3 Ways to Use Paid Search Prior To SEO

I’ll admit it: my marketing roots are as a PPC Guy. Now with that said, I do believe SEO is the top priority in making a website an integral cog in your business success. I just also believe that sometimes it makes sense to step back and check the temperature before diving in.

Let’s face it, ranking is a factor for your SEO efforts, but it is not the only factor to consider. Competition and query volume are more important and an absolutely essential piece of a well researched campaign. You don’t spend valuable time building wonderful content, only to learn that it’s focused around the wrong keyword. It is a waste of money and a waste of time!

By understanding how certain keywords pertain to the success of your website, you can efficiently optimize your site and get it done properly the first time.

Paid search is a great way to get the digestible data you need (while still generating revenue). Starting off with a well-put together campaign will set you up for success right out the gate and provide insights you wouldn’t have otherwise had. To summarize, Data + Revenue = Success!

  1. Do Your Homework

    It’s happened more times than I can count: A client provides a set keyword they want to rank for. I research it with the Google Adwords Keyword tool only to realize it has such low search volume that it isn’t worth the effort.

    Using this tool not only identifies issues with initial keywords; it also provides great suggestions for alternate keywords that might be better to optimize for SEO. Using these keywords in a PPC campaign goes even further in giving you a sense of volume as well as a strong idea of the conversions that specific keywords may drive.

  2. Review conversion rates/conversions for specific keywords

    After running the campaign for a few weeks, you’re ready to take a closer look at what’s converting and at what rate. These metrics will solidify performing keywords as a strong foundation for a successful SEO campaign.

    Use an exercise like the one below to diagnose the data:

    You have 2 keywords running, keyword A and Keyword B.

    Keyword A has 100 visitors with 10 conversions, or a 10% conversion rate.

    Keyword B has 500 visitors with 10 conversions, or a 2% conversion rate.

    Both keywords have the same conversion total, despite keyword B’s significantly higher traffic. Therefore keyword A’s visitor value is higher than keyword B’s. Keep competition for each term in mind, but both should be considered equal as far as value in targeting.

  3. Piggyback higher volume terms and “convince” conversions

    Sometimes in niche industries that have specific search terms with low-volume traffic, you need to get creative. By using keywords with a similar focus but not directly related to the product or service at hand, you can “piggyback” on higher volume search terms in order to reach a larger audience .

    For example: A mold remediation company might build a page that focuses on mold cleaning products. They don’t sell these products, but they want to capture the attention of people who might be looking for them. The content could focus on the benefits of using a professional remediation service vs. an ineffective or potentially dangerous do-it-yourself solution. Compelling information combined with a strong offer may just push consumers into the conversion funnel.

These strategies all are in the SEO keyword exploration phase, which ideally will set up healthy organic traffic to your website. SEO is a seed that needs time to grow into a tree. You don’t want to have to chop that tree down 6 months down the road, only to have to try again with a new seed. Plant the right seed off the bat and watch your site flourish. 

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Author: Author Image Dave Crist

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