3 Ways To Use SEO Skills To Improve Your PPC


My background is as an SEO. Paid Search is something that I’ve been familiar with, I can talk someone through the basics, but I’d never had an interest in actually doing it. As I’ve grown as a digital marketer, I’ve realized how foolish that was. Understanding how other disciplines approach marketing and solve problems is only going to make me better across all channels.

So recently I’ve started setting up and running AdWords campaigns. I want to share how I’ve already begun to see some positive results by applying what I know as an SEO to how I approach PPC.

Choosing The Right Final URL And Keyword Target

One thing that I’ve learned doing SEO is that you can’t rank well for a keyword if your page doesn’t ever mention it. This seems fairly obvious but I’ve seen a ton of PPC accounts that target dozens of keywords for a specific page regardless of whether or not that page is a good fit. It could be that it’s just the best there was, but when you’re spending money to get people there, that’s not good enough.

If you have a keyword target without a solid page for it, build one! This isn’t to say that if you want to target “SEO Services”, “Search Engine Optimization Services,” and “SEO agency” that you should have a page for each. This applies more for the instance where maybe there’s only a single page for “Digital Marketing Services” which includes content on all disciplines (including SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email, and Content Marketing), then you may want to consider breaking those out into their own pages in order to more effectively target keywords for those specific services.

This is going to help improve your quality score by improving the landing page experience.

Writing Keyword Focused Ad Text

A fundamental tenet of SEO is to incorporate your target keyword in everything you do. Maybe that’s oversimplified, but at its core, that’s the general gist. When writing ad text, I make sure that I have the exact keyword target in the first headline and then work the keyword into the description and path.

Writing an 80 character description is a little bit more challenging than a 160-300 character meta description, but you want to work a value-add that applies to the product or service you’re promoting. Also, write multiple versions of ad text for each keyword (at least three total versions). I typically keep the keyword in the first headline and paths, then use either the second headline or the description to test different calls-to-action.

I try to use a method that keeps what I’m testing consistent across my keywords, that way I can draw conclusions on which CTAs worked best once the ads have been running for a while. For example, I may have “Contact Us Today” and “Request A Quote” as the second headlines for a campaign-wide A/B test. The more data you can collect, the more reliable the test.

Using Search Console To Understand Intent

Finally, understanding the searcher’s intent is key for both SEO and PPC. But SEOs have tools at their disposal that provide additional insights into how Google interprets the intent of the page’s content, namely Google Search Console. Looking at the Search Analytics report for a particular landing page is going to give you a list of queries that were matched with that page organically.

If the majority of the keywords have more of an informational intent (looking for how-tos, instructions, what is, etc. ) and you’re trying to send searchers with a transactional intent to the page, there’s going to be a disconnect resulting in wasted ad spend. That’s not to say that those searchers WON’T convert, but you’re lowering the odds.

Instead, understand what kind of content exists on pages that rank organically for your target keywords, and create/update the pages on your site to provide the best experience.