Can SEO and PPC work together? In this episode of “The Knowledge Panel,” we find out what the friction points may be, and why we all just can’t get along!
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David: “How SEO and PPC Can Work Together.” “The Knowledge Panel,” Episode 24. Hi. It’s your temporary host, David Bain, here. And today, we’ve got another wonderful episode with three great panelists here discussing all the merits of perhaps just doing SEO, perhaps just doing PPC, or perhaps doing them both together and working very extensively and effectively together. And so, we’re gonna have a great discussion about that as well. I just wanna mention quickly to anyone that happens to be listening on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, any different podcast platform, we do broadcast live. So, if you can, come and watch the next show live. Just sign up, theknowledgepanelshow.com, and hopefully, you can join us watching the next one live.
But without any further ado, let’s get straight on to introducing the three wonderful panelists that we’ve got today. So, in traditional Dixon fashion, I will say panelist number one, who are you and where do you come from?
Navah: Howdy, all. Thank you very much for having me. My name is Navah Hopkins. I have been in the digital space. I actually started off as an SEO, made the transition to PPC. I’ve had the pleasure of working with international accounts across every vertical. I’ve taught courses on PPC. I’ve built the paid agency or the paid arm within tech SEO agencies, worked on software. But most importantly, I love helping people. I am the “Ask the PPC” for Search Engine Journal and one of the founding board members for the Paid Search Association. So, all of that is to say I’m really excited for our conversation around empathy, technology, and how we can ultimately help you.
David: And one of the ideal guests for this particular topic and if you’ve crossed the boundary from PCC to SEO or the other way as well. And Becky as well. Oh, rather, I shouldn’t say Becky. I should say panelist number two, shouldn’t I? Who are you and where do you come from?
Becky: So, I am Becky. I’m founder and CEO at Reflect Digital. We’re a digital marketing agency based just south of London in the U.K. And I guess what makes us special is the fact that we’re kind of here to unleash digital performance, and we do that by connecting motivations and psychology into digital marketing strategies. So, we’ve got an SEO team, a paid team, a CRO team, and we really look at a holistic strategy. So, yeah. So, I’m gonna commit it very much from a strategy angle today and looking forward to the conversation.
David: Superb. Strategy perspective, bird’s eye view perspective perhaps as well. And moving on to panelist number three. Who are you and where do you come from?
Nadia: So, hello, everyone. My name is Nadia Mojahed. I am based in Geneva, Switzerland. So, I’ve been in the digital marketing field since more than 12 years, and recently since 2018, I decided to create my own agency, SEO Transformer. And I help international businesses and organizations and various sectors with our organic growth, basically with content strategy, website migration, technical audits, and all what helps bring the brand to the users actually. So, I’m glad to join you here, and thank you for having me.
David: Yeah. And I’m glad you talked about brand as well because brand is something that SEOs weren’t so great at maybe 10 years ago. Getting a lot better at it nowadays, of course, as well. And so, shall we start with perhaps looking at whether it’s possible to work in either SEO or either PPC in a fairly siloed manner? Just thinking about your own role in mind. We’ve got Navah shaking her head there as well. Not possible nowadays, Navah?
Navah: Well, not only not is it possible, you will hurt yourself if you try. So, the days of I’m gonna go hide in a corner and keep the client in the dark and work my magic voodoo, they’re over. And it’s actually really good because it means that not only are we sharing data that we own, privacy-first web compliant data where the users consent to cookie tracking, where we have our global analytics tag installed, all that. We want to make sure that we are collaborating both PPC and SEO so that we’re sharing that same source of truth, but also so that we can prove out ideas in a meaningful way.
It doesn’t make sense to hide what converts and what doesn’t on the paid side from the SEO team so that… Like, they have to create content strategies in the dark and vice versa if there is really solid intel on the content side or the insight search side that can be relayed to the paid teams to understand what ideas might convert and be worth that more expensive auction price. Makes zero sense to silo that. So, you’re hurting yourself if you’re trying to hide, and you’re also hurting yourself if you refuse to share reporting data. So, yeah, no, no.
