Published: 11 April 2018 In today's busy world of marketing, it's hard to know which channel to use at the what time to achieve maximum benefit. It can often be tempting to maybe just try one, say PPC for example but all too often than not, this approach doesn't work or achieve the sales, ROI or outcomes that the brand is looking to achieve. Great marketing comes from a joined-up approach, ensuring that whilst you have active PPC campaigns, for example, your SEO is well constructed and managed, to ensure that high organic rankings are achieved.

In this piece, I’ll be discussing why business’ should follow a joined-up marketing approach to SEO and PPC for optimum results. It’s important to bear in mind that in order to have a successful marketing strategy all your marketing efforts should be joined up from PR and content writing to CRO and your website content.

Sagittarius’ Account Manager, Kier Humphreys, will also be providing his expert opinion on different elements of the following areas for a deeper analysis of this approach in action.

Why SEO and PPC should not be used in silos

Keywords are the foundation of any brand’s PPC or SEO strategy. However, in many instances, these teams work in silos meaning they’re not sharing critical information with one another and therefore are unlikely to gain the unique insight around customer behaviour required to execute successful online campaigns.

Campaigns that utilise joined up data from SEO and PPC campaigns help brands to achieve prime listing positions, maximise traffic and increase conversion rates. A combined strategy enables these teams to identify critical data points that link to user behaviour.

Feeding your PPC & SEO strategy into CRO. If people are landing on your page from an ad, how long are they staying on your website? Are they converting? If not, why not? What are they not getting that your ad suggested they would.

“It’s really common to find companies that are using two completely separate teams or agencies that don’t talk to each other to carry out their PPC and SEO work. The major issue to bear in mind here is that each team has their own research and data from their campaigns and that without joining these results up you’ll never be able to optimise your overall strategy.

“The best method I’ve found is to have one overarching person that has the ‘vision’ overseeing SEO and PPC channels - whether that’s internally or multiple agencies, these channels are led by experts in their field but feeding back into the top where the strategy can be managed.” - Kier, Digital Account Manager

The benefits of using a joined-up digital marketing approach:

Better visibility

A combined PPC and SEO approach can add brand exposure to search engine results (SERPs) allowing you to hold a strong paid and organic position. Understanding your site’s rank profile through SEO gives your PPC campaign the chance to ensure a presence on highly competitive organic keywords. Through PPC and SEO working together, a brand can stay front of mind across a range of queries from top of the funnel to longer tail purchase intent queries.

A Google study concluded that when brands show up as the first organic result and in the top paid results for a keyword they are 50% more likely to receive clicks and conversions on the organic result than if the paid advert was not present.

Optimised campaigns

Both PPC and SEO teams do initial research into their best performing keywords and by sharing this data across teams business are able to analyse two sets of correlating results enabling them to compare and contrast keywords and determine which have the highest rate of conversion, allowing them to optimise the overall strategy.

It’s vital though to understand that not all data is interchangeable - for example, the AdWords Keyword Tool is incredibly useful when looking at search volumes and to understand how competitive a keyword auction is. However, that data cannot then be taken as gospel for organic rankings. This is why teams need to work together, to share data and wisdom.

Improved organic ranking

PPC campaign results tell us which ad copy is performing best according to engagement. These learnings can be used to inform a meta-strategy, utilising language from the best performing PPC ads to understand what delivers engagement for users. This can then be used to help inform an on-page strategy, feeding into optimisation of title tags, meta descriptions and content for pages that should rank organically.

Informed PPC strategies

A successful PPC campaign relies on the use of keywords that are being used by prospects or customers to search for your product/service. On-site search enables brands to understand what users can’t find within their navigation, or don’t want to spend the time searching the site for. This delivers an extra dimension for PPC campaign planning which, alongside competition audits, and search console data, provides insight that a siloed PPC campaign often misses.

Combat negative PR

PPC and SEO strategies can be used as damage control by targeting key terms that might be being used negatively against your brand to help guide the conversation back to a positive direction. In this instance you would want the searcher to be directed to a piece of content that battles the negative key term with a conversation that resolves or puts a positive handle or spin on the topic. Equally, by utilising organic and paid strategies, a page of negative content can be replaced by a strong page of business-led content.

“Tackling PPC and SEO together means you’ll have the combined wisdom from their data to understand what people find engaging, which ads they click on and why/what they are searching for.

"PPC can impact the path people take to convert and its data can help you determine the strongest content to drive visitors down the funnel. Adding data from your SEO efforts will allow you to understand the wider landscape and top-of-funnel opportunities, as well as emerging trends in the sector. Both, when used together, allow you to guide the conversation and create a smoother path to conversion.

“Before you commit to any agency (or internal team) we suggest looking for a commercially focused team that can deliver results, hit KPIs and improve ROI, not just increase click-through rates. And, if they talk to each other, even better!” - Kier

The most important thing to remember is that there needs to be one central point of contact that manages the overall strategy and keeps everyone else on track both internally and externally so that you can break down the results and translate this into meaningful insights and reports.

If you enjoyed the content of this piece and are looking to refine your SEO and PPC strategies get in touch with one of our digital experts today and find out how we can help you improve conversions and drive ROI!

Sarah Dennis

Head of Marketing & Communications

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