The question whether one can boost SEO with Google Adwords has been asked many times and is much debated. Most digital marketers tend to keep them separate in the campaign strategies, yet the goals are the same: traffic and conversion.
The main objective of SEO is to increase an online business’ visibility and place well on the search results (ideally, on the first page). A lot of SEO professionals point out that Google Adwords performance doesn’t matter in ranking. While that may be true, the data provided by analyzing paid campaigns offer valuable insights on what and what doesn’t work (keywords, copy and visuals, segments, impressions,…). Drawing conclusions from those reports can greatly help refine (or redefine) the SEO tactics.
While paying puts a site on top of a search page, SEO aims at putting it in the #1 position organically. Ultimately, what incites visitors to click the ad (and down the road, convert) is a clue SEO pros can pick up and use to benefit natural ranking.
USE KEYWORD DATA TO BOOST SEO WITH GOOGLE ADWORDS
Keywords search volume1
Google Adwords has a lot to say about keywords. As it happens, keywords are the focal point of the SEO world.
Even before you have to spend budget on a campaign, Google Adwords gives you the opportunity to refine your target and improve your results with the keyword planner. That’s close enough to SEO principles. It can even be used to complement the use of other keyword tools you may use.
Keywords and groups of keywords also tell you how to target an audience more precisely. “SEO” for example, is popular but so broad it doesn’t tell you what the user was searching (or hoping to find). “SEO Tips”, on the other hand, puts you on the map with an answer to a specific query, if SEO tips are what you provide.
The number of impressions (how often your ad is shown) is another goldmine of information that can boost your SEO. Any ad that generated a high number of displays can potentially tell you what specific query term is responsible and how to transform it into a keyword in your content, especially if the Google Adwords display generated a lot of clicks (and conversions). In case the conversions were low compared to the number of impressions, you learned that something is not working. The search did not result in an action because your content did not provide a solution. You can then get your SEO toolbox out and fix it.
MEASURE YOUR ADWORDS CAMPAIGNS PERFORMANCES
It is never said enough, analytics are the most powerful tools to continually improve. As an online business, chances are you work on SEO but also run Adwords campaigns, at least until the efforts you put into Search Engine Optimization pay off.
If you spend some time studying the connection between click-through-rates and keywords (in fact, search term that can become your weapon keyword), examine the conversion values and understand what terms landed a visitor on a page, you will discover how you can boost SEO with Google Adwords.
For any campaign that performs well, don’t neglect to observe the connection between visual and content. Headlines, copy and layout may be indicators of what makes a browser click. Those deductions can easily be implemented in your SEO.
BOOST SEO BY RUNNING A GOOGLE ADWORDS CAMPAIGN
Your everyday concern in SEO is to choose the right keywords (among many other aspects), those that not only get traffic to your website, but also convert. You cannot rely on what you think they may be. Naturally, you have SEO tools to help measure the strength of a keyword or a group.
But getting the validation from the audience itself is not only saving you time, it is ultimately saving you money.
Rather than spend months testing content and decoding response (or lack thereof), constantly checking if you moved up a rank and adjusting if you didn’t, set aside an SEO Adwords budget. It sounds counterintuitive, but it makes perfect sense, especially if you feel that certain themes may work for you, but aren’t quite perfect yet.
For a short period of time, you can run Google Adwords with your actual keywords (not search terms over which you have no control) and analyze the results. Within a few days, you are able to determine if it’s worth keeping with an SEO course of action or not. If, for example, you are in the business of selling red cashmere sweaters, “cashmere sweaters” in all your content takes you nowhere. “Red sweaters”, or “red cashmere sweaters”, however, will definitely target an audience searching for that product. You can try different combinations for weeks, or effortlessly run an ad that will validate your focus, and provide customers specifics at the same time.
There is a myriad ways you can boost SEO with Google Adwords, contrary to popular belief. While this is not the best (and not always the most cost effective) way to approach organic SEO, leveraging the data and metrics provided by ads is a tool worth adding to your SEO belt.