David: Okay, okay, okay. So, share, share. Make sure you talk to people. Becky, you obviously manage a big team and you’ve got SEOs and paid search specialists that work for you. So, obviously, there are different mindsets that are perhaps better for different roles that the individuals happen to do. If someone isn’t a brilliant expert at paid search and just wants to do that, are you quite comfortable with that person staying in paid search and not educating themselves about SEO?
Becky: I think so. It’s making sure you’ve got the people to bridge the gap internally. So, not everyone themselves needs to be an expert across everything, but the thing that I say to the team all the time is your customer does not care what channel they find you on. They just care that you’re there when they need you at the right time and depending on where they are in the journey. So, that’s the bit. So, it’s one of the reasons we created our kind of customer experience team that we’ve got that kind of major on CRO analytics and bridging the gap between the two because it’s their job to get into the mindset of the user more and to map out what customer journeys look like and where we’ll find different audiences. And then to bring the two teams together from an SEO and a paid point of view to say, “Hey, look, this is how we make this happen.” And then actually, naturally the teams start working better together because they can see that central customer first. I don’t care what channel you’re on strategy and then they see where they play in and how they work together. And that, for us, is how it’s working and working really well.
David: So, Nadia, customer first. Is that how you approach trying to encourage SEOs and PPCs to work more closely together?
Nadia: Yes, absolutely. I mean, there is… So, SEO and PPC are just like the other side of the coin. And if the brand’s users are on Google, then both of the channels are actually important to reach to the customers. So, it’s basically the customer that we are trying to reach to. And by sharing the data and knowledge, we will just help each other perform better with PPC, for example, sharing the data of what are the keywords that they are targeting, then when SEO incorporate them in the text, we will help them by reducing the bit cost, for example, from performance perspective and the same as well with the different aspects.
Now, talking from an SEO perspective, so the more we actually share knowledge, SEO will help PPC achieve better results together when it comes to page speed elements, having the page better for the user experience as well. So, I always promote it as a win-win. We’re not competing. Actually, we are helping reach for better results.
David: Now this is a great panel because I can see that you’re suggesting great topics to further the conversation as part of the private chat as well. So, also feel free to jump in and add to people’s suggestions your thoughts. So, completely open panel discussion. Just jump in whenever you want. And shall we just move on to how to decide to spend your budget? Because, obviously, every client has a limited budget and you wanna maximize the impact of that budget as well. So, I guess what kind of perspective do clients tend to have and how they want to spend their budget? And how do you go about not pushing them in the right direction but ensuring that they go along the right path to maximize the impact of their budgets? Becky, would you like to go with that?
Becky: Yes. So, we take a research-driven approach because actually, to us, we don’t mind where they spend their budget, but actually, it’s more about starting with where. Again, we’re gonna find the customers and how they’re performing currently, benchmarking against competitors. So, we’ve got kind of an in-depth discovery process that we’ll take people through which does everything from profiling audience, finding drivers, looking at all the channels in-depth to understand the opportunity, understand the kind of cost, obviously, from a paid media point of view. And paid media, we’re talking everything from Google through to YouTube through to programmatic social channels, like, anywhere we can pay to put an ad. We wanna be thinking about that in relation to the different audiences.
And then it’s starting to marry that up against the business objectives because we need to understand what are they looking to achieve and where are we gonna get our kind of quick wins, our low-hanging fruit that’s going to help them justify that to the board that this makes sense and the investments working? Where are we gonna have our long-term strategy that maybe…? Especially from an organic point of view. There might be some keywords that are kind of our 6 to 12-month plan that aren’t gonna happen overnight but actually will dramatically help and maybe reduce some ad spend in the future.
So, it’s more about coming from a less emotional and a more rational database to being able to say, “Look, these are our options and these are kind of different ways that we could look at it,” and getting feedback from the client and making sure that we’re gonna answer the demands of their objectives.
Nadia: Can I add something here?
David: Yeah, go for it. I was just waiting to see who’s gonna jump in there. Nadia, yeah.
Nadia: So, I totally agree with Becky. Actually, it depends on, yeah, the business objectives as well, and also what are the objectives? And what is the business situation? So, sometimes it’s…like, some brands would like to…they want to show results, especially with the case of startups when they want to raise funds, for example, or, like, shorter-term projects. They want to see results now, but at the same time… So, if it’s a very competitive industry, then it might be most, like, very closely to just, like, rely on or to build the processes to rely more on PPC and not to benefit from SEO, for example.
