It’s a common misconception that pay per click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) can’t work together. On the surface, they appear to represent polar opposites, but in reality, one can be used to inform the other for the optimal performance of your marketing strategy.
SEO vs PPC keywords
In digital marketing, PPC campaigns are designed to achieve quick results while SEO builds gains over time. At the heart of both, however, is the need for keywords. You can use those collected in your PPC reports to influence your SEO practices, but the data must be approached in a different manner.
The main distinctions are:
- Keywords for PPC have high commercial intent, while those for SEO should be centered around a search query.
- With PPC you need to keep a close eye on return-on-ad-spend, as you pay for every click and need to be confident they’ll convert quickly. SEO clicks are free, so you can afford to wait to see the profitability at a later date.
- PPC focuses on buyer intent whereas SEO is all about generating a large volume of traffic.
How PPC helps SEO
PPC can help inform your SEO to improve visibility for your brand in four major ways:
- Use PPC analysis to identify the keywords that lead to the most conversions and focus your resources on ensuring these web pages are well optimized for SEO.
- Paid advertising leads to better user behavior metrics, as it attracts your target audience and takes them directly to the relevant content. This results in a low bounce rate and lengthy sessions, which signals to search bots that your site is informative, in turn boosting organic ratings.
- Showing in both paid and organic search results boosts your chances of getting click throughs to your website.
- Bidding on your own branded keywords and those of your competitors means search engine results are likely to move around and you can ensure you stay on top.
Tips to improve your SEO keyword list through PPC analysis
Making the most of your PPC data means knowing how to approach it and turn it into a usable list of keywords to roll out within your SEO strategy. Here’s how:
Select high-CTR keywords
You can sort the keywords that led to the highest click-through rates (CTR) for PPC in your Google Ads reports. If these clicks didn’t lead to conversions it could be that those using those specific search terms weren’t ready to buy, but by optimizing your blog posts for them, they may return and complete the sales process.
Check out your competitors’ campaigns
Analyzing the keywords your competitors are ranking for in their PPC campaigns will help you to extend your keyword list even further. If another business in your industry is investing in that term then there’s a good chance it could be worth your consideration too.
Using an all-in-one SEO tool is the best way to get good visibility on your competitors’ activity. These tools can provide you with a list of the keywords your top 100 rival companies are bidding on and the ads that are appearing for them. Like all data, make sure it’s relevant before putting it to use.
If the tool you’ve selected has a section dedicated to ad examples then take a look at this too. The keywords will be presented in clusters making them ready-to-use on a variety of landing pages that will help to boost results.
Put your PPC keywords to use in your SEO campaign
Once you have your keyword list from analyzing PPC reports, you can use it in several ways beyond simply optimizing new pages. It’s worth comparing it to older pages and seeing if you can improve them, then come up with a tangible idea of the difference it made.
By now you should no longer be thinking of SEO vs PPC, but two separate things that can have a symbiotic relationship. When deployed together, they have the power to give you the edge over your competitors and help you win traffic in both the short term and the long term.