How to Integrate SEO and PPC
Ever wonder how to integrate SEO and PPC strategies?
Silos of communication between teams often cause friction between SEO and PPC efforts, because we use different methods to increase website traffic. Although they differ, there are areas where they can work together, to improve the channel and workflow.
Working together to improve the efficiency of a channel and workflow is one way to reduce friction between SEO and PPC.
Friction occurs in three main areas:
- Landing pages
1. First-party data must be ready for collaboration.
First-party data is imperative for digital marketing efforts. If you heavily rely on retargeting campaigns (either because your industry is pricey or the customer journey involves several phases), you may find yourself increasingly reliant on native audiences. Your SEO and PPC teams must collaborate to determine whether your brand adheres to the law.
Analytics audience segments can be a great alternative to unpredictable quality. Unfortunately, most of these audiences underperform against brand-tracked activity-based ones. You must still get consent and use the new global site tag. Ensure your tag is updated to GA4.
When you create a cookie consent module, you must ensure that it follows cumulative layout shift (CLS) rules. It’s crucial to follow CLS rules in general because modules at the bottom of the page tend to perform better since they don’t distract the user from their purchasing journey and have less CLS risk. Ensure that you protect first-party data (either by hashing and syncing it through tools or immediately deleting it once it’s been uploaded into ad accounts).
Ensure your SEO team’s content campaigns are engaging so that you can create consensual conversations.
There is one final issue to deal with on the analytics.
The current roll-out of GA4 and conversion modeling is facing a big issue: advertisers must decide whether to rely on analytics as their source of truth or to gain from enhanced conversions. Enhanced conversions require using Google’s native conversion tracking. The numbers reported by conversion tracking will always differ from those reported by your SEO team, even if it gives you a better understanding of how paid campaigns operate.
It may make sense to take a “hit” on PPC-reported numbers so long as the overall metrics point to positive ROAS to preserve trust and data continuity. All parties must be willing to accept reports that will be different if enhanced conversions are used.
2. Adapt and acknowledge domain structure choices.
Brand URLs can be set up in three ways:
- Everything (including international domains) can be on one domain.
- Subdomains for different projects.
- Vanity and Country domains.
PPC-specific pages should be noindex/nofollow and accessible to the adbot to contribute to quality score, regardless of your chosen path. Non-eCommerce brands are rarely better served by keeping everything on the same domain.
There are certain strategic elements of an SEO’d site that may be detrimental to PPC:
- Search engine optimization doesn’t want duplicate content, and paid search benefits from testing templates.
- A complete navigation bar benefits SEO, while PPC does better with limited user choices.
- An ad linked to an SEO-redirected page may be rejected (three strikes in 90 days will cause the ad account to be suspended).
Subdomains can mitigate these pitfalls if they don’t force SEO and PPC teams to make creative or technical compromises. Furthermore, the same analytics property and branding continuity can be maintained.
Ensure that any redirects are explained at least three to five days ahead of time if you must use the same landing page for both PPC and organic traffic. This will enable the PPC team to alter the ad creative so that you don’t waste money sending people to broken pages until Google rejects the ad. Both PPC and SEO must convey inventory. It can get penalized by the search engines if your product is consistently out of stock. Ensure all campaigns are informed of inventory issues so they can exclude items from paid campaigns and add the out-of-stock tag to the organic page.
3. All pages should have transactional intent & CRO.
SEO is often inaccurately labeled the “research” channel, while PPC is often credited exclusively with driving transactions. There are good reasons to associate traffic with research, but each can gain from the other’s approach to establishing trust and driving transactions.
PPC pages typically contain less material, but this does not mean that the item or service should be unclear. This material (either text or video) should be below the fold to keep the conversion pathway clear, as in SEO. Similarly, rich and authoritative content is required to rank well in SEO. The traffic will be worthless if the conversion path is covered (or not there at all).
The PPC page follows PPC guidelines better than the SEO version. If you plan to make a PPC ad, ensure it adheres to the rules. This page provides the user with enough context to understand what they are getting into and clear conversion paths. By giving the user more information if they want it, the page does not overwhelm them. In addition, a multi-step form is available for users to build brand loyalty.
4. Search query data can be used to build effective ad campaigns.
Data sharing on search queries is the best method to combine PPC and SEO. You’re already paying for search data from the search terms report. By sharing that data and what converts and doesn’t, content teams will know where to spend their time. In addition, sharing the search terms from on-site searches and search consoles is an easily overlooked chance.
Prioritizing keyword variants based on what existing customers want and how they think will help brands get insights on content and auction pricing.
Both channels should share search term data so that brands can get insights into what existing customers want and how they think. Digital channels should work together on at least a quarterly basis, and automatic report sharing should be set up so that they communicate with each other.
5. Allow time to talk with each other.
The benefits of informal, casual conversation are incalculable. Whether it’s a quick chat at the beginning of the week or a monthly collaboration session, talking about the innovations and problems in each area will enable the other person to prepare for improvements or difficulties.
If you’re an agency and your counterpart works for another agency, seek joint meetings with the client or independently. Specifically, showing your dedication to the brand’s triumph and your cooperative nature will help maintain clients and prevent your excellent work from being accidentally contradicted.
Collaboration and cooperation can eliminate the friction between PPC and SEO. Instead, use cooperation and collaboration to address each other’s weaknesses and magnify each other’s profits.
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