Google isn’t done with their algorithm updates just yet. And the way things are going, it certainly looks like they won’t be done trying to perfect their search results pages anytime soon.
The good thing about this is that it also keeps us on our toes. It keeps us from being complacent. It keeps us from resting on our laurels and doing the same old things over and over again. It keeps things fresh in the online world.
One of the things digital marketers have come to realize in light of the constant Google updates is this:
The era where you had to choose between PPC and SEO is gone. These days, instead of asking whether you should focus on SEO or PPC, you should be asking: “How does pay per click work with SEO?” Read on as we show you how you can effectively connect with a more targeted audience, meet the demands of the current search landscape, and improve your overall online performance through PPC.
Get Top Rankings, Maximize Traffic, and Improve Conversion Rates by Combining SEO with PPC
The Organic Search Team of a Fortune 500 company once combined their SEO and PPC strategies as part of their efforts to align their campaigns with consumer behavior and optimize conversion. As a result of their “experiment” they succeeded in identifying a whole range of critical data points that had to do not only with consumer behavior, but also their locations and intentions.
The precise data points gathered allowed the team to accomplish the following:
- Adjust their PPC budget such that they only run ads within the most effective time frames and for the most popular markets; considerable money saved, indeed!
- Maximize brand awareness and conversions by aligning their PPC ads with offline marketing efforts.
- Modify their keyword strategy by using the exact words and phrases used by the audience in a specific location, thereby aligning with the audience’s intentions.
And the result of these new strategies?
- A 25% increase in paid clicks
- A 35% savings in ad spending
- A 30% increase in organic traffic
- A 20% increase in quarterly profits!
Would you like to enjoy the same kind of benefits? Of course you would!
Before you start combining your SEO and PPC strategies, remember that this move will only be effective if you do it right. And doing it right involves making sure you do not commit the common mistakes those who delve into PPC often find themselves guilty of.
1. Save yourself from irrelevant traffic by letting go of the broad match.
Remember how that Fortune 500 company earned all those benefits by integrating PPC into their SEO strategy? One of the things they did was adjust their keyword strategy, right? And the adjustment they made resulted in more targeted matches.
They realized—and so should you—that it is important to gather as much information about your target audience as possible so you can create the most appropriate ads and content. This is why you should stay away from broad match.
Broad match not only brings irrelevant traffic to your site (thereby wasting your effort and investment), but also puts you at risk of turning off potential customers when they inadvertently end up on the wrong landing page. Instead of broad match, use phrase match for a more targeted approach.
2. Maximize your potential by using the audience correctly.
It’s not enough to build a solid audience base for your website and your brand; you have to learn how to use that audience to your advantage. After all, what is PPC if not an effective way of getting your audience to take the action you want them to take? But it is in the use of their audience that website owners often make a mistake. Be very careful of the following:
When you set your customer match list target, you’ll typically be asked to choose between “Target and bid” and “Bid only”. If your plan is to limit the exposure of the ads in a particular group or bid on terms that are generally too expensive for you, then “Target and bid” would be the better option. However, if your plan is to adjust bids for previous visitors based on performance, then “Bid only” would be the option for you.
Okay, general rule: If you are creating a remarketing list, you will need 100 users for GDN activity and 1,000 for search. Beyond that, the size of your lists is up to you.
This is where you have to be careful. Many people end up with lists that are too small to use in search campaigns. Take your cue from the volume of traffic you see on your site, and carefully weigh whether a certain list size makes sense in light of what you’re trying to achieve or not.
In paid search, you will most definitely need to create ad groups; you will also need to make lists for specific types of people you want to target for every ad group. To make your paid search data useful, you’ll have to make sure a particular type of user is targeted by just one ad group. Therefore, if you have two ad groups and one is broader than the other, you should always remember to exclude the more granular list from the broader list.
Example: You have an ad group targeting visitors from the last three days. You also have an ad group targeting visitors from the last 30 days. The “last three days” list should be excluded from the “last 30 days” list.
3. Make the most of your profits by sticking to your budget.
Again, we go back to that Fortune 500 company in the earlier example. After their SEO-PPC integration, they determined what the most effective time frames were and identified the most popular markets, and then ran ads only within those time frames and markets, right?
This not only helped them ensure that they were always within their budget, but also allowed them to save a considerable amount of money in the long run! Similarly, you should find ways to make sure that you never go over your SEO and PPC budget.
Believe me, it can be easy to go over budget; you may not even be aware that you’re overspending until it’s too late. So be sure to plan your spending carefully and monitor it regularly.
Maximize Your ROI by Creating Irresistible PPC Ads
Notice how ads and organic listings are now all in one column on Google’s search results pages?
This has made the battle for clicks a lot more heated than ever before. When you decide to invest in PPC, you have to make sure your ads win the battle. How? The best way is to target your audience’s emotions.
Think about it. What is pay per click? It is a way of bringing people to the landing pages you want them to take notice of and getting them to take the action you want them to take, right? The best way for you to do that is to appeal to their emotions.
Although people try to be rational at all times, especially when making decisions, rationality is often extremely difficult to achieve. We are, by nature, emotional. And we are faced with so many decisions each day that it is quite impossible to carefully weigh every single one of them.
This is why we typically end up sifting through the decisions we have to make and using rational thought only on the ones we deem of utmost importance. Where the other decisions are concerned, we often use our emotions. We choose that which we feel an attachment to. We choose that which “speaks” to us. We choose that which we feel most comfortable with.
So, how do you use emotions to your advantage when creating PPC ads?
Simple. Focus on adjectives.
Adjectives can be very powerful when it comes to prompting emotion. Consider this:
“Ella’s stepmother told her to wash the clothes.”
“Ella’s wicked stepmother told her to wash the clothes.”
Reading the first statement, we simply get a mental picture of a stepdaughter being told to wash some clothes. However, when we read the second statement—where the adjective “wicked” was added—we suddenly get a mental picture of poor Ella being abused by her stepmother, right?
That is how you can maximize the potential of your ad copy. Make sure your adjectives are as vivid as you can make them. Engage your audience’s senses with your adjectives (flavorful dishes, porcelain-smooth skin, aromatic flowers, etc.). Where they can be applied, use nostalgic terms like “rustic” and “old-school.” Be specific and use branded adjectives wherever applicable (Martha Stewart-style cakes, full-bodied Italian wine).
Now, here’s the good news:
Most PPC ads that currently show up on search results are purely informational. They do not use imagery or emotions at all!
This is your chance to set yourself apart from the competition! Be the first to use emotion in your PPC ads and win the battle for clicks!
Get your SEO and PPC teams working together on your next campaign, make sure they steer clear of the common PPC mistakes, and have them inject emotion into those ads. It won’t be long before you start enjoying the same kind of benefits that Fortune 500 company currently enjoys. By transforming your separate online marketing strategies into a single formidable campaign, you can easily dominate the SERPs and improve your overall online performance.