Many small business owners believe they need to choose between paid search campaigns and an organic SEO approach. What most don’t realize is that there’s no need to select just one to invest in, and putting resources into quality content marketing campaigns can fuel both strategies.
PPC and SEO can work together, often quite successfully. Landmark Bank, a personal and business banking provider with offices in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, proved as much after launching a new content-focused organic search strategy that positively impacted both their standing in search rankings and ROI on PPC campaigns, according to Marketing Sherpa.
Get started with keyword research for PPC and SEO
If you’re looking to generate content for SEO and PPC, you need to make sure you’re tageting the optimal keywords for driving relevant website traffic. Landmark reconsidered its keyword strategy, focusing on localized versions of the services they offer. After conducting extensive research, Landmark launched its new strategy throughout its website.
Similarly, your content for paid and organic search campaigns should be rooted in careful keyword selection. Reflect on what phrases are most essential to your business offerings and see which are the best traffic drivers using Google’s AdWords tool. Just as Landmark found ways to localize to get more niche (and likely less competitive) phrases, you can use thoughtful keyword research as the basis for your content.
MarketingSherpa reported that Landmark optimized four to five keywords per page, weaving them naturally into their website content. This site content took the form of ongoing articles as well as landing pages for organic search. Landmark used the landing pages as the content users arrive at when clicking on paid links, which all businesses can do to get maximum use of their content.
Focus on content quality for landing pages to drive results
When creating these keyword rich pages, it’s critical to ensure that content reads well. Essentially, keywords need to be in these articles or land pages, but if it’s clear to the reader that a sentence is forced, it will be obvious to search crawlers as well. With this in mind, it’s important to work with experienced content writers.
As Landmark’s strategy started pushing them up organic listings, the company found that the PPC campaigns it also operated, which coincided with its organic keyword strategy, improved as well. The company recognized that importance of its website content in this process. “[We] could support the paid search campaign with the content that was on the site,”said Andy Craig, the bank’s marketing manager.
In the end, the new keyword and content strategy, initially built solely for search engine optimization, boosted traffic driven by organic search 30 percent. Meanwhile, traffic from PPC increased by a dramatic 360 percent in the same amount of time.
Search marketing, paid or organic, is about content. Search engines want to bring users to the most relevant websites. Frequent keyword use is important, but Landmark’s campaign demonstrates that good keywords are only as valuable as the content they are used in.
Let’s take a closer look at why.
Why your PPC campaign needs content
Launching content marketing campaigns is often associated with SEO and organic search improvements. Quality articles or blog posts written with a focus on natural keyword use will help businesses improve ranking on these key terms for organic search.
However, landing page content written for PPC campaigns aimed at informing prospects and directing them through the conversion funnel can also receive a lift from a content marketing strategy.
Whether a user arrives on a web page from organic listings or paid search, they want information, and they want it quickly.
As such, Google, with its ongoing focus on quality, launched a tool recently that allows users to block websites they bounce back to SERPs from. For users that select this option, results from the website they choose to block will no longer appear in search. Users can blog organic or paid results. As such, your small business really only has once chance to make an impression on that prospect, and a quality landing page is the best to do that.
If you’re on board with the idea that you need quality content to engage users who land on your site from paid or natural search, let’s take a closer look at how content fuels overall search visibility.
How website content impacts paid search placement and organic rankings
Sites that invest in quality content are rewarded with better real estate in search engines – for both paid search position and organic rankings.
One of the major tools Google uses to serve its paid search ads is Quality Score, which essentially is the product of a formula that quickly calculates a PPC ad’s relevance to a user’s search query. Among the factors that make up a Quality Score is landing page relevance to the search term. The frequency with which your paid ads appear within search and their position will cost you less as a result.
For Landmark Bank, paid search spending came down as a result of their success. Compared to the average cost prior to launching the campaign, it is now spending 64 percent less than on its PPC ads, according to Marketing Sherpa. Additionally, the company’s position in paid search is, on average, 175 percent greater than it was previously
Similarly, quality, relevant content is a major component of SEO. If a search query matches a keyword found within high-quality, relevant content, your search ranking will improve. Google has explicitly said, “Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find ‘high-quality’ sites by reducing the rankings of law-quality content.”
As these campaigns evolve, well executed search-friendly content will help your small business increase website traffic, which will likely lead to more web leads and conversions.
Ultimately, Landmark’s success demonstrates the overarching truth of the current internet marketing landscape. Whether you’re hoping to improve paid search marketing, SEO or marketing campaigns on another channel, your effort is ultimately all directed at one end – increasing conversions by driving relevant website traffic. And quality website content is the best way to get there.
Landmark bank recently launched an SEO strategy aimed at its organic search standing, but the campaign also benefited the company’s PPC efforts.