If you’re looking to increase your business’s visibility and discoverability online, you’ve probably considered search engine optimization (SEO) and paid media advertising as your key tools. Often, these two techniques find themselves separated and operating independently of each other. But there are so many ways these two channels can support and inform each other as part of a larger integrated marketing program.
Today, I’d like to share three of the most straightforward benefits of breaking down the barrier between paid media and SEO.
From a purely SEO perspective, ensuring that your target keywords are included in the title tag and meta description should be enough, but just because your page shows up well in search results doesn’t mean people will click through to it. To get a good click-through rate, you also need to describe the attributes of your page that your audience cares about most in your title tag and meta description.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell what language or product features will resonate with people the most, especially if you’re comparing two keywords or phrases that have the same meaning or the same average monthly search volume. For example, keywords like “business travel program” and “corporate travel program” have similar average search volumes, but one of them might be used more often or perform better with your target audience. You can use paid campaigns to find out if that’s the case. Or you might want to know if highlighting one aspect of your product over another leads to more conversions. You can use paid campaigns to test this as well.
Running paid campaigns for your top organic landing pages gives you a unique opportunity to test different messaging using your ad headlines and descriptions. Then the best-performing copy can be used as the title tag and meta description on corresponding site pages. Additionally, knowing which of your product’s attributes people care about the most means that you can feature those more prominently on your landing page and on your site overall.
Placement at the top of search engine results is important for SEO and paid search ads. Applying SEO best practices to the pages that you drive paid traffic to can help improve Quality Scores for your keywords and help your pages rank better organically at the same time.
Key SEO principles—like creating unique landing pages to target separate topics, performing keyword research, including target keywords and close variants on your pages, and ensuring your pages are engaging and cover each topic thoroughly—will also lead to higher Quality Scores.
SEO keyword research tools like Moz Keyword Explorer or QuestionDB are great for identifying long-tail variations of different keywords and commonly asked questions that you can use on your landing pages, making them more useful and more likely to convert visitors. So try applying basic SEO principles to some of the landing pages you’re driving paid traffic to. This can result in higher Quality Scores, higher placements, and reduced costs for your paid campaigns.
You can use observations from Google Ads in-market audience campaigns and demographic reports to help you gain insights about who your most valuable customers are. Analyzing your most profitable audiences and demographics in Google Ads can also help you identify new user groups who are interested in your product or service.
See how your ads perform among users in different audiences without adjusting targeting or bids. For example, if you own a campground and your goal is for people to book reservations, you could use the audience report in Google Ads to see that your ads perform particularly well with people who’ve recently purchased camping gear. You might also discover that people who’ve just purchased fishing gear convert well too, since your campground is near a lake. So use this information to your advantage. Add content to your website about how amazing the fishing is at the lake near your campground—and consider creating a new ad campaign around that too. This could help your site rank better for people searching for campsites with fishing, as well as help with your paid media goal of getting more people to make reservations.
Starting with these three tips, you can improve both your organic presence and paid media efficiency. As you do, you’ll likely discover that these are just a few of the ways conducting SEO and paid media strategy side by side can give you a more holistic view of your site’s performance, and unearth additional opportunities to increase your organic rankings, resonate with your audience, and drive more sales and leads for your business across both channels.