The benefits of collaboration between SEO and PPC teams are well known. But how do you bridge the gap and get these channels working cohesively?
Dividing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) teams ultimately leads to competition within the company. The best marketing teams combine SEO and PPC in a harmonious ecosystem. This balance requires open communication, defined roles, intentional research, and a shared goal. Let’s take a look at just how to do that.
Many marketing leaders experience challenges in the strategic coordination of their teams. This results in separate strategies that don’t complement each other, cost inefficiencies, and missed opportunities to improve results. Disparate teams may not have insight into the other team’s methods.
SEO and PPC teams should work together to test keywords for conversion potential and leverage organic traffic for remarketing. The ideal scenario is complementing the efficacy of organic work with paid work. Joining these teams will help target the correct user personas while producing optimal results without overlapping work.
The cost efficiency of combining SEO and PPC efforts
When Imarc brings on a new client, we look to see if their paid media is helping or hindering their organic search. In some cases, a drastic increase in brand-specific paid search ad spend leads to a decline in organic performance because the paid ads sit above the organic results, and they are the first listings that most people click on. Eliminating that overlap often represents a major win for our clients.
Organic traffic and paid search account for 80% of all website traffic.
Breaking the siloes
Define roles and responsibilities
Defining roles and responsibilities helps to mitigate siloes between teams and ensures clear communication channels. Not sure who should be involved in a project? Try creating a RACI chart to help define who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed.
These delineations help you dictate who should be present for what meetings, who should be doing what work, and where holes and overlaps exist.
Since both SEO and PPC share the same advertising space, aligning the strategy and goals can help optimize ad spend and position your search team to stay ahead of upcoming SEO changes.
At Imarc, we track these KPIs via dashboards and reports. They are discussed both with the larger internal team and referenced individually during campaigns.
Develop complementary goals
At the end of the day, your strategy for paid media and your strategy for SEO should align and focus on the same goals. This positions your website to rank well in both organic and paid without the risk of cannibalizing keywords.
The best way to do that is to take some of the KPIs listed above and decide what search success means for your business.
What is your ideal CTR? How much should you expect to pay per click? These KPI-forward benchmarks will allow you to set and maintain Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) goals that everyone agrees on.
Strengthen strategies with shared research and testing
A solid SEO strategy often begins with deep keyword research. This research uncovers areas where a website is winning and identifies high-value search terms that a website should target. Keyword discovery helps lay the foundation for content strategy. It’s extremely valuable in the ways it can inform content and help guide PPC campaigns.
PPC campaigns in turn can act as a way to test keywords. Likewise, the success of ad copy can help guide content creation. Sharing data from both SEO and PPC campaigns will ultimately strengthen both strategies.
For example, if discovery finds that a website is winning organically for a given keyword, any PPC dollars that may have been allocated can be distributed to other keywords. Likewise, if a website is not winning for its strategic use of a keyword, PPC dollars can be reallocated to give that keyword a boost. Other benefits of running SEO and PPC campaigns in tandem include increasing visibility in search results, increasing traffic, and greater opportunity for conversions. When a website is served multiple times on a results page (in ads and organically), that dual visibility increases click-through rates and potential conversions.
Create a meeting cadence
Even if you outline your strategy, KPIs, and goals clearly, it is easy to lose your way through inadequate resourcing. Decide up front when and how often teams will come together for dashboard reviews, strategic sessions, and any other important meetings.
We recommend starting with a quarterly strategic session, a monthly reporting meeting, and smaller weekly team meetings. You can increase your efficacy by empowering your internal leaders to drive the agendas and keep track of the progress that is made.
Working with an agency to bolster your combined SEO & PPC strategy
An agency partner can help you define the optimal combination of SEO and PPC to expand your digital footprint and reach the right audience at the right time. Your agency partner will help you strike the right balance between organic search and paid ads to help users find your brand in multiple places.
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