Contrary to popular belief, SEO and PPC are not on the other end of the spectrum. There are many ways the two search disciplines can work together for benefits, especially when it comes to optimizing your Google ads. In this informative Whiteboard Friday episode from last spring, MozCon spokeswoman and Kick Point President Dana DiTomaso explains how you can use the power of SEO and PPC for an overall better Google experience.

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Video transcription

Hey Moz readers. My name is Dana DiTomaso and I am President and Partner at Kick Point. We are a digital marketing agency based in the frozen wilds of Edmonton, Alberta. Today I'm going to be talking to you about PPC and I know you are thinking, "This is an SEO blog. What are you doing here when you talk about PPC?"

But one of my resolutions for 2019 is to bring SEO and PPC people together because SEO can learn a lot from PPC, and yes, PPC, you can learn a lot from SEO too. I know PPC people say, "We just paid. It's so great." But believe me, both can work together. In our agency we do both SEO and PPC and work with many companies that have one person, sometimes two, and that do everything.

We try, among other things, to help them run better advertising campaigns. Here I have tips on things we see all the time when we are working with a new ad account that we end up fixing and hopefully I can pass these on to you so you can fix them before you have to call an agency over and over fix it for you. One of the things is that this is actually a much longer piece than what I can present on this whiteboard. There is only so much space.

There is actually a blog post on our website that you can find here. Please check that out and that will have the full nine tips. But I'll just cut it down to a few today.

1. Too many keywords

Too many keywords first. We often see this where people on Google make sure they put together keywords that have the same topic.

But your topic can be very specific or vague. This is an example, a real example that we received, where the keyword examples were all lawyer topics, so "Defense Lawyer", "Criminal Defense Lawyer", "Dui Lawyer", "Assault Lawyer", "Sexual Assault Lawyer". Technically, they all have the same subject as "lawyer," but that's far too vague for it to be a single ad group. What kind of ad will you be running?

"We're lawyers. Give us a call." It's not specific enough. For example, take "dui attorney" which I know is a really very competitive niche, and then you can (dui attorney), (dui attorney Seattle) and then "dui attorney" and + dui + attorney + Seattle a little different. I'll talk about it in a moment. If you take that one thing and then break it down into a much more specific ad group, you really can have a lot more control.

This is a consistent topic in all of the tips I talk about. There is much more control over where you spend your money, what keywords you spend it on, what your ads are, and which ad landing page matches better is also very important. It makes your ad life so much easier when you have it in all of these ad groups. I know it could be intimidating. It's like, "Well, I have three ad groups now. If I follow your tips, I'll have 40."

At the same time, it is much easier to manage 40 well-organized groups than 3 really badly organized groups. Do not forget that.

2. Choose the correct match type

Next, you need to choose the correct type of match. You can see here that I have this clip material and this phrase material and these plus signs. There are really four types of match.

Broad game

There is a broad correspondence that is terrible and is never used. A broad match is that if you just write out the keyword and then Google will only show it for what seems relevant to that particular search. For example, we've seen examples of a catering company using "catering" as a keyword and showing all sorts of expressions in catering that they can't cater for. A venue that does only offers in-house catering. Or they spend money on a catering conference or on completely irrelevant things. Don't use a broad match.

Broad Match Modifier (BMM)

The upgrade from this one is what is known as the Broad Match Modifier or BMM, and that's where those pluses come in. These are really the words dui, lawyer, and seattle in any order, but they must all exist and other things can exist around them. It could be, "I need a DUI attorney in Seattle." "I live in Seattle. I need a DUI attorney." That would work for that particular keyword as well.

Phrase match

The next type is phrase, and that's in quotes. This "Dui lawyer" is the example here, and then you can have anything before or after, but you cannot have anything in between. For example, it might not be "dui who is really great at being a lawyer". Weak example, but you get the idea. You can't just shove things into the middle of a phrase match.

Exact match

Then this is exactly the match in brackets, and that's just these words and nothing else. If I (dui attorney) had this keyword, if I hadn't (dui attorney Seattle), this keyword would not be triggered when someone searches (dui attorney Seattle). It's as specific as possible. You really want to try this out for your most competitive keywords.

This is the really expensive stuff because you don't want to waste a single penny on something that is irrelevant to that particular search. That's your head on, it's really expensive with every click. I need to make sure I'm getting the best money possible for these clicks. This is where you really want to use the exact match.

3. Only one ad per group

Next tips. The next thing we see is a lot of people who only have one ad per group.

