SEO & PPC Integration StrategyAuthor: Artur JachContact: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/arthurjachLast updated: October 2012
Step 1: Identify overarching objective of the strategy Ask yourself: why exactly am I doing this? • Are you trying to deepen understanding of SEO/PPC relationship? • Are you simply improving overall digital channel performance? • Are you trying to use each channel’s learnings just to save PPC budget • Or are you trying to save and then reinvest? Answers to these questions will become an overarching aim of the strategy.
Step 2: Brainstorm ideas and relevant activities Ok, I know what I want. Now, how do I get there? • Brand bidding strategy – saving on brand terms and reinvesting elsewhere. • Reallocating PPC spend from expensive generics with organic coverage. • Maximising visibility – test PPC on keywords that are ranking organically towards the bottom of first page in Google but which convert well. • Increase trust and CTR – test if having both paid and organic listing increase consumer trust and leads to an increase in click through rate. • Share findings between teams – create and maintain GAP analysis with top and bottom performing keywords for both channels. • Synchronisation of copy – sharing PPC ad copy with SEO to improve copy in search results and using well-converting ad copy in page titles and descriptions.
Step 3: Approach and methodology • Put in place a set of ‘on/off’ tests to check if your strategy Test & Learn works • Different applications possible, e.g. ‘day on/day off’ • Create and maintain a combined SEO and PPC GAP analysis Combined • Use it as a benchmark and a source of reporting data GAP Analysis • Automate data pulls with Excel plugins, e.g. Excellent Analytics. • Make sure test plan is long enough, flexible and realistic Timeline / Planner • Remember about seasonality and other activity (e.g. offline marketing) affecting the numbers
Step 4: Risk mitigation 1/2 I know the objective, how to get there and what I need. Is there anything else to consider? Yes, there is… a lot! Tracking • Are you able to track the progress? Timelines • Will they be affected by seasonality or offline activity? • Which metrics you will consider: visits, revenue, CPA, SEO GAP analysis rankings, prominence of SEO listings (site links, etc.), seasonality of search volumes? Website and product • Are there any major website changes in deployment changes pipeline? Is the product under test going to change?
Step 4: Risk mitigation 2/2 • Do you have time to identify test candidate keywords and Resources time to run the test and get results out? Will this impact other work/clients? Budgets • Will you have additional budget to support the test? • How competitor bidding strategy will affect your overall Competitors search performance? • Are you aware of the fact that, in short term, the test might Reporting have a negative impact on reported PPC performance?
Step 5: Delivery plan with timeline and deadlines Agree on reporting template Set test KPIs and test plan /methodology Prioritise test areas Finalise keyword selection Schedule and run tests Evaluate results. Feed them back into overall search strategy