in.
PPC and SEO
Traditionally, SEO and PPC have been handled by different functions of business. SEO has been taken care of by web developers due to the technical requirements. PPC has been left for the marketing professionals.
It makes sense, then, that PPC is often seen as a way to help boost website visits while your SEO strategy is implemented and organic search rankings slowly increase. The idea is to steadily reduce your PPC spending as your organic search rankings rise. In theory this reduces your overall digital marketing spend because organic traffic is free and ads aren’t. It just takes forever to fully establish big levels of organic traffic.
But what if you used PPC to speed up the SEO process?
Using PPC to boost SEO
You might think that a consistent number one ranking on Google means you can stop your PPC campaigns with no negative effects. You’d be wrong. A Google study shows that 50% of all paid clicks aren’t replaced by organic search, no matter your search ranking or organic traffic. That means if you reduce your PPC spend, even as your organic traffic rises, around 50% of the traffic you receive from PPC isn’t replaced.
Google also recently changed how paid search ads appear. Now, instead of appearing on the right hand side of the screen, paid search ads are placed closer to organic search. Basically, they look a lot like ‘normal’ search results.
Combined, this means PPC ads can effectively be used as an A/B testing platform for your long-term SEO strategy.
How to A/B test your SEO strategy
Normally, in a long-term SEO strategy, you’d implement keywords on your website, monitoring any change in search ranking over a longish period of time. But because PPC ads are instantly shown to people, you can use them to quickly test the keywords for your SEO strategy.
This is how it works:
Run a PPC ad
Run a PPC ad with a one or two keywords you’ve identified as potentially providing a good level of exposure.
Let it run
for a little while.
Take a look at analytics
If bounce rates are low, time spent on-page is lengthy, page views are high, and conversion rates vs visits are high then you know the long-term viability of those keywords are probably quite good.
Implement those keywords
Implement those keywords into your long-term SEO strategy.
Repeat as many times as you need/can afford to.
The downside to this strategy is that it’s limited by your budget. The more you can spend on PPC ads, the more you can test your keywords. But even a few small-scale tests can provide some great insight into keywords. For example, you might find that a keyword that looked great in theory actually didn’t do that well in practice.
This strategy works great alongside your existing SEO and organic search activities. And there’s no doubt it can speed up a lengthy process of increasing traffic. But it needs to be seen as part of an ongoing effort to establish your website’s search rankings.
Example of a PPC Google shopping campaign
Mancini Menswear are a designer clothing brand competing for top results in a huge market, our successful PPC Google shopping campaign gets the brand in front of potential customers and drives traffic back to the website.
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