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The Perfect Pair: Using PPC Data to Influence SEO18:22 with Stephanie Wallace
PPC is an easy testing ground for your SEO. Stephanie will explain how to better integrate them and leverage campaign data to influence SEO strategies.
[MUSIC] 0:00 I just have to say I'm so excited to be up here. 0:06 Big thanks to Moz for having me. 0:11 So let's jump right in. 0:13 SEO & PPC go great together, right? 0:15 You get increased visibility in the surfs, 0:21 increased perceived authority, and so forth. 0:23 And while those classic talking points are true, they're simply not reality. 0:27 It's not as easy as it sounds. 0:33 Often teams are very siloed, and there's very little collaboration or 0:34 sharing of data. 0:39 As SEOs, the perception is that all we care about is traffic and rankings. 0:41 And all the PPCers care about is click-through rate and quality score. 0:47 That image of SEO and PPC as the perfect team simply isn't reality. 0:52 We understand why the two should work together, but 0:59 it's very theoretical and abstract. 1:02 We really fall short on the how, on the execution. 1:05 How often do you actually collaborate and work on strategy with the PPC team? 1:10 I know I'm guilty more often than not of skimming through PPC reports, 1:17 instead of deep diving like I should be, and I'm willing to bet most of us are. 1:22 So what can we do about it, how can we bridge this gap? 1:28 The key to effectively leveraging PPC lies in understanding how 1:32 to test your SEO tactics and apply the results. 1:37 So we're going to talk through four tactics that will help you test and 1:41 optimize based on real metrics. 1:46 First, we'll talk through how to test for effective metadata. 1:50 [LAUGH] Optimizing your website is typically a very long-term process. 2:00 Once you implement changes, it takes time for 2:09 search engines to crawl the site and update their index. 2:12 It takes even longer to get statistically significant results that 2:16 you can base success off of. 2:21 So by using PPC ads to test metadata, we can expedite this process. 2:25 So I start by using the Search Analytics report in Google Webmaster Tools, 2:32 and filter for pages rather than queries. 2:38 And I like to look at all of the data so that we're looking at all of the angles, 2:43 not just click-through rates specifically. 2:47 Once you have defined the pages that you wanna focus on, start testing. 2:50 I like to create an organic Sandbox campaign, so 2:56 that I can keep all of my SEO tactics in one place, and 3:00 separate from the traditional PPC campaigns. 3:04 And I create three to four unique ad variations, so unique title tags or 3:08 headlines, and unique descriptions or ad copy. 3:14 The key is that the landing page for each of these ads will be the same. 3:19 This is the landing page that we are testing optimization for. 3:23 I also like to set my ad delivery to show the best performing ad most often, 3:28 so that we can see a clear winner sooner. 3:34 On the other hand, if you want more unbiased results, 3:37 you can use Google Experiments within AdWords to 3:40 have your ads displayed with a more 50/50 even split. 3:43 This will take a little longer and it's still in beta, but it is an option. 3:48 Once you have statistically significant results and 3:54 you can see a clear winner, you can then apply these tactics 4:00 to your on-page strategy, starting with your title tag and meta description. 4:05 Which keywords perform better in the headline? 4:11 Which messaging performed better in the description? 4:14 And one thing I'm sure everyone is thinking is the difference in character 4:18 limitations between your ad copy and real metadata. 4:23 So you'll be able to use the themes that you defined, but 4:28 you will have to elaborate on these for the actual metadata creation. 4:31 Beatport is one of the world's largest online EDM music stores for DJs. 4:37 And the professional DJ community really has a language all their own. 4:45 Dance, techno, house these are all different genres of music. 4:50 So defining key messaging was really important for SEO's success for beatport. 4:54 Through using this method, beatport saw an increase in organic entrances to their 5:00 website by 65%, specifically to the genre pages. 5:04 Next we will talk through how to identify content gaps. 5:10 So for this tactic, I start by looking at the multi-channel 5:19 Funnels report in Google Analytics and look at the top conversion paths. 5:24 I set the lookback window to 90 days just so that we're looking at a substantial 5:31 amount of data, and set the path link to All for the same reason. 5:36 Next, set the secondary dimension to Keyword, and 5:42 filter for paths that begin with Paid search. 5:45 The idea is that if Paid search is driving traffic to the website where organic 5:51 is not part of the buyer journey, 5:56 then we probably have low organic visibility for these search terms. 6:01 We're probably not ranking well, if at all. 6:06 Most often that means Paid is the only path to the website, 6:10 or the first path, the first interaction. 6:16 So next steps to optimize your website are really based on a few questions. 6:19 One, are we targeting this keyword from an organic perspective? 6:25 If not, why? 6:29 And if so, why is it not working? 6:31 Do we need to expand existing content on the website so 6:33 that we can speak to these terms? 6:37 Or do we need to create new content altogether? 