How to Combine SEO and PPC Marketing

Many marketers don’t think to bring their search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) efforts together to boost visibility, wondering why they would want to bother bidding on branded terms when those terms occupy the top spots in Google SERPs. The truth is that if you’re not bidding on these terms, competitors can easily swoop in and bid on them for extremely inexpensive cost-per-clicks (CPCs).

On top of truly owning all branded keywords, combining both SEO and PPC can supercharge your marketing strategies in several other ways. Joining SEO and PPC forces can give you full control over your brand’s narrative and help you dominate in search engine results for those keywords that drive the most revenue. Here are some of the ways you can bring both channels together.

Combine keyword data

You can fully expand your keyword strategy by sharing PPC and SEO keywords, as these variables define how users connect with search engines.

Comprehensive keyword strategies can maximize the effectiveness of your SEO and PPC campaigns in several ways. For instance, you might have a difficult time finding good long-tail keywords in PPC, but you can find many opportunities for SEO as you develop content targeting these terms without any loss in PPC traffic. Conversely, you might have a hard time ranking for some competitive non-branded terms with SEO, but these are likely worth covering via PPC.

Sharing keyword data between both channels will allow you to maximize coverage and stay ahead of the competition for short- and long-tail keywords, whether branded or non-branded. Keep in mind that these campaigns often consist of two different teams, so it’s important to ensure that they’re effectively communicating and collaborating to synergize.

You can coordinate keyword strategies for SEO and PPC by:

  • Developing a non-branded and branded keyword strategy that works in a single digital strategy.
  • Come up with and share goals for return on investment (ROI), conversion ratio (CVR), and click-through rate (CTR) across PPC and SEO strategies.
  • Incorporate the data in benchmarks and other strategies.
  • Communicate rankings, content and messaging, primary and secondary terms, and competitive insights between strategies.
  • Consider localization and seasonality.

Take full advantage of SEO

PPC can be effective when it comes to increasing visibility and traffic, but SEO is one of the best ways to control your brand story and maximize engagement.

While a company might want to invest in PPC with the misconception that SEO isn’t necessarily as important, your business could suffer if you underestimate the power of SEO. According to Search Engine Journal and Borrell Associates, agencies and brands are predicted to spend up to $79.27 billion on SEO by 2020, and that number is only going to increase over time.

Unlike SEO, you have to maintain focus on your competitors and affiliates to see what they’re doing. With SEO, you’re in total control over your brand narrative and optimization for your content based on what works.

Use data visualization to tell a story

One of the best ways to help people understand your brand message and story is to take advantage of data visualization. If you want to earn the full support of everyone involved with your organization, you can do so by telling an engaging story with your data. You’ll also be able to more accurately see how your budget is being used and make better budgeting decisions as your campaigns progress to maximize ROI.

Here are a few ways to develop an engaging story using data visualization:

  • Look at data as a story with a defined beginning, middle, and end.
  • Understand your audience and the type of story they’d appreciate based on your insights.
  • Maintain total transparency as you detail your methodology, cite all sources, and reveal how you pulled the data to allow for easy replication.
  • Imbue your story with a personal style using a metaphor, quote, or another touch that’s uniquely yours.
  • Keep your story visually engaging.
  • Make sure it’s easy to understand–don’t say more than you need to.
  • Conclude your story with a glimpse into the future of things to come.

Don’t underestimate quality score

In PPC, one of the most important metrics to take a look at is Quality Score. The higher this score is, the more Google will perceive your ads as useful. The benefits of a high Quality Score include the ability to decrease both CPCs and Cost Per Conversion.

You can improve your Quality Score in a number of ways, including:

  • Doing good keyword research to find the best relevant keywords to optimize and bid for, including long-tail terms that are likely to convert.
  • Analyzing external and internal keyword gaps, including all variations and misspellings of certain terms that you might be missing.
  • Organizing keywords into groups that allow you to integrate them into both SEO and PPC campaigns.
  • Apply an account structure that’s similar for PPC and SEO tools.
  • Adjust your PPC ad content for improved targeting toward individual ad groups, which can improve CTRs and, subsequently, your Quality Score.
  • Optimize your SEO landing pages by creating ones that connect directly with ad groups, providing users with a wholly cohesive experience with your brand from attraction to sales.
  • Exclude all irrelevant keywords that are a waste of money.

Make sure your message is consistent and cohesive

If you want to maintain a strong brand story that keeps your customers loyal and encourages more conversions, you need to provide them with a cohesive message across all of your marketing strategies.

You can use consistent messaging for your SEO and PPC campaigns by taking a couple of steps. The first step is to review your ad copy to make sure the target keyword appears in both the text and display URL, and today’s ad text space allows plenty of room to try different variations. Once you’ve optimized your ad copy, assess your landing pages to ensure that they’re highly relevant to both copy and keywords, which will boost your Quality Score. Make sure the messaging in the meta description is similar to your ad copy.

With a cohesive message throughout your campaigns, you can carry prospects along the buyer’s journey more effectively, increasing their trust and encouraging more brand loyalty. The more your customers and search engines trust your brand, the more you’ll improve your ROI across all marketing channels.

Monitor affiliates

Affiliate abuse can be detrimental to your company and is often difficult to detect. It can be next to impossible to manually monitor all affiliate activity. More savvy affiliates can appear in PPC ads or organic listings, and they are encouraged to drop cookies and get clicks.

Ad hijacking, direct linking, URL linking, and brand poaching are some of the industry terms you might hear in relation to affiliate abuse and poaching of traffic. These affiliate hijackers could easily place ads and hide referrals using redirect URLs, in turn receiving unearned commissions without ever being found.

However, the right tools can help you automate the affiliate monitoring process and avoid these issues. A good tool will provide reliable paid monitoring and bring competitors to your attention who are ranking for brand terms. If you take steps to monitor affiliates, you can better address abuse and prevent these instances from hurting your campaigns.

Get the most from your campaigns with SEO and PPC together

To boost your brand’s performance and gain complete keyword coverage, combining SEO and PPC can prove invaluable. Taking all of the benefits into account, you can supercharge your campaigns with both channels together and maximize engagement and conversions. At the same time, you can keep all of your campaigns consistent to align with your brand message and goals.

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