It’s basically for certain keywords. There might be… SEO might help the business, for example, finding the niche that they can actually target that has not been never addressed before, whereas the low competition exists for that, and then tap on that growth organically very quickly. Relying solely on PPC, for example, on the other hand, might, of course, drive results for the time being, but maybe at some certain stages that the bit cost will increase, the drop-down of performance might happen. So, it’s best when it’s based on a case-by-case situation. It’s best when both are invested in, both to have, for example, one property as a place where you push for immediate results and one property to build and to invest in to grow over the time.
Navah: I’m so glad you brought up the look at each individual channel. So, whenever I’m working with a client, we have a very candid conversation about what are your customers worth? How many customers are you currently getting each month, and where could that number grow to without any foundational change or any operational change? Are you seasonal? There’s a lot of business questions that go into it. And there are certain folks where I will never ever recommend a Google Search from a paid standpoint simply because they do not have the budget, but I might recommend a display approach or a local service ads approach coupled with SEO from either technical or content, or I might recommend, “Hey, let’s just work on video content,” or, “Let’s work on guerrilla marketing.” Just like maybe we look at just more conventional media. It depends on the client.
One really useful way to do this actually is go to Google Trends and actually do a search for the different ideas that you want to potentially invest in either from an SEO content standpoint or from paid, and you’ll be able to see localized how each idea works. And depending on the search volume, you might even get auction prices back. So, as a general rule of thumb, you never want to set yourself up to be able to afford less than 10 clicks in your day if you’re doing anything paid because for non-branded, less than 10 is asking your campaign to fail because a 10% conversion rate is exceptional. And if you’re asking to do better than that, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
So, when you set up paid, especially if you’re not B2B, I mean, B2B, it’s a little bit more forgiving on that ratio, but you still definitely need to be mindful of that. Make sure that you’re setting your budgets up to drive results that you need and that you understand what the factors are that influence that conversion rate. If you convert better on the phone, you better be setting yourself up for calls. Your landing pages better be set up for calls. The types of queries, the types of content that you’re doing better, be encouraging that kind of conversation, planting that need to speak to an expert.
If you know that your site sells you well, just worry about that. Worry about that easy navigation, the path to conversion. Starting from business metrics and understanding pragmatically whether you can afford X, Y, Z channel or not will help quite a bit, and also understanding locally and time-wise where it might make sense to make a paid play definitely will increase the chance for success.
David: Navah, just to let you know, your headset got a little bit crackly there.
Navah: Oh, no.
David: We can still hear you okay but I’m not sure if it’s something that’s just slightly loose or you’re touching the wire or something like that. But just to make you aware of there. Hopefully, it’ll clear up there as well. Something else I just wanted to touch upon, Navah, was that you mentioned beforehand that we should maybe talk about how PPC is more than just Google Search. In terms of when you talk to clients about opportunities, are many clients actually aware of that, the fact that Google is a lot more than just text ads nowadays? And also, I guess to follow on from that, are areas like display or different video ads sometimes a much more cost-effective way to start PPC with?
Navah: Not only are they, it’s where Google is going. But dirty secret, Microsoft Ads exist, too, and it tends to actually convert quite a bit better, and it’s a lot easier to get more out of your budget there. So, just a general disclaimer, I am a huge Microsoft Ads fan girl. I love Microsoft Ads, Audience Network Search. They’re great. Love Google, too, but I do have a very near and dear place in my heart for Microsoft.
That out of the way, Google rolled out last year a campaign type called Performance Max and it basically rolls in everything together, display, video, local, shopping, search. And the reason why they did that is they wanted users to stop focusing on the individual channel, the nitty-gritty, and leaving out opportunities that could serve them well, and really focus on business objectives. The downside of Performance Max as a campaign type is that we just don’t have as much intelligence yet. Our ability to set certain settings aren’t as great.
