What if I told you that you could use paid traffic such as Google Adwords to assess whether any SEO campaign would be worth pursuing? Paid traffic helps solve a big problem with search engine optimization (SEO), namely that the return on investment for SEO campaigns takes time. Many people like to believe that SEO is all about attracting free traffic. Rank for the right number of keywords and enjoy the extra business you reap. The problem is you is that you have to be in that first position before you even know if it’s worth the effort. That means that you have to actually rank for a keyword term before you can measure its return. Some keywords that sound great in theory end up not converting for your business.
What’s Wrong With Conventional SEO Keyword Research?
There are all sorts of tools out there that will tell you all sorts of statistics about keywords. These statistics are usually the search volume, the number of competitors bidding on the keywords in PPC as well as long-tail variations of the keywords. But what makes a good keyword for one business could end up being irrelevant for your own business. Your website is going to be different than all of the other websites that are targeting that keyword in SEO and PPC. Your product or service offering might be better than your competitors, but your page design might convert at a lower rate.
Let’s say you did some preliminary keyword research that told you that a certain keyword gets about 10,000 searches a month. You might think it would be great if you could rank in the number one organic position for that keyword. You might then check how strong your competitor is at the top of the search listings for that keyword. They own that number one position due mostly to the hundreds or thousands of links pointing to their website. Getting to the number one position in Google for multiple keywords will take a coordinated link building effort by your team.
Save Money By Paying For Traffic
No business wants to sink their ROI by doing six to twelve months of SEO link building without knowing their payoff. Instead of building out pages and hiring writers, what if there was a way to find out if the SEO effort was worth it in the first place? Instead of blindly trying to compete with the people at the top of the SERPs, what if there were a way to see whether or not your website will convert visitors for that keyword? That’s exactly the beauty of using Google Adwords for SEO pre-testing. Google paid advertising platform allows you to buy a keyword that will function as an SEO placeholder.
It’s going to be a lot cheaper just to pay for brief PPC exposure to see if that keyword traffic is going to work for your website. There’s no sense targeting a keyword using SEO if you can’t make any money off of it. If you don’t make enough money off a keyword, you can also reassess your strategy. Try tweaking your landing page and making other adjustments. Once you get your website profiting, then try going after the big money keywords. This will allow you to be even more competitive against other people who obviously have a lot of SEO behind their websites already.
Using Pay Per Click (PPC) To Test SEO Keywords
Instead of using paid traffic as a means to get visitors to your site, you’ll be using paid traffic as an SEO keyword research tool. Paid advertising can be a very controllable source of traffic to learn important metrics from. The fact that you can start paid traffic minutes from now and have insights into the visitors you’re driving is worth its weight in gold. Here are the steps for testing your SEO keyword ideas using paid traffic.
- Research some keywords in Google Adwords that your business wants to target.
- Pay for the most promising keywords you’ve found in step 1. You do not need anything other than the Google Search Network and exact match keywords. You want to target Google Search (and not their Display Network) as it is the same playing field that your SEO campaigns will compete in.
- Send these visitors to specifically tailored landing pages on your site.
- Check your return on investment by seeing how well you can convert those visitors into prospects.
To get a good feel for your return on investment, you’ll need to separate unengaged customers from real customers that are going to pull out their wallets. You can use Adwords conversion tracking anywhere on your success page to chart your ROI. It’s a much better preliminary SEO strategy to spend a few hundred dollars on pay per click advertising for each exact keyword. This allows you to target specific visitors as a test to see if you can convert them. Using paid traffic like this seems more expensive than the “free traffic” that you can get from search engines. But the money you save in the long run will be worth the initial outlay.
PPC advertising can be a tricky proposition for many businesses to master. Perhaps you’ve spent a few hundred dollars on Google without making any real money. This scenario turns out to be the typical experience that most businesses have when paying for traffic. The problem is that the majority of companies end up doing it the wrong way. If you’d like help generating positive returns on your digital marketing campaigns, get in touch with our Adwords certified team by calling (918) 770-0211 or by filling out our Contact form.