When companies start working on their digital presence, many silo PPC (pay per click) online ads – like the type you see in your browser when you make a search – and local SEO, the words you use to guarantee a presence in local searches, Google Maps, and similar situations.
At first glance, this separation makes sense, because these two segments of marketing don’t seem to have much in common. However, a closer look reveals that they have excellent symmetry! If you aren’t creating your PPC Google ads with local SEO in mind, you really should be. Here are the top reasons why.
SERPs Give PPC Ads Preference
A Search Engine Results Page (SERP) tends to put Google Ads in very prominent positions. You can see this just by making any Google search and checking the top results: Prominent space is given to ad links and ad boxes at the top. You may even have to scroll down to get to the organic links.
That means that using PPC ads to target the same subjects and phrases can still be very beneficial. In fact, it may even make more of a difference over time, depending on the search habits of your target audience, who may only look at top results to make a decision. And even if you are ranking very, very well for particular SEO phrases, PPC ads may still have more visibility at the end of the day. Both can increase visibility.
You Get More Usable Data
Analytics on your traffic works best with plenty of data. You are trying to get a snapshot of exactly how people are behaving when they encounter your content online. Studying your SEO and organic traffic is a great place to begin, but usually this only tells part of the story. Ideally, you want to know all the origins of your traffic, from every source – social, email, ads, organic, everything.
This type of complete analytics is hard to acquire when your ads are targeting different words than your SEO. If both are targeting the same local audiences, it becomes much, much easier to create a snapshot of how people are engaging with your content. Thanks to changes Google has made to its audience targeting, it’s also easier to merge or separate targeting as needed, so there are flexible solutions if your ad goals are a little more complicated than our examples. If you aren’t sure how to analyze your online content effectively, we can help you put together a plan!
Local SEO and PPC Ads Can Optimize Each Other
Local SEO and PPC ads give you information to use for both sides of your campaign. You also get information that can be used to improve either type of content based on the results of the other. A common example: IF you launch a Google ad campaign and, after the first phase of the campaign is over, you examine your results and see that a particular keyword has done really, really well organically. In fact, you got more traffic through those results than a lot of the recent content you’ve been working on!
When this happens, you can compare your local SEO efforts with that successful ad and see what the differences are. Is it the exact keyword you used? Is it how the content is framed? Is the CTA different? Using information like this, you can then adjust your local SEO efforts to more resemble the successful ad, so that all your content gains the benefit.
You can also use SEO to pick strong ads, but given the nature of ad campaigns, it’s usually easier to make adjustments to SEO rather than the other way around.
Play Your Ads and SEO Off Each Other To Learn More
This strategy is for experienced companies that have the resources to experiment in return for data, but it can be very helpful when done correctly. In this case, you focus on one side, often a segment of ads, with long tail keywords which you believe may be effective, while using your local SEO to make sure popular keywords are well accounted for. Then you can look at the results and learn if long tail or alternative keywords are successful – or if they should be dropped entirely. It’s a way to analyze the keyword landscape at a lower risk if you’re willing to branch out a little.
Put Your Ads and Your SEO At Different Places in the Sales Funnel
Another advanced strategy is to help your ads and SEO combine forces to create a more seamless experience for those progressing down your sales funnel. For example, you may want to position local SEO as a way to introduce searchers to your brand via social media, as a first phase in the sales funnel.
Now, a portion of visitors will look at your offerings and then move on. However, you also position your Google Ads for remarketing – retargeting them toward people that have already encountered your content, so that your visitors have a better chance of moving through the sales funnel from recognition to more serious consideration.
Let Blue Atlas Help You with Your Digital Marketing Efforts
At Blue Atlas, we live and breathe all things digital. We are happy to set up a free consultation to walk you through SEO and Google Advertising. Contact us today to get started!
Originally featured on blueatlaslocal.com