However, based off of the tools at our disposal and based off of the way consumers are interacting with content, especially in the post-COVID world, video is non-negotiable, display is non-negotiable. Luckily, every ad network has at least a Shutterfly or Shutterstock integration, and it will crawl your site, and it will help you create beautiful content if you do not have the team to do it yourself. But absolutely, absolutely, you need to be taking advantage of those channels, both from an auction price standpoint and lack of competition. But also, that’s where your customers are. And if you do not have a cohesive brand message and a cohesive hook to pull people into your offering on things other than Google Search, you’re just gonna be paying a premium every single time and they haven’t decided that they have the need yet. You need to be owning that entire user journey.
David: Is video generally more a brand marketing tool and…
Navah: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So, this is actually very, very important, and I would really love for both Becky and Nadia to weigh in on this, too, because there’s a lot to unpack here. There’s a reason why YouTube is the second largest search network. There is a lot of mechanics that you can do, a lot of things that you can play with. YouTube by the nature of what it is, you can have those very transactional ads that are focused on shopping where you have that amazing ad and then the product is right there. There are the landing page-focused. Yes, you can have brand awareness and, yes, you can have brand lift, but ultimately, YouTube is a gold mine, a genuine gold mine for dynamic meaningful conversations with people where it’s that much more important nowadays to build that trust and to build that desire to interact with the brand so that they consent to not only engaging with you but to letting you know that they’re engaging with you.
Becky: I agree so much. It’s all about building a relationship, and that’s what that marketing journey is all about. And I think too many people are just running their text ads at the point of conversion,but you haven’t done anything to build a relationship. So, then the customer clicks on it and then they land on this site, and they’ve never seen you before, they’ve got no relationship, no trust. So, then they probably leave and they go to one of the other results where maybe they have been doing all the other activity, and they’re like, “Oh, this feels like a safe place actually. Two weeks ago, I read an article that helped me make this decision.” And they don’t even realize they’re putting all those things together. It’s just they’ve got this feeling that they don’t have about this brand that’s just popped up out of nowhere.
So, I think the thing that we find really important is making sure that where you’re using different channels for different things that you’re matching up what the customer should expect from it. So, our clients should expect from a metric point of view because some of them will be very different from a converting point of view. You’re not necessarily expecting them to convert. Yes, you can use YouTube for kind of that final part of the funnel, but depending on what you’re using it for, making sure you’ve had that conversation so that clients start to understand where they’re expecting the users to be in the journey. And what you’re expecting, as a result, is really important because otherwise, they can so easily bucket all of…especially on the paid marketing side of things. They think it’s all about driving ROI. And sometimes it’s not about that, it’s playing a different part of the game to get towards the ROI figure. So, yeah, that’s really important as well.
Nadia: Yeah. So, I also would like to add for video. Like, different types of people consume different kind of content and media. So, your audience might not be willing to read long blog articles or long texts, but then with a video, you could reach out to those who look for videos to learn about your brand. So, basically, it’s an opportunity not to miss as Becky and Nav said. Actually, I found video very effective as well to fuel the website, to fuel the social media interactions as well. So, it adds this, as you said, Nav, a personal touch, an interactivity. And actually, talking about SEO, sometimes for specific keywords, you need to have videos actually. Sometimes for the ranking of a specific keywords, a text doesn’t work. Sometimes images, you need to have images. Sometimes the content is best described by a video.
So, basically, it’s best that you as a brand to reach to the users with different channels and not to limit yourself. And nowadays, with having…like, users don’t expect a brand to spend that much on videos now with this, you know, like, live videos and stories on social media. And, like, your portable phone can be your video recording tool. So, it’s basically, let’s say the expectation on, like, how we should invest in video production, it might not be like that much cost here. So, like, return on investment will be bigger.
Navah: I have one quick point on this, and then I promise I’ll release the floor. This is a very powerful PPC and SEO collaboration opportunity. There’s a great audience type within paid search or any Google channel. They actually take the YouTube audience, the people who have subscribed, people who have seen a particular video, people who have commented on a video. So, as you’re working on your content and you’re deciding where to invest that content, that audience that has engaged with you before can then be used to pre-qualify your paid spend so that you’re not just shooting in the dark and you’re not just creating that cold call there. There’s that warm interaction that Becky mentioned, and you’re able to really move the needle both on the PPC and the SEO side. So, definitely, if you aren’t already, use your YouTube channel to your advantage not just to sell and to build brand awareness, but also from a targeting standpoint as an audience.
