Running an SEO campaign is a significant investment of time and resources. There are a lot of on-site factors that you have to get right. It’s a lot of work, and you can never be 100% sure if it was worth the investment until your content is ranking on the front page of the search results.
This guide will discuss how you can utilize Google Ads to test a page before you embark on a costly long-term SEO campaign. Read on to learn more about Google Ads and how to take advantage of the platform to support your next SEO campaign.
1. Test the potential SEO ROI
When you run an SEO campaign, you have a goal in mind. Generally, the goal of getting a piece of content or a page to rank in the search results is one of the following:
- Customer Acquisition: directly sell a product or service to visitors.
- Lead Acquisition: generate a lead onto an owned marketing channel. For example, grow your email list.
- Brand Awareness: make potential customers aware of your product/services.
Most companies will run an SEO campaign based on the assumption that ranking for a particular keyword will help them achieve one of these goals. Running a Google Ads campaign allows you to gather data relatively cheaply to test those first two goals.
Through a PPC campaign, you can test how your page converts visitors into sales. You can check the conversion rate onto your email list easily as well.
The data you collect from a PPC campaign will not perfectly reflect what you’ll see from having a piece of content ranking on the first page of Google. The conversion rates will likely differ, and the volume of clicks you receive will not be the same. However, you can gain plenty of valuable insights that can help you decide if it’s worth running a campaign focused on certain keywords.
2. Gain on-page engagement insights
Google wants to provide people who use their service with a great user experience. The more people use their service, the more money they make from paid ads.
Google has mastered the art of providing a great user experience. How people engage with your content is a critical factor that impacts where content should rank in the search results. You can use Google Ads to gain insights into bounce rate, time on page, and other user experience signals that impact SEO.
You can use the data you gather through tools like Google Analytics to optimize your content before you start focusing on deeper areas of an SEO campaign such as the link-building/link-earning aspects. If you can optimize how people interact with your content, you’ll send all of the right user experience signals to Google when the page appears in the search results.
3. Optimize your site’s metadata for CTR
The first thing that a person sees when they search for something on Google is a list of results. Your page title and the meta description are the hooks that incentivize people to click on your result over that of a competitor.
You can use paid ads on Google to test your page title and meta description to some degree.
When creating your page title and meta description, consider doing things like:
- Asking questions.
- Using capitals (through title case) to make parts of your headline stand out.
- Focus on the benefits.
By analyzing the campaign results, you will see how small changes to your Google Ads headline or description impact your Click Through Rates (CTR). You can then pick the best performing combo and use that organically.
4. Create a similar audience
Running an SEO campaign involves far more than just creating a great piece of content. You want people to also find and share that content organically. A logical way to do this is by promoting content to people who like your content.
One way you can do this is to create a similar or lookalike audience.
As part of your SEO campaign, you can promote the right content to people who have either shown a lot of previous engagement with your content or people similar to them. It’s a straightforward strategy to increase the reach of your content.
If you want your content to rank in the search results, you need to consider how the Google algorithm works. The exact SEO techniques you employ can differ depending on your market. A critical element that determines your search rankings is user experience.
In this guide, I showed you how you could use paid ads to generate valuable data that you can use for your SEO campaign. For example, you can use paid ads to test the SEO ROI before you embark on a campaign, gather data on user engagement with your content, optimize your page titles and meta descriptions for clicks, and build a similar audience.