We recently shared part one of our series about ‘How SEO & PPC can work in harmony for search success’.
This article discusses how being agile and reactive with your PPC and SEO activity can have a huge impact on your lead generation through search.
We all know that SEO takes longer than paid search to see results, and that is why it’s essential to have experts handling both sides of your search in harmony. Then you can be confident that they’re reacting in the most effective way in our ever changing landscape.
Scenario one: How paid media can support if your organic leads have declined
We’ll be sharing further advice in our next article about why your organic leads might have declined, but firstly let’s discuss how PPC can help during the recovery period whilst your SEO expert is resolving any issues.
Developing your strategy to adjust to the ever changing search demand
The first thing to do is find answers to the following questions (and more!):
- What are the keywords where the rankings have dropped?
- If you are currently bidding on these keywords, what results are you seeing?
- What is the competitive landscape doing?
- Is there search volume which is worth chasing / worrying about?
“In certain instances, keywords could be generating such low volume that it might not be worth the support from paid search. Your experts will be able to review this, as well as assess what the current cost is if they are very high cost-per-click (CPC) terms.”
Once the opportunities are assessed you can REACT accordingly to maximise the effectiveness of your paid search campaigns
- Expand out existing activity
- Educate your target audience – there’s no point going into a hard sell when people are either disinterested, or you are hitting them at the wrong time
- Create automated bidding strategies – apply the correct bid strategies to align with your goals and let the algorithm do the hard work
- Consolidate, both in terms of your plan with SEO, but then focus on PPC to consolidate your account structure to make scalability manageable
- Think about your audience: the most suitable channels to use, and also take a moment to reflect on your own use when searching. A large part of PPC strategy is trying to think before the user to give the prompts to guide them on your desired customer journey
It's vital to keep a keen eye on what your competitors are doing. If your competition has ramped up their activity, it could be driving costs up, which is something to be aware of when making decisions about where to spend your budget to support SEO recovery.
And the key point to remember with PPC activity and spend is that you can turn it off and on quickly. So if your paid strategy is just a temporary fix to ‘plug the gaps’ in your lead generation, once organic rankings are restored, you can pause or stop the activity.
The essential advice here is that your budget should be agile and reactive, and when something happens organically, you may decide to adapt your PPC budgets accordingly.
By working together, the SEO task will be recovering your search presence through organic, whilst your PPC campaigns will ensure that your leads are not suffering. By working together they will gradually balance your spend in the right direction as you see rankings start to recover.
Scenario two: When to ‘turn down’ your PPC spend on certain keywords
This article certainly isn’t about which channel works better, PPC or SEO; but to offer guidance about how to balance them in the most effective way. You should always consider both channels in your digital marketing strategy, working hand in hand for maximum results.
We already know that with SEO and organic content there is always a time delay between actions carried out and the results in the landscape.
Especially in the current climate, there are particular industries who would benefit from focusing their efforts right now on their organic search. An example would be the overseas travel industry, to lay the foundations for the future.
Companies might not be seeing bookings right now as there is still a huge lack of consumer confidence. But by reviewing content, keywords and search terms, these businesses will be in a stronger position when the world opens up again, and now is the time to speculate to accumulate. We're acutely aware that people want to travel, and they would love to make a booking but it's the current climate which may be holding them back; so it’s essential to monitor trends. Keep your eye on what search terms are rising or regularly occurring, and capture as much data as possible from those that do click to visit your site.
If you are a company offering hotel stays in France for example, focus on your SEO right now to build your rankings for when people are ready to convert, and if budgets are tight turn down your PPC as you're unlikely to get a strong ROI if people aren't booking.
From an SEO point of view you can analyse, review, and seek recommendations about where to direct your search efforts, time and spend. There are lots of tools to aid with this investigation including Semrush, Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, Majestic SEO, and obviously Google Analytics.
“From a SEO perspective, during the build up to high search demand, this is when you should be increasing the intensity of your SEO campaigns. SEO does take longer to take effect than PPC. We need to lay the foundations, but not expect instant results.“
How your PPC activity will help your SEO activity
- SEO can analyse and review whether the effort and cost to get search terms ranking in good positions is unviable (and would cost too much vs. the reward received)
- By working together, PPC will support SEO, getting your organic listings higher as CTRs improve with recognition of your website
- You should also monitor your trend data from both channels to build a well-rounded picture about what is working in the best way, and the most effective plans for both the short and long term
Really, the information needs to work both ways.
If you understand the need to be agile and reactive, but don't know how, we're here to help you evolve your digital marketing strategy
Key points to being agile and reactive
Follow the search trends:
Lay SEO foundations during build up - SEO can be time consuming and have less of an immediate impact. Use search forecasting and focus on areas that are going to see a rise in search demand in the next 1 – 3 months to be prepared.
Look at the niche / longtail - Dominate a specific area by providing content / ad campaigns for every type of niche / longtail search. The more specific a user is with their search, the more likely they are to convert.
Boost PPC during high search demand - Once the period of high search demand begins, organic rankings should be covered and so switching on PPC will double your visibility and chances of converting.
Be agile - As we have seen during the pandemic, search behaviour can change quickly. Be ready and agile enough to switch campaigns / target areas as you see search trends change and evolve.
David and Tom shared a vast amount of free advice in this video, so why not watch and see how you can ensure your SEO and PPC are working to the maximum effect.