How to Use PPC to Boost Your SEO | Mann & Co. Inc.

How to Use PPC to Boost Your SEO

How To Use PPC To Boost Your SEOYou’re looking to make your site more discoverable through search.

The only problem is that SEO takes time. It doesn’t take effect overnight. You might have great content and a fast loading site already, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to see your traffic skyrocket instantaneously. It may be months before you see any changes to your rankings.

You’d like to drive more targeted visitors to your website and close more sales now, but you’re having some trouble getting to that point. You’re waiting for the search engines to crawl and index your site and hopefully rank it strategically. But there are no guarantees.

You may be surprised to know that PPC campaigns can enhance your efforts to drive results from search. The two, in fact, complement each other quite nicely.

Whether you’re waiting to see your SEO work pay off, or you’d just like to give it a little boost, here are some tips on how to use PPC to boost your SEO.

Advertise & Appear at the Top of Search Engine Results

If you can climb your way to the top of search engine results with a chosen keyword, you’re doing better than most. And while this should drive considerable traffic to your website, your listing probably still isn’t the first result people are seeing.

Why? Because of PPC ads. The top results on most SERPs (search engine results pages) are ads and not organic listings. If it’s a keyword that drives profit, you can guess with some accuracy that others have paid to appear higher in search results.

So, it’s safe to say you can increase your visibility by running PPC ads of your own. You could snag both the top ad result as well as the top organic result if you wanted to. But a better way to approach this might be to buy ads for keywords you aren’t ranking for yet, as opposed to ones you are.

This isn’t to suggest you should give up on organic ranking entirely – quite the opposite, in fact. What you should do is use both PPC and SEO to rank for the most important keywords in your market. This can help drive more targeted traffic to your site from more sources.

Get Your Content out to Influencers

Your SEO ranking mostly depends on the quality of content you’ve created, as well as how many links there are pointing to it. Link building should be a part of every digital marketer’s strategy because even great content can go unnoticed if you aren’t building awareness for it.

When promoting content, marketers mostly tend to think about how to get it in front of potential buyers. This approach is not a mistake, but there are other ways to use your PPC campaigns to drive SEO results. For instance, you could market your content to a chosen group of industry influencers and bloggers.

After all, who is more likely to reference and share your content than people you know, other marketers and bloggers, other industry people, and so on? Since it is possible to be hyper-targeted with your PPC ads, why not spend part of your marketing budget on industry outreach? If you can get more mentions and links; as a result, it’s money well-spent.

Don’t Wait to Find out – Test Your Content in Advance

You can spend a lot of time and energy developing content, optimizing, and building links to it. This is not a bad thing since it’s a necessary process for you to rank for your chosen keywords in search.

But that’s when the waiting game starts. You won’t know exactly what the results of your effort will be until later. It may be months before the fruits of your labor manifest. And, when it finally does, will it live up to your expectations?

Why play the waiting game when you can find out how your content will perform in advance?

By running PPC ads to chosen content pieces, you can gauge how your audience responds to it, and determine whether it’s every bit as effective as you thought it would be.

By tracking visitor behaviors, you can get a good idea of how your content will perform organically as well. For instance, if your PPC visitors bounce off your page, or if they don’t get through the entire content piece before leaving, or if they aren’t engaged, you can guess that’s roughly how organic visitors are going to behave as well.

So, perhaps you could make a few tweaks to the content before it starts ranking in search. That way, you’ll be better prepared for when you’re looking to increase your ranking. You can fine-tune your content to increase clicks, visitors, and engagement, which will boost your ranking too.

Gather More Data & Use It to Improve Your Strategy

When you use both SEO and PPC to drive traffic to your website, you end up getting more data to analyze and work with. This is good because the more data you have, the better able you are to make the right decisions about your strategy.

After all, it’s important to get as much leverage as you possibly can from everything you’re doing. By analyzing both SEO and PPC results, you can better determine what worked and what didn’t. You can optimize your marketing.

You could also test different keywords with your PPC campaigns to ascertain which drove the highest conversion rate. In this manner, you can optimize your conversion rate and drive better results from your website content. You can select keywords more strategically and build content around them.

Testing different ad copy is also a worthwhile exercise because it gives you a better idea of what people click on. So, when you’ve optimized your ad copy, and you’re happy with it, you should also incorporate it into your content, so it helps drive more clicks and visits.

Home in on Who Your Target Audience Is & Learn More About Them

The quality of content you create is often determined by the quality of information you have about your audience. Creating with someone specific in mind helps you craft better content. You may know quite a bit about your target audience already. You may have even identified and built a few customer profiles based on who you know your customers to be.

But PPC campaigns can be used to dig even deeper into your target audience, which can reveal more details you may not have known about them. For instance, you could put together an ad for 34-year-old males residing in Chicago who’ve identified guitar and sportscars as some of their interests.

These types of ads can help you learn small but important details about your audience, which you can then incorporate into your content. Your content can only benefit from these types of insights.

An ad like this may not help you drive sales, but it can provide you with the information you need to make your content and ads that much more effective.

Retarget & Reengage Past Visitors

Every day, you have people coming to your website. Sadly, plenty of people leave without buying anything, subscribing to your email list, or engaging with your content. Many leave and never return. This is the challenging reality of search engine optimization. Though you’ve poured your heart and soul into your content, some of your visitors will leave without taking anything away from it.

It’s impossible to retarget past visitors with SEO, but it is possible with PPC. No matter how they’ve interacted with your business online (a blog post, email, social media, etc.), there’s a way to get their attention once more by using retargeting ads. These visitors may not have been ready to buy when they first discovered you, but you never know how things could have changed since they last visited your site. Maybe they’re ready now.

Retargeting gives you an opportunity to get people back to your website. And, instead of sending them to a blog post they may have abandoned halfway through, you could direct them to a landing page, complete with a special offer they can claim.

Final Thoughts

The critical thing to remember is that SEO and PPC don’t have to be treated as entirely separate strategies. They can be used together to achieve meaningful results, and if you have an advertising budget, there’s no reason not to leverage both. Your SEO campaigns can benefit your PPC campaigns and vice versa.

Think strategically about how the two connect. Consider where your weaknesses are and determine how you can use both to uncover meaningful data. Are you searching for keywords that convert? Are you looking to uncover more details about your target audience? Do you want to test out your best content and find out how it performs? Are you interested in building links and boosting the rank of specific content pieces? Build your campaigns around your biggest questions.

Are you using both SEO and PPC to drive visitors to your website? How are you using them together to achieve meaningful marketing results?

Let us know in the comments below.