There is a question that has been discussed forever – are SEO and SEM rivals or complementary? And does sponsored ranking benefit SEO? Is the opposite true? We are not going to debate this, but we want to tell you some tips to make your SEO and SEM strategies complement each other and make the global ranking of your webpage add up with a SEO & SEM combined strategy.
In many cases the problem arises when clients split up the strategy for each channel and assign each to a different specialized agency. This is a disadvantage when designing a combined strategy between channels, because it is harder to coordinate different agencies towards a common goal. Agencies want to make the most out of their channels for the best performance possible, but this can mean lower visibility on other channels.
In my opinion, this is a huge mistake. Our work has to focus on getting the best of what the client can make, and enhance their possibilities as much as possible. For this, all strategies of traffic by channel have to converge on a common path.
This problem is very common on SEO and SEM channels, where independent strategies are deployed. In many cases, this makes both channels compete against each other, especially when dealing with brand keywords. How can we avoid this? Read these tips to design a SEO & SEM combined strategy:
- Analyse the current ranking on each channel:
It is important to make some situation analysis to find out the strengths and the best ranked keywords for each channel. Identify the keywords ranked on SEO and which have more traffic volume and clicks on the SEM campaign. Filter in each case by those keywords with a stronger potential and analyse those that have low potential – in this case, work on the opposite channel to improve its performance.
- Keyword profitability:
Analyse the CTR of each potential keyword for both the SEO and the SEM campaigns. With this we will find out the real value of each keyword and the best strategy.
A SEO keyword with a low CTR can be empowered within an AdWords campaign to improve the traffic that the keyword attracts.
- Design a dictionary for each channel:
When you have made the situation analysis and you know the CTR of each keyword analysed, design a keywords dictionary for each channel. It is important to have in mind that you want to get as much traffic as possible by exploiting all the resources at your disposal.
If you have brand keywords for which there is no competition on Google Adwords, why bet for those brand keywords that already rank first on SEO?
This only leads to having users clicking on AdWords ads, which increases the cost of your campaign although you had virtually no competition for the first positions. You are already on the first position for that keyword on SEO, so you will lower the CTR of the brand keywords on SEO. This will actually damage your organic ranking for that campaign.
Allocate the budget on other keywords with a high volume of searches and for which your SEO ranking is lower. This may turn in profit.
- Use SEM keywords that have a low SEO ranking:
You may also analyse which keywords have a lot of impressions but a low average ranking. Use Search Console to find this out and improve their visibility via a Google AdWords campaign. With this you can increase traffic for that keyword, generating more traffic to the corresponding landing.
- Track and analyse the results:
It is important to track and analyse the results of both campaigns periodically with the aim of calibrating the keywords as their ranking evolves. Then, you can combine the dictionaries as results get increasingly better.
There is not magic trick beyond common sense. Do not compete against yourself, but design a SEO-SEM combined strategy that contributes to both channels by extracting the best from each one to work with the keywords that can turn out more profitable.
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