Katana wa ryōte de nigira reru!

Hold on, don’t run away! Don’t worry; we are not going to take lessons on Japanese language today. But if you translate this age old Japanese axiom into English, it means ‘katana is to be held by both hands’. Now, if you don’t know what Katana is, let me tell you it’s name of the sword used by Japanese warriors called Samurai, and the previously mentioned adage suggests that if you want to use Katana most effectively, you have to use your both hands.

And yes, I couldn’t agree more when I say it is equally important in case of search marketing. We need to use both the channels of search marketing, PPC and SEO together, if you want best possible returns from your search marketing efforts. Following are most prominent 6 ways of many, which can be used to sharpen your search marketing by combining the powers of PPC and SEO together.

Please note that this post assumes you have been running both SEO and PPC campaigns and have understanding of both. Sa~a, hajimeyou! (Let’s begin!)

1. Strong Brand Presence

While you are running search marketing campaigns, one very important objective happens to be is to have better brand presence compared to your competitor. Better brand presence means capturing maximum space on the search engine result page and be visible to users searching for products/services your business offers. This can be achieved by showing your paid search ad as well as your organic results. Most of the users do not scroll below fold and click on the results at the bottom, hence showing up top of page advertisement as well as in the following organic results gives a real good boost to your brand visibility and higher number of visitors to your website.

2. Keywords, Keywords Everywhere!

Keywords are the common triggers for both your paid search ads and organic search results. It is this lever that you can use to optimize the overall performance. You can compare the list of search queries and the performance of both channels. Check which of keywords have led to better CTR in SEO and use them in your PPC campaigns. Perform similar exercise for best performing keywords in PPC campaigns and utilize them in SEO. Technically there should be many which are common between the two, but there will always be those in each channel which can be leveraged for the other. Furthermore you can choose to pause the most expensive keywords in PPC and test run them for SEO, if they provide you equivalent results, it can save your spends.

3. Ad Content, Meta Tag and Description

We already know the importance of the search result information and how it leads the user in clicking or not clicking on your advertisement or the organic results. If we compare SEO and PPC, the structure of the content element is different but the nature is same. What we can benefit from is the opportunity to experiment with the ad content for PPC and meta tag & description we write for SEO. We can see which one of the ad content and messaging from PPC is resulting into a higher CTR and use the similar messaging for SEO. Another way is to show slightly different messaging for PPC and SEO and see which one results in better CTR.

4. Leverage Remarketing

When it comes to online marketing, remarketing has proved to be a boon. Remarketing can be leveraged especially when your SEO efforts have resulted in many visitors to your website but not conversions. Remarketing is one catalytic process that can help you target this audience and encourage them to convert. You can do this by creating audience on your web analytics platform and target those who have visited your website through organic channel combined with criteria (Like session duration, number of page visits, etc.) making them eligible for conversion oriented messaging. This strategy helps you leverage the organic traffic more effectively with the help of PPC.

5. Reporting the Data Together

Remember the last time your client said ‘why should I spend more on PPC when I can do SEO at lower cost and get the visitors without paying anything for a click?’ Now you have a perfect answer to that question supported with data. You can create a comprehensive report showing how it helped your overall search marketing returns when you integrated your paid and SEO strategies instead of running them in silos. You can confidently explain to your client how effective it is to leverage the two channels to fill the performance gaps of each other and get the best returns possible.

6. Strategically Manage the Spends

Last thing a client wants is to spend the budget without getting expected returns. Combining the SEO and PPC strategy to go hand in hand will help you juggle your spends between the two based on short and long term objectives as well as the performance. Now that you have linked the management of SEO and PPC together, based on minute tweaking and changes as to which channel should have more budget compared to other. This is very effective to present to your client when he asks for how is your strategy going to be with respect to spends.

SEO and PPC are different sides of same coin: search. It is up to us how we use them together and leverage the intricate similarities and differences between them to supercharge the performance of overall search marketing.
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