Theoretical metrics are often relied upon when starting keyword research for a new SEO campaign. Google’s industry standard keyword research tool provides useful search volumes and competition metrics which allow users to gauge the likelihood of receiving good traffic for specific keywords, should they crack the first page of Google’s results.
The problem with these metrics is that they can often be inaccurate; although they’re a great benchmark, nothing can beat solid historical data.
Although Pay Per Click campaigns are totally separate to a traditional SEO campaign, they can provide invaluable keyword and conversion data that can inform and improve an SEO strategy. PPC campaigns do not have a direct impact on organic SEO performance, but they can provide solid keyword data that can transform SEO performance.
For this example, we will take the keyword White Coffee Mugs. We have a website about coffee mugs, and the keyword research has highlighted that White Coffee Mug is a great keyword to go for from an organic SEO standpoint. It has the right competition levels and search volumes. Several months of work may be spent optimising a website (both onsite and offsite) for this term, but once it is there, it should provide a good return on investment.
We are also running a Google Adwords PPC campaign for our Coffee Mug website. We add White Coffee Mugs as a broad match keyword. (This means that Google will show our Adwords ad for what it feels is relevant to the term, White Coffee Mugs).
Whilst we are waiting for the SEO work to take traction and get results, the Adwords campaign sends instantaneous traffic to the website. When checking performance, we can see how many people have clicked our ads relating to White Coffee Mugs. We can also see how many people converted using Adwords’ conversion tracking feature. (Ie, how many people clicked our Adwords ad, and went through to make a purchase). This is very valuable, as we can see exactly how profitable this keyword is. If it seems that the majority of people landing on the website for White Coffee Mugs aren’t actually buying anything, perhaps we should rethink our focus with the organic SEO!
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Even more valuable is the Adwords Search Query Report. When looking at keyword performance data, you only see the metrics for the keywords you’ve uploaded yourself. By looking at the Search Query Report, you can see exactly what people searched for to trigger your ads. This is only applicable for Phrase and Broad match keywords in your account. You will find keywords that have triggered your ads which you may have overlooked when doing your keyword research; this is again incredibly valuable when deciding what to target from an Organic SEO standpoint.
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