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Great Ideas For PPC and SEO Collaboration

Published: March 28, 2012

Author: Ian Lopuch

Credit: mediavisioninteractive
Do you work in the corporate world of online marketing? If you’re at a large company, chances are you’re either working on PPC or SEO. At the enterprise level, there are typically different owners (or even teams) for PPC and SEO. I’m personally in the corporate world of PPC, but really enjoy SEO as well. In my opinion, effective collaboration between PPC and SEO is absolutely critical for a well-optimized online marketing organization, and today I’m thrilled to share my favorite collaboration tips.
Tip 1: Go After Difficult (But Important) PPC Keywords Via SEO
No matter how hard you try, some keywords just won’t work on Google AdWords. I’m not talking about conversion rate (although those keywords certainly exist too). Rather, I’m talking about low quality score (but high conversion rate) keywords. While such keywords might not work in paid search due to super-high CPCs and therefore CPAs, you may be able to rank on them organically. My tip: Reach out to your SEO team and send them a prioritized list of the keywords you’re having difficulty with. If you can’t get the traffic via PPC, why not capture as much of it as possible via SEO? This is a great way to gain full keyword coverage and fill in the gaps.
Tip 2: Leverage Paid Search To Prioritize SEO
Building out quality SEO content takes time. When it comes to prioritizing such efforts, Google’s Keyword Tool can help quite a bit from a volume perspective. However, it’s always better to have conversion and revenue data as well to help your prioritization. Leverage the paid search channel to help prioritize which keywords (and themes of keywords) your SEO team should prioritize first. Simultaneous PPC and SEO listings tend to reinforce each other; go after your winning paid search keywords via organic search as well.
Tip 3: Bid Up Keywords In Paid Search That Drive SEO Conversions 
If you’re selling a complex or expensive product, chances are there’s a path to conversion in your business. There are multiple touch points; there’s a conversion funnel. These days, you can leverage tools such as Google Analytics to really understand conversion funnels across marketing channels. In paid search, don’t just bid up keywords that convert well in paid search; bid up keywords that drive a lot of cross-channel SEO conversions (even if you don’t see many conversions for the same keyword in paid search). It’s all about doing what’s best for your overall marketing program and not just what’s best for one channel in isolation.

Image credit: onedesk.com

Tip 4: Meet and Collaborate Regularly
From a career perspective, it’s important to understand all of the online marketing channels. Sure, you’ll always have your area of specialty. However, it will be a true strategic asset in your career to also have a strong understanding of other areas. I always recommend that PPC and SEO teams meet and collaborate closely. Such meetings will be a great source of training and information in SEO (if you’re a PPC person) or in PPC (if you’re an SEO person). Teach each other everything you know and elevate your careers as a team!
Tip 5: Think About Overall Performance, Not Just Your Channel
In paid search, it’s easy to get tied up in the numbers. In fact, that’s the right thing to do – it’s your job. However, it’s also possible to ignore the larger picture. My piece of advice is to always think about the overall picture (PPC and SEO). Here’s an example: Let’s say you are not buying your own brand name. Let’s say nobody else is either. Right now, all brand traffic goes to the organic channel. However, let’s say you want to start buying your trademark in paid search too. This is almost always a great idea and adds tremendous value to the overall business. However, don’t take that fact as a given. Make sure to measure the results of your new initiative taking both PPC and SEO channels into account. Only conclude the test once you know that it’s beneficial for the overall business and that you’re not just paying for traffic you would have otherwise received for free!

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