March 10, 2015 – With SearchFest still fresh on our minds, SEMpdx gathered for its monthly educational event on Tuesday. The focus? Bridging the gap between PPC and SEO. SwellPath’s Craig Galyon encouraged us to take a holistic approach to search marketing, walking us through proven tactics for evaluating its overall effectiveness.
One of the evening’s key takeaways was the importance of focusing on data to answer questions such as whether to bid on branded keywords. Oftentimes, marketers answer that question from an historical perspective, but if you focus instead on hard data, you’ll find an answer directly related to your company’s situation. Step back and assess the actual value of your efforts by creating reports such as organic-only CTR and combined (organic and paid) CTR. You should also identify three types of branded keywords: head term, primary qualifier and secondary qualifier. Analyzing a range like this will give you a new data source to examine.
Craig also discussed the common (not provided) concern that search marketers face with their PPC campaigns. His suggestion is to take the remaining information and apply it across the board. Yes, you’ll be making broad assumptions, but you can still gain valuable analysis from the extrapolated data.
When faced with 404 error pages, utilize tools in Google Analytics (i.e. filtering page title) to determine why the error has occurred. If you find an incorrect landing page experience, lower quality score or removed tracking parameters, you’ll know it’s a PPC issue. On the other hand, bad page content and broken link equity will indicate an SEO problem.
Once again, it was an evening jam-packed with helpful tips and insights. As Craig reminded us at the end of the night, the relationship between PPC and SEO is not a cookie cutter one. It varies widely, which is why data analysis is key to finding the right holistic approach for your organization. Acknowledge the strengths of each channel and identity the ways you can best work together.
Sarah is a search marketing consultant, helping clients improve ROI through paid search, SEO and social media initiatives. She is also the Official SEMpdx Event Blogger and can be found at all of the monthly events.