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How a PPC Campaign Can Help Improve Your SEO Efforts

If you are like most business owners you probably launched your website without too much initial thought to SEO. You simply wrote some product descriptions, described your company and your vision then sat back and waited for your orders to roll in. Fast forward to today when you know that SEO is the only way to rank well, yet this may require re-writing a large portion of your website content. But where should you focus your SEO efforts? Perhaps you’ve already brainstormed a list of valid keywords, but which ones will be the 20% that generates 80% of the sales? Wouldn’t it be nice to have some valid data now, instead of having to wait through months of SEO effort (and money spent)? The good news is that PPC may be the crystal ball you are looking for. A well planned Pay per Click (PPC) campaign can yield all the data you need, with the side benefit of generating immediate sales. Although SEO and PPC are generally considered almost diametrically opposed philosophies, they actually have more in common than you might think. For starters, the primary goal of both is to get the most relevant customers to your web site, they just go about it in different ways. One great advantage PPC has is the ability to generate instant traffic. A second advantage which PPC has that matches it up nicely with SEO is relevancy. PPC requires as much relevancy between a keyword and a landing page as SEO does. The Google and Bing algorithms for ad position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) on PPC campaigns is actually as exacting and demanding as the SEO equivalent and requires a high degree of relevancy. Relevancy in PPC is measured with something called a Quality Score, which helps to determine your eventual click costs as well as positioning (a great topic for another article). Suffice it to say that relevancy in PPC works sufficiently close to relevancy in SEO to make PPC analytical data useful in SEO efforts. But how do you capture and leverage that data? Capturing the data is the easy part and it requires a step which you’ve probably already taken, which is installing analytics software on your website. Specifically, Google Analytics is not only the de facto industry standard, it is also free. Analytics data can help you identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are the sets of data which are truly indicative of your website performance. Examples of KPIs for most ecommerce sites include:
  • Number of conversions
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Avg. site visit time
  • Number of pages viewed per visit
  • Number of visitors
Before you begin your PPC campaign you should set baselines for your KPIs in order to accurately measure performance gains or losses. The second step is to set up a PPC campaign utilizing what you believe to be the most relevant keywords for your various products and services. Your keywords must be properly grouped by relevance into Ad Groups and of course each Ad Group will in turn have associated ads and unique relevant landing pages. Your campaign must run for a statistically significant period before you come to any conclusions. The third step is to analyze your data and look for trends. You will see which keywords are generating conversions, which ones are generating longer visits and which ones are not generating any traffic at all. With this objective data at hand you’ll now have enough information to determine how best to optimize your website for SEO purposes. You’ll have learned which are your most profitable keywords and therefore where you should focus your SEO efforts. You’ll also learn to see relationships between visitor queries, keywords and landing pages. And you may even be so impressed with the results of your PPC campaign, that you’ll keep it running indefinitely. To learn more about PPC, SEO and website optimization contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help you develop a PPC / SEO strategy to help you find the most profitable keywords for your ecommerce site. Contact us here.

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Austin Coulson

Web Design and Internet Marketing have been passions of Austin’s for many years. While starting out by creating websites for himself, Austin ascertained many of the fundamentals and theory that constitute professional website development. Through networking and word-of-mouth, Austin soon began building and marketing websites for many different businesses and industries.

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