6:39 Hubbell's Chance-branded website 6:41 used this method and found that there was a lot of opportunity for helical piers. 6:46 They specialize in foundation repair solutions, so not very exciting stuff. 6:51 [LAUGH] But once Chance added new content on 6:57 the website that spoke to helical peers, they saw an increase in organic entrances 7:02 to the helical products page by over 50%. 7:06 Next we'll talk about how to define striking distance ranking opportunities. 7:11 So first off, what do I mean by striking distance? 7:16 Ranking opportunities that are performing, keyword, 7:20 that are performing very well for PPC, high conversions, high conversion rate, 7:25 high click-through etc., 7:29 that we are not targeting from an SEO perspective. 7:34 But we are currently ranking for these search terms, probably not very well, 7:38 maybe toward the bottom of page one, or even on page two or three of Google. 7:44 But the idea is if we are already showing relevance for 7:49 these search terms, PPC is driving qualified site traffic, 7:52 then with a little effort we can really improve our rankings for these keywords. 7:56 They're within our reach or within striking distance. 7:59 So for this tactic, 8:04 I start by looking at the top performing keywords in Google AdWords. 8:05 And I filter for conversions greater than one, just so 8:11 that we are not including any extraneous data that we don't need. 8:14 And I also set the time frame so 8:18 that it's long enough that we have a substantial amount of data to look at. 8:21 Once I get in Excel, I start by removing a lot of the extraneous data that you get in 8:25 the initial export. 8:30 All we really need to look at are keywords, clicks, impressions, 8:32 click-through rate, and conversions. 8:36 Once we have that data, we want to know if we're already targeting this keyword, and 8:40 how well we're ranking for this keyword. 8:46 Based on all of that data, you can see where the opportunity is and 8:48 start assigning value. 8:53 So again, tier one opportunities would be anywhere we 8:55 are ranking toward the bottom of page one in Google search results, and 8:58 tier two would be anywhere where we're on page two. 9:02 And we all know that rankings aren't simply one through ten anymore. 9:06 So as you're assigning value you can take into consideration things like knowledge 9:10 boxes, local results, mobile results, etc., on an as needed basis. 9:14 Once you have identified where the opportunity is, 9:22 then you wanna apply these terms to your on-page strategy. 9:25 PureTalk USA is a no-contract cell phone provider, so 9:30 as you can imagine, it's a very competitive market. 9:35 Using this opportunity to find content gaps, 9:38 they begin to shift their focus from the affordability of what they were 9:43 offering to the unlimited aspect of what they were offering, and 9:46 they saw an increase in organic entrances of over 30% in Q1. 9:50 And they also earned four new keyword rankings in the top 9:54 three of Google search results for those unlimited keyword themes. 9:58 So, lastly, we'll walk through how to leverage PPC for CRO. 10:04 And I wanted to talk a little bit about CRO because even though it's not directly 10:09 SEO, it is critical to improving user experience, and 10:14 that's really what SEO is all about at its core. 10:18 So when we're defining key words to different sections and 10:24 pages of our website, there are often 10:27 a number of pages that could be appropriate for any given keyword theme. 10:30 There's a natural overlap as part of any website. 10:34 And with keyword not provided, making things a little more complicated for 10:39 us, and semantic search and Google's algorithm getting 10:44 better at understanding the meaning behind keywords, we really can't look 10:48 at defining our keyword themes as a semantic exercise anymore. 10:53 We have to look at it from a buyer journey perspective, and think about what a user 10:57 would expect to see when they're searching for these different keyword themes. 11:03 Should the landing page be more navigational or transactional? 11:07 So by testing our landing pages using PPC, 11:14 again, we can expedite this process a little more. 11:18 And I like to use my organic Sandbox campaign and 11:23 create three unique ad variations. 11:28 They will be very similar because we're testing one keyword theme, but 11:29 the key is that each landing page will be to a unique landing page on the website. 11:35 Again, I like to set my add delivery to optimize for 11:44 the best performing ads so that we can identify a clear winner sooner. 11:48 And once you have defined the best performing page in terms of click-through 11:55 rate or conversions, you can apply your on-page 11:59 strategies to that page for the given keyword theme. 12:05 Jekyll Island Club Hotel is a historic resort hotel in Georgia, and 12:12 they have a lot of overlapping pages on their website, especially for 12:17 the different accommodations. 12:20 So there's a page for rooms, a page for rates and reservations, and so forth. 12:22 So the question was, which page will resonate most 12:26 with users where there's a little bit of overlap and blurry intent? 12:29 So by using this method and testing landing pages, 12:34 Jekyll Island saw an increase in organic conversions of about 48%. 12:37 So, just a few more tips for 12:44 you to keep in mind as you guys move forward and create your own tactics. 