SEO & PPC: Better Together – an SEMRushChat on Twitter

semrushchat sem ppc

semrushchat sem ppc

I had the esteemed honor and privilege of participating as one of the guests of yesterday’s SEMRushChat on Twitter. SEMRushChat is hosted by SEMRush and is a fast-paced, educational chat on current happenings and best practices in the digital marketing world.

Yesterday, the chat was on using SEO & PPC together, and myself and Craig Campbell were the guests.  I thought it would be helpful to include my answers below along with the original questions… and as a bonus I also included my Star Wars GIFs from the chat as well!  Read on, and please don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn with any questions or comments on this engaging topic.

 

 

#SEMRushChat Thanks so much for having me!! So that my answers can be easily found in the chat, and to honor Disney+ for hitting the US market yesterday (and virtually wiping out productivity), I’ll be including a Star Wars gif with each of my answers today. And it’s pronounced JIF. 😉

We’ll Use The Force

 

 

 

Q1. What do you say to those that believe they only need SEO or PPC, not both?

 

A1.1 There was once a farmer who had only one horse. The horse served him well and helped him farm for 10 years. Then one day the horse died. The farmer only had one horse. Now the farmer couldn’t farm. His family starved. It was sad. The end. #SEMRushChat

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A1.2 Short, weird story aside… a marketing strategy must be multi-channel to account for (1) changes in the google-sphere (2) capture people coming at different stages of the funnel and with different intent. Both have their place in the well-rounded marketer’s playbook and they complement each other. #SEMRushChat

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Q2. Keyword research for SEO and PPC: is there any difference?

A2 I can’t speak too much to the SEO side, but with PPC the best keywords are those with (1) enough search volume to target, (2) high purchase intent/business match, (3) low competition (translates to low CPCs). #SEMRushChat

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Q3. How you can use your PPC data to improve your SEO or vice versa?

A3.1 Keyword sharing is crucial, from both ways. There will be terms the SEO team has investigate that we didn’t run across that we test in PPC, and likewise we can communicate to the SEO team what terms are converting well for them to investigate. #SEMRushChat

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A3.2 PPC is also a fantastic testing ground for title/desc testing. Grab the phrases that the PPC team has found over time to resonate the most with your audience, and use them in your title / meta description tags or even site content. #SEMRushChat

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Q4. Let’s say you have good organic rankings for certain keywords. Would you also invest in PPC for these keywords? Why?

A4.1 Ahhh, the age-old question! That which has pitted many an SEO against a PPC in epic boardroom battle (this discussion’s most common form is “Brand Bidding” discussions). I wrote an (old) article that discusses my thought process for this on @Moz: https://moz.com/blog/stop-bidding-on-these-brand-keywords-in-ppc Let’s just say it’s complicated… #SEMRushChat

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A4.2 TL;DR: make sure you actually do own the organic results, without a doubt, in ALL MARKETS. Use the PPC auction insights tool to determine if there are any competitors on your target terms before you pause the PPC… don’t simply look at your own version of SERPs to: “tell if I can see my organic slot or not”. #SEMRushChat

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A4.3 Another thing to consider, is incrementality. This is a tough one to quantify, though some have tried: (cough, Google… a long time ago. PDF. http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.com/en//pubs/archive/37161.pdf) You’ll likely have to run your own testing here, and that’s even difficult to do, but typically if you own one high organic slot on a SERP loaded with other elements and ads… it’s prob not smart to shut off ads. #SEMRushChat

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A4.4 You’ll likely have to run your own testing here, and that’s even difficult to do, but typically if you own one high organic slot on a SERP loaded with other elements and ads… it’s prob not smart to shut off ads.

A4.5 Final thought on this, specifically around Brand term Ads (PPC targeting your brand terms), I find the arguments against any sort of brand bidding completely ignore the giant world of ecommerce. I run a lot of Shopping Ads, and excluding your DTC brand in SERPs is likely giving comp 5 PLA slots + 3-4 Text Ad slots. You just… have to run brand terms in Ecom (mostly). #SEMRushChat

nike serp google shopping ads

 

 

 

Q5. How you can find the perfect PPC SEO ratio if your budget is limited?

A5 It’s not a cop-out to say every situation is different, and you have to look at your business and know your business and industry well enough to determine where you should invest most of your budget. Also, keep this fluid and revisit constantly. You may invest 75% into SEO the first year to kickstart that, and then shift that ratio to PPC the second year… or whatever… it’s about balance. #SEMRushChat

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