David: So, primarily, the audience for “The Knowledge Panel” show are SEOs, but obviously, SEOs that are aware that it’s important to learn different digital marketing activities from other people, and probably a lot of knowledge from paid search is an important part of that as well. Is it still the case that the quality and possibly volume of keyword data that you can get from paid search tools is better than the keyword data available for organic search?
David: No? Okay.
Navah: No, it died. We are all crying into our search terms report. So, basically, what happens now is we’ll look into our search queries and we’ll see some data, then we’ll see other queries and a whole other chunk of data. That’s just this black box of, “Oh, no.” So, what’s actually really interesting is that SEOs, you’re used to dealing with this, you’re used to modeling, you’re used to making those educated guesses, you’re used to building out the data from the scraps that we get from Google. This is a really powerful time to collaborate and to build those cross-platform reports because PPCs, we’ve kind of recovered at this point. And yes, our modeling from a conversion standpoint is there, but, yeah, we definitely do not have the gold standard of full robust data that we once did.
David: I guess one thing that you can do for PPC, for SEO, sorry, is you can actually test PPC for a short period of time then decide whether it’s actually worthwhile to spend a decent amount of budget focusing on SEO for those particular terms.
Navah: So, this is actually very important. Different ad platforms have different rules of engagement. Google requires age in order to ramp up quickly, and actually, the smaller the spend, the longer the ramp-up period will be. So, if you wanna test if an idea is meaningful before you engage in the 6-month to 12-month content strategy, you need to make sure that you’re budgeting in at least a quarter to give paid to actually prove it out to give you a meaningful data set, and you need to make sure that you’re budgeting efficiently and effectively, going back to that equation, can you get enough clicks in your day to trigger your conversion rate? If you’re not doing that, I’m sorry, but you’re gonna get bad data.
And on the flip side, if there are content strategies that you have in play and they’re converting, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be search volume enough for it on the paid side. Like, those amazing opportunities that Nadia was mentioning about low competition, kind of getting those 15% unique queries that happen in paid, if there isn’t enough search volume, Google is just not gonna serve it.
So, yeah, just a little qualifier there that you do need to give it time and you do need to actually build in a test budget that’s actually probably higher than what you intend to spend so you can clear that learning pretty quickly.
David: Becky, is there something that your teams do? Do you use PPC as a way to decide whether or not to invest in SEO?
Becky: We do. We also use PPC quite a lot to test, obviously, content from the ads, but then we look at that from a metadata and page performance point of view of what’s working, what’s resonating with audiences. So, there is lots of data that can be shared both ways, but 100% using it where you can’t test. But Navah is completely right, you’ve got to have enough budget to make a meaningful data set because I think too many people make decisions on not strong enough data or we’re looking at averages that just don’t mean anything. So, try to find that kinda outlier data, that interesting…those numbers that actually tell you something that you can do something different because of it is the really important thing and probably the more difficult thing, which is why people struggle with it.
David: And what about the other way around? What are the learnings that PPC can take from SEO? For example, if traffic reaches a website and it’s probably the first time a visitor has landed on a website, there’s an opportunity to have a tracking script on there, do some retargeting, and things like that. What retargeting tends to be effective after someone has landed from an organic visit?
Becky: Who’s taking that one?
Navah: I actually would really love to hear Nadia’s perspective on this because I have a feeling as you’re working on content, like, there’s a lot of conversations about, “Should I go to paid or should I not?” So, I’m genuinely curious.
Nadia: So, basically, like, just like taking the conversation from where it ended on the testing part and then bridging it to the remarketing part. When it comes to the, like, search volumes, they actually… When it comes to keywords, then it’s… I mean, it’s not all about search volumes and it’s not all about… I mean, like, even what competitors have in terms of keywords. We all know that for the B2B keywords, you won’t even find search volumes for that. The point is that to prioritize to be useful to users even if there are even no search volumes for that.