12:46 Some things work better together. 12:52 SEO needs PPC data and they have keyword data. 12:55 We should absolutely be using that. 12:58 You can also curate your own tactics. 13:03 I mentioned four, but 13:06 maybe we can find off-page opportunities by looking at retargeting data. 13:08 Maybe you can change some things about the test that I've talked about. 13:13 I like to set my ad delivery to optimize to show the best ad more frequently, but 13:16 maybe you want to use Google Experiments so that you have a 50/50 split. 13:21 And, lastly, embrace collaboration. 13:27 It's more than just data mining and optimizing, 13:30 we should be working with the PPC team. 13:33 They shouldn't just be our co-workers across the office. 13:35 Thank you. 13:42 [APPLAUSE] >> Excellent, thank you. 13:43 We have a number of questions that are coming through on Twitter. 13:50 So I thought I'd jump right into a couple of these. 13:53 I'm gonna steal this from you, and 13:56 hopefully I'll remember to give it to you or Adrienne. 13:57 >> [LAUGH] The next person. 13:59 >> [LAUGH] Yeah, exactly. 14:00 Okay, so one question that has come up, I see it a couple times here. 14:01 The question is so how do you select which pages are the best ones to actually take 14:07 a look at, and good targets for testing in Google Webmaster Tools? 14:12 >> So in Google Webmaster Tools you can look at the Search Analytics report. 14:17 And for testing effective metadata, I want to look at those pages that have 14:22 the lowest click-through rates, specifically. 14:26 So you can filter for pages instead of queries. 14:28 You guys can take a closer look at the slide when you download the deck, but 14:33 it's all outlined there. 14:37 And then you can look at impressions, clicks, click-through rate, 14:39 average position, and so forth. 14:43 So, I like to look for the lowest click-through rate. 14:46 >> All right, makes sense. 14:50 And another good one is, how do you match up keywords across PPC and 14:52 SEO that are similar, but aren't exactly the same? 14:57 >> Yeah, so a lot of the tactics that I talked about were really focused on 15:01 keyword themes. 15:05 So for my clients, we like 15:06 to kind of group the different keywords that are overlapping and similar by theme. 15:10 And it works better for some of the tactics that I talked about than others, 15:15 but the idea is to have a general grouping. 15:20 >> Are there specific tools or something that you use that helps you to find 15:25 the keywords that are on the second and third page, 15:30 kind of within striking distance? 15:33 >> [LAUGH] So 15:35 a lot of that is based on the keywords that we're targeting through Adwords. 15:37 So I look at those keywords, and I do like to look at the different ad types, 15:42 the different keyword types, because they are truly different search queries. 15:46 So if there are a lot of broad matched terms, then it may take a little more 15:50 research and a little more digging, but it is a very manual process. 15:54 >> Well, this one, this is a great one for SEO. 15:58 How do you mitigate ranking loss risks deploying PPC pages 16:03 organically, yeah, regarding testing landing pages on ad words? 16:08 >> Can you repeat that one for me? 16:12 >> Yeah, so it's about testing landing on ad words. 16:14 How do you mitigate ranking loss risks by deploying those PPC pages organically. 16:16 I don't know if that's a, I'm assuming- >> In terms of overlap with PPC and 16:21 the organic pages ranking? 16:27 >> Yeah I'd say your landing pages ranking organically that you've deployed for PPC. 16:29 >> So for the landing pages that I'm referring to, 16:37 they're not strictly PPC landing pages. 16:40 They're pages on your website that are organic landing pages, as well. 16:44 >> Okay, so pages that already exist and- >> Yeah, exactly. 16:48 >> Okay, that makes sense. 16:51 [LAUGH] Sorry, I almost read that question out loud, that was not, 16:56 that is about our wi-fi. 17:00 >> [LAUGH] >> I'm not gonna read that question. 17:01 >> [LAUGH] >> I don't have answers to that. 17:03 >> [LAUGH] I don't have answers to that. 17:07 >> [LAUGH] >> Do you test individual elements on 17:10 landing pages, or design three completely different landing pages when you test? 17:13 >> Yeah, so the idea behind testing landing pages is testing 17:19 existing pages that overlap and could use the same keyword theme. 17:23 So the Jekyll Island example was a rooms page, 17:27 a reservations page, and a rates page. 17:32 So they're all very similar. 17:35 They're all talking about reservations, but they already exist. 17:36 We just wanna know which one is more likely to convert for 17:39 the reservation keyword theme. 17:43 >> All right. 17:46 And then I think we have one more question here. 17:47 What is your suggestion for tracking user journeys for 17:50 specific keywords and phrases, and how those kind of work together there. 17:53 >> Yeah, so that's where using AdWords PPC data comes in. 17:59 They are the ones that have keyword data. 18:02 >> Mm-hm. 18:04 >> We can look at that in AdWords and in Analytics, both. 18:04 So that's really where we're limited to keyword data. 18:08 >> Wah, wah, wah. 18:11 >> [LAUGH] >> Remember the old days, 18:12 landing key words? 18:17 All right. [LAUGH] 18:18 >> Thank you. 18:18 >> Thank you so much, Stephanie, 18:19 let's get a big round of applause. >> [APPLAUSE] 18:20
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