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Co-Optimized Search Synergy: SEO + PPC in 2011

  |  January 12, 2011   |  Comments

Pull together two search marketing disciplines that have more in common than you might think with these five tips.

The holiday season has come and gone, leaving time for you to make those new search resolutions. What direction will your SEO and PPC efforts take this year? Thinking different strokes for different folks, right? Think again. Try a "co-optimized" technique for a fresh search strategy this year.

Resolve last year's tired approach with the boost of search synergy. What better time than now to pull together two search marketing disciplines that have more in common than you might remember.

According to a study by iProspect and comScore, the presence of organic search results coupled with a paid search presence almost doubles the possibility of a user clicking through to a website.

More than the SERP real-estate value, there are other optimization opportunities made identifiable by merging the organic and paid search efforts. Opportunities like an increase in the share-of-voice across engines as well as being able to highlight areas for keyword expansion and improving existing conversion rates simultaneously across both marketing channels.

By combining the keyword reporting of current SEO strategies and PPC campaigns, a new light is shed on opportunities otherwise left in the dark when both disciplines were handled by separate offices. Such prospective techniques include the following:

  • Improve SEO entry page URLs: Optimizing specific SEO entry pages from an analysis of keywords that perform well in PPC but struggle SEO-wise from a conversion perspective.
  • Expand SEO priority keywords: High-converting keywords in PPC that are low in organic visibility must become priorities for SEO optimization in order to build the share-of-voice across the search engines.
  • Maximize SEO keyword exposure: Keywords with high PPC conversion rates but high CPC can be targeted in SEO, allowing paid search funds to be reallocated to other keywords.
  • Increase PPC keywords: Keywords that perform well in organic search by either garnering clicks or high conversions provide opportunities for increased exposure through paid search.
  • Minimize expense, more efficient PPC: "First result" organic keywords that are also expensive, high-performing PPC keywords can be deemphasized organically, instead focusing time and funds back into broader PPC keyword sets.

Use an organic SEO approach for those high-dollar keywords, then plug in the gaps and enhance with a PPC approach to keep all bases covered. This co-optimized method will prove that the limitations of one search discipline can be helped by the strengths of the other. This will help keep PPC costs down and drive overall conversions and efficiency up. More still, if done correctly, this dual optimization will save you time. So you have more time to test, more time to report, and more time to refine. So, make your resolution synergy for this year's search marketing strategy.


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Crispin Sheridan

Crispin Sheridan is the Senior Director, Global Search at SAP. As part of the digital team, he established and leads the search and testing practices at SAP. Crispin is responsible for paid, natural, and mobile search and all online testing. Search and testing at SAP are fully centralized and globally funded and run under a hybrid in-house and agency model.

Crispin has proven that search learnings and keyword insights work hand in hand with social media marketing and together can effectively drive B2B lead generation. Furthermore, the development of the SAP.com Test Lab has contributed significant success to SAP's digital marketing efforts.

A frequent guest speaker at conferences, including SES New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Delhi, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, Crispin was appointed to the SES Advisory Board in December 2009. He has also been a guest speaker at the e-Metrics Summit and ad:Tech, and is a member of Google's B2B Technology Council. You can follow him on Twitter at @crispinsheridan and read his monthly SEO column on ClickZ.

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