And so, when it comes to SEO, like, just having the content that serves the users and leaving it some time to cook, to bake for Google to start driving results for that, and then looking again at the Google Search Console and seeing what traffic it can bring, and then taking those keywords and then giving them to the PPC team to actually do remarketing for those campaigns. Targeting those campaigns will be very useful because there are lots of…
I mean, when it comes to…especially to the traffic that comes from organic, not all people will be ready to buy now and not all people will be… Especially, like, if they don’t really know the brand very well, then they will need to come back and forth so many times. So, that’s where it’s very useful to all the time run remarketing campaigns to get this traffic to help us, yeah, with the performance.
Navah: So, one thing I’m actually very grateful for is that Google across the board, and I’m curious what everyone else thinks, has moved away from last click, Analytics being default last click, Google Ads being default last click. It’s actually really funny in the new GA for last click is called…is basically ads-preferred because it so often give the credit to the ad. I’m skeptical, healthy skepticism, about the data-driven attribution being the main driving force in Google Ads and then also in GA4. But I think it’s really interesting when we think about remarketing and what gets credit and how we set up campaigns. A, getting comfortable with the fact that we’re not gonna have perfect tracking and what those user journeys look like, but also helping our customers or our stakeholders understand there are fractional conversions. Like, this engagement that was valuable to us happened because of multiple steps, and if we’re remarketing or using just audience targeting…because, to be honest, remarketing as it was before is kind of dead, especially in the cookieless world.
Do we focus on overcoming the objections that someone might have had on an organic experience? Do we focus on, okay, that group just isn’t right? And so, we wanna focus on a completely different group and just understanding the page behavior. There’s a really great tool, Microsoft fangirl again, Microsoft Clarity. It’s absolutely free and it will actually let you see what users are doing on your page. So, if you’re really curious, are people staying on and reading the full blog? Are people trying to engage with your form but then getting stuck? This is really useful intelligence regardless of what industry you’re in. So, that user behavior intelligence is just as important as understanding what keywords to target or not, what audiences to target or not.
Becky: And I think the more granular you can get with understanding what the user has done on the page or where their next page was to put them into the right remarketing bucket is absolutely key so that then you’re putting the right message in front of them. And I think when we think of it as a journey, one of the things that our behavioral science team talk about all the time internally is about creating memorability because where we’re thinking about the fact that… And it really does depend what you’re selling, what your services, what your product is as to whether it’s got a short time span or a long time span to make that decision.
But for those longer time span, you need to be creating memories. So, you need to be evoking emotion because that’s gonna be more likely to create a memory. You need to make people think. So, that old adage that actually online we should not make people think, you should make people think if you want them to remember something. Like, they are more likely to remember it if they’ve had a bit of cognitive strain, if they’ve had to use their brain than if it was something that they could just look at and move on from.
So, we look at that as well from an ad content perspective as that kind of remarketing journey or also bringing them email marketing as well. So, how can we…? From an SEO point of view, if we’re driving people to a page and we can get them to give us their email address in exchange for some kind of download or whatever it may be, if we can then take them on an email journey and a remarketing journey where we’ve, again, paired the channels together and we’re thinking about the messaging, we’ve got so much more opportunity to build a relationship and to convert them.
David: Now, another way that SEO and PPC can work together, or I should perhaps say paid search can work together is on landing page design. So, traditionally or certainly in the past, it was quite common for paid search to drive traffic to orphan landing pages that didn’t have anything in mind for SEO at all. Nowadays is a bit different. And do our SEOs and PPC experts more likely to use the same landing page?
Navah: I have so many feelings about this. I really feel like I should go last.
David: Who wants to go first then?
Nadia: Maybe I’ll go first with that. I mean, if there are different, let’s say… It’s possible to have different landing pages, but when there is, like, let’s say distinct content between each page. So, if the keywords are very close together, then why to create a new page to talk about this specific content while the content is very close together? So, it depends on the case. Sometimes yes, it justifies having different pages, and sometimes, no, we don’t need that.
David: So, what about, for example, quality score? Is that still an important thing and did that not look at things like links within the page? And if it was an orphan page then that might reduce quality score.
Becky: Navah, you [crosstalk 00:35:52.560].
