|Often, sites view seo and PPC marketing as exclusive
marketing techniques. Each marketing method has its advocates.
In reality, both have a place in the Internet marketing process.
If you intend to pursue a major seo effort, a PPC campaign is a
critical early step.
PPC For Testing
Let’s say you have a site offering a service or product in the
travel market. You’ve put together a healthy budget and decided
to go for broke. Yep, you’re optimizing and trading links in an
effort to go after keyword phrases with major traffic and
competition. For instance, you’ve decided to have a go at
“Europe travel”, which has roughly 400,000 searches each month
and major competition for high rankings. You spend two years
trading links, adding content and so on. Miracle of miracles,
you pop on to the first page of search results. You start
shopping for your private jet only to realize a very disturbing
thing. You are getting thousands of visits, but few sales. After
running calculations, you find the site is converting at 1 in
Houston, we have a problem.
A PPC campaign should be used to test your site against keyword
phrases before you spend the time and money on an seo campaign.
The best platforms to use for your campaign are Google Adwords
and Overture. Yes, click fraud is a problem, but less so on
After opening accounts and laying a credit card down at the PPC
alter, you need to give some thought at to how you will test
your keywords. Here’s a hint. The campaign should be designed to
test the keyword phrases, not maximize sales. This may sound
like a strange statement, but keep in mind the purpose of the
campaign. You are determining whether you have picked
appropriate keyword phrases for the seo campaign. So, how does
it all go wrong?
With both Overture and Adwords, you have the ability to
designate the reach of your keyword phrases. Most pick the
“broad match” option, which is terrible for testing. With broad
match, your advertisements are going to appear for your keyword
phrase AND variations of the phrase. Since the ad is appearing
on a variety of keyword phrases, the results can give you a
false impression of the value of the primary keyword phrase.
Going back to our example, we start a Google Adwords campaign
for “Europe travel” and use the default broad match option.
After a month, we are happy to find the ads converting at 1 in
70. Having validated the keyword phrase, we set off on the long
seo campaign. But are we really sure about the validity of the
keyword phrase. Since Google has been known to seriously expand
keyword phrases under the broad match option, how do we know
that the true keyword phrase isn’t “European travel”? We don’t
unless we take a few additional steps.
The first step is to limit the PPC advertisements by bypassing
the broad match option. Instead, you want to limit the
appearance of the ad only to searches for the exact keyword
phrase. In Adwords, this is known as the “exact phrase” match.
To designate it, you simply place brackets “” around the
keyword phrase. Second, you need to track traffic originating
from the ads. This can be done using tracking tools on your
server or through the tracking options offered by each PPC
platform. Regardless of your choice, the resulting data will
give a much truer picture of the value of the particular keyword
Nothing is more aggravating then getting top rankings, but
miserable conversions. The only way to beat this problem is to
test, test, test. Using PPC campaigns at the outset of an
Internet marketing efforts can save you a lot of headaches later