Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) often end up in silos.
This leads to friction between teams, attribution questions, and often self-sabotaging strategies to get in the way of scalable gains.
I love this question that seeks to build PPC empathy and collaborate on SEO initiatives. Barouyr in Yerevan, Armenia asks:
“If someone knows SEO and marketing in general (customer personas, target marketing) and has a very basic understanding of PPC, where should they start to understand how to build a PPC campaign for their business?”
This post addresses concepts where SEO/PPC align and can empower each other and makes recommendations for further exploration.
Keyword Theory: Active Targets Vs. Passive Targets
Keyword research, management, and strategy are part of SEO and PPC.
However, the associated tasks and the criteria for choosing a keyword are slightly different.
One of the biggest differences is that PPCs must account for close variants rather than perfect syntax.
You won’t need to bid on everything, as close variants detect slight variations in keywords as well as implied terms.
For example, bidding on the keyword phrase “balanced dog trainers near me” would return the following terms across all match types:
On PPC, advertisers care about:
Keeping these questions in mind in your keyword research will help translate work into paying efforts.
Deciding what to actively target vs. allowing passive targeting through close variants will come down to cost, competitiveness, and search volume.
Read more about keyword theory here.
Dynamic Search Ads: Benefit From Your Well-Optimized Site
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) are a PPC staple: they rely on Google/Microsoft to crawl your site to generate ad titles and the best landing page based on the search term.
If the advertising algorithm is able to correctly understand the content, you know that you have done a good job with the SEO of the site.
If you’re having trouble finding the right categories, you may need to adjust your tagging and site structure.
Leveraging DSA can be a great way to get started with PPC because:
DSA can be set up as a standalone campaign or added to existing campaigns.
It’s important to note that Google Ads allows mixed campaigns, while Microsoft does not.
If you end up importing your campaigns from Google to Microsoft, be sure to opt out of having DSA separate from the campaign.
Take a deeper dive into dynamic search ads here.
Conversion Tracking: Understanding ROI From A Single Source Of Truth
Conversion tracking shows you which parts of your campaign are delivering value and which are falling short.
Google Analytics is useful for tracking conversions across disciplines.
As an SEO expert, you’re probably used to using Analytics goals and events.
Advertisers have a choice: they can use Ads Platform Conversion Tracking (which is a separate code) or import from Google Analytics.
You’ll want to use Google Analytics in most cases because:
Using Google Analytics also helps with attribution.
Advertising platforms have moved away from concrete and last click conversions.
By leveraging analytics attribution models, you can use the same source of information for everyone and embed conversion models in all reports.
Landing Page Theory: Guide The User To Profit Without Sabotaging SEO
The hardest change in strategic thinking will be landing pages.
In SEO, the content should be rich and the navigation bars help technical SEO gains.
In PPC, content should focus on only the most crucial ideas with the least opportunity for the user to do more than convert.
One of the best ways to handle this is to direct PPC traffic to the subdomain.
This will allow you to comply with the PPC rules of engagement without compromising your SEO.
Cumulative Layout Change (CLS) also affects PPC (it can negatively hurt Quality Score), so on the CRO page you should still wait at least five (ideally eight or more) seconds before activating.
Most SEO strategies pave the way for PPC empathy and you don’t need to start over.
Just keep in mind that ideally you want to separate landing page experiences and use a single source of information for conversions and reporting.
Have a question about PPC? Submit through this form or tweet me @navahf with the hashtag #AskPPC. See you next month!
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal