August 29, 2013
As most of you have heard by now, AdWords released a new report within their interface that allows PPC managers to look at paid and organic keyword/query data in one place. With that release, we’re also hearing a lot of you ask about how you can utilize that, and other, SEO metrics and data to increase performance in your paid search campaigns. Well ask and ye shall receive, readers; here are 8 different ways you can leverage your SEO data and metrics to enhance PPC:
Find new keywords. Whether you crawl through an organic search queries, or use the aforementioned new AdWords report, find a way to find gaps in your PPC keyword structure. Your customers may have started researching for or finding you using a new vocabulary, and depending on the term – you could uncover huge opportunities. For example, if you’re ranking page two organically for a high-traffic or converting keyword that you aren’t bidding on, you may be able to get first page placement for that term in PPC and increase conversion rates more competitively.
Save money on broad match. On the flip-side, if you find some terms where you’re ranking in the top few spots organically and also losing money on less-profitable PPC placements for the same keyword, you could bid down (or out) on that term. Or you could back out to only bidding on exact or phrase match versions at more competitive prices and higher conversion potential.
Prove that the sum is greater than its parts. This is another utilization of the new AdWords organic/paid report, which can give you information on how successful any given term is when it ranks together organically and in paid search results. There has always been an argument on why you would pay for keyword clicks in PPC for terms you’re ranking highly for organically, and this new report could start to really prove one side of that argument potentially right or wrong! Either way, find the terms where you wouldn’t be as successful without representation in both mediums and continue to be aggressive with those; then find where you can perform on either side without the complement and save yourself some trouble.
Find pages with high bounce rates. Granted, bounce rate is not a 100% unique-to-SEO metric, I don’t know that enough paid search managers reference this data when analyzing areas for improvement. Specifically when looking at your conversion process, check out bounce rates on those pages and plug the holes to keep more customers in the funnel. Better conversion rates are good for all traffic sources, not just PPC.
Determine new geographic targets. Similar to the strategy with finding new keywords, you can look at organic search traffic from a location standpoint and pick out areas of opportunity. Perhaps you excluded a geographic area some time ago that is now picking up traction, or you find a completely new area where your brand is gaining search volume; either way you can now more directly target this audience with bids and ad copy based on performance and conversion data.
Pick out load speed issues. Yet again, not necessarily an SEO-only metric, site speed problems are not good for Quality Score and I think many account managers only look to this metric reactively. Seek out the site speed reports in Analytics and find pages with low site speeds before you notice any Quality Score dips and be ahead of the curve with adjustments.
Identify the conversions that may have never been. You guys ever hear of multi-channel funnels? That’s a rhetorical question, because of course you have! Sometimes it’s tempting to wonder what you may be able to do if you pull back your optimization efforts in either SEO or PPC, and looking at your MCF reports has a way of changing your tune rather quickly. It’s a small number of searchers for most conversion opportunities that interact with only one medium before converting, so make sure you don’t cut out conversion volume if/when you do have to pull back.
Watch for new competitors in ranking reports. This is probably my favorite, so I saved it for last. Open up your web ranking reports for your organic keyword list and check out the terms where you start to see your SEO ranking slip. These dips could be new competitors coming in to the vertical and dipping their toe in slowly before the ramp up in to PPC ads. Get ahead of them and include their brand in your competitor strategy.
What are some other ways you use SEO data to increase PPC performance? Share your experiences and ideas with us in the comments section below!