Have at least 3 ads per group

This is not a tip. This is a review up here. The thing is, you might think again that it's easy for management, but it's really hard to see what will work because if you don't always test then how will you know if you can do better? Make sure you have at least three ads per group.

Add emotional triggers to your ad copy

Then look at your ad copy. We see many just generic ones like, "We're the best lawyers. Give us a call." There's nothing there that says I need to call these people. Really think about how to add these emotional triggers to your copy. Talk to your client or team if you're in-house and find out what people are saying when they call. What are the things that they say, "Wow, you really helped me with this" or "I felt this way and then you walked in and I just felt so much better".

This can really help spice up your ads. We don't want to get too fancy with this, but we definitely want to do something that will help you stand out. Really add these emotional triggers to your ad copy.

Make sure you have a call to action

Then the next thing to do is make sure that you are being called to action. This seems basic as you think it is an ad. When you click on it, it's the call to action. But sometimes people on the internet don't necessarily think. They just want to say, "You know what? Just give me a call or send me an email, or we'll be open 24 hours."

Just be specific about what you want the person to do when they look at the ad. Just spell it out for her. I know it seems silly. Just tell them. Just tell them what to do. That's all you have to do.

Use extensions!

Then make sure to add any extensions. In Google Ads, if you're not particularly familiar with the platform, there is a section called Extensions. These are things like when the address goes under an ad, or when you have those little links, or when someone says we're open 24 hours, for example. There are several extensions that you can use. Just put in all the possible extensions for each one of your groups.

Then they will not all trigger at the same time, but at least they are there and it is possible that they will trigger. If so, your ad will get more real estate than your competition. This is really great on mobile because ads take up a lot of space at the top of a mobile search. You want to make sure that you get your competition off this quest as much as possible so that you own as much of this property as possible. However, I see people doing the wrong thing with extensions by setting extensions at the campaign level, for example. Then you have different ad groups that cover different topics.

If we come back to this example of the different types of lawyers here, let's assume you had an extension that specifically talks about the DUI law, but then the sexual assault law was triggered. You don't want that to happen. Make sure you have fine-grained control over your various extensions so that you are displaying the right extension with the right keyword type and ad type. The other thing we see a lot is where people have location extensions and they are viewing all location extensions where they shouldn't be viewing all location extensions.

For example, you have an ad group for Seattle, and it's this new housing development that you have. Since you've just loaded all of your location extensions, suddenly you see extensions for something in, say, San Francisco. It's just because you didn't filter properly. Really check that your filter is set up correctly for your location extensions and that you are viewing the correct location extension for the correct display.

I know Google says, "We pick the locations that are closest to the customer." But you don't know exactly where that person is looking. They might be in San Francisco right now looking for new Seattle homes because they might be considering moving from San Francisco to Seattle. You don't want them to see the stuff that's there. You want them to see the stuff that's in where they want to be. Really make sure you control this.

4. Keep display and search separate

Last but not least, keep viewing and search separate.

By default, Google says so helpfully, "We'll run your ads everywhere. It's totally cool. We want everyone to do this." Do not do that. This is how Google makes money. It doesn't make you any money. The reason for this is that the display network, where you visit a website and then see an ad, and the search network, when you enter the material and see an ad, are two completely different animals.

Avoid showing text ads on the Display Network to improve campaign control

It really is a different kind of experience. To be honest, if you are running your search campaigns which are text based ads on websites now, show a boring text ad on a website that already has 50 blinking things in it and click here. You probably don't see us and you may have an ad blocker installed. But if so, your text ad, which is kind of boring and not intended for this medium, is certainly not going to be what attracts attention.

Really, you are just wasting your money because you end up with less relevance and fewer clicks and then Google will think your group is bad. Then you end up paying more because Google thinks your group is bad. It really gives you that extra control by saying, "This is the search campaign. It's just being searched. This is the ad campaign. It's just being displayed." Keep the two completely separate. Then you have a lot of control over which search ads are for search and which display ads are for display.

Do not confuse these two. Make sure this option is disabled by default. In any case, there are more tips here on our blog. But I hope this will get you started. SEOs, if you've never run a PPC campaign in your life, I recommend setting up just one. Put $ 50 behind that thing. Just give it a try because I think what will really help you is understand more how people search because we are getting less and less keyword data from the various tools we use to find out what the hell people googling when they try looking for our store, ads will give you some of that data back.

This is where ads can be a really good ally when it comes to getting better SEO results. I hope you found it pleasant. Many thanks.

Video transcription from Speechpad.com

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