Navah: You go, Becky.
Becky: No, you’re probably better at this from a more detailed perspective.
Navah: All right. So, a couple of things. Quality score looks at landing page experience more than it looks at interlinking. So, if we’re worried about interlinking, like, that’s… Don’t worry about interlinking. The core of how to think about PPC landing pages is, does the page enable the user to convert? A lot of times, we PPCs will get frustrated with SEOs for better or for worse because by the nature of what SEO is, it has to have rich authoritative content to help it rank. Sometimes that sheer amount of content, especially if it’s laid out in a way that gets in the way of the call to action can be annoying to us, and we’re pesky and we’re like, “We want what we want and we wanna be able to test things.”
Nadia actually makes a point that I make all the time on the paid side. You do not need a lot of landing pages. You need a page that can prove its ability to get the user to convert. So, if you are going to test landing page design, that typically means that you have the page as noindex, nofollow, and it might either be on a subdomain of the main domain. And so, that whole thing is noindex, nofollow and it still has access to the ad bot to crawl it for quality score. So, that’s the bit that matters is that the ad bot can crawl it and see that you’re not hiding anything or what you promised on the page is gonna actually be there.
If you’re going to keep it on the same page or on the same domain, a few things need to be true. Number one, there cannot be any redirects. That will get the ad suspended. Number two, you need to make sure that the ad or the ad bot can crawl it for quality score purposes. Again, interlinking does not matter. Like, we don’t care. We care that if it’s a product page, it’s in stock. You should, too, because if you start getting the schema that it’s out of stock, that’s gonna be very sad for you because it’s gonna start getting de-indexed.
The other thing that’s actually very, very, very, very, very important is that you’re building out your paid campaigns for objectives, not sheer landing pages. So, yes, you might have that templated approach and you’re testing those things. During Google Marketing Live, there’s a new conversion tag or really container that’s supposed to help with page speed. So, hopefully, the SEOs in the room will not be sad at us when we ask, “Please, can we have our conversion tracking?” If you’re using Analytics actions, you ideally have that all sorted. If you’re using native conversion tracking, you’re using enhanced conversions, but yeah, I’m team subdomain so that we don’t have to have the compromising conversations where we can just have it noindex, nofollow as a subdomain, you have no navigation bar, you have your page.
And then the main domain is SEO happiness. But if you do need to keep it on the same domain like your e-commerce, and you’re not gonna create a whole separate other site, just make sure that you’re working in lockstep PPC and SEO so that there are no redirects, everything is in stock, and you’re not getting in the way of the path to conversion with those walls of text. And there’s my rant.
David: Becky, do you sit in…
Navah: And that’s why I wanted to go last.
David: No, that’s good. I was just gonna ask Becky. Becky, do you sit in team subdomain as well?
Becky: I sit a little bit on the fence from a cop-out point of view in that it really does… It depends. So, I guess back to what Nadia was saying that it depends on what the aim is. So, I think for those further down the funnel terms where we’re ready to convert someone, 100%. If we can get them up to the page without a navigation and it’s just literally do this, customer follow this through, it makes sense. But if we’re higher up the funnel and it’s more display advertising and there’s different reasons going on, then it might not make sense. So, all of it comes back to…coming back to who the user is, what are their motivations? And really answering that question, if they were to click on this ad, what do they want and need to see? And making sure we supply that and making sure that if it is an SEO page, as Navah said, that we’re not bombarding them with all of our lovely SEO content that maybe is a bit too much. So, it’s compromised and it’s come back to user first. Make sure that we’re following what they want, and then we tend to also be following what Google and the different platforms want as well.
David: Well, there’s just time for a final question. So, I’ll ask a final question, and then after each of you answers, if you could possibly just share your contact details, where people can find out more about you online or follow you on social media, whatever you want to share, that’s great. So, the final question. So, this can be either from an SEO or PPC perspective. What’s the most important thing that either an SEO can learn from a PPC expert or a PPC expert can learn from an SEO? Who’d like to go first for that one?
Becky: No one’s taking it. I’ll go. I think it is just that we’re both trying to do the same thing and that we both should be focusing from user first. So, it’s actually not my channel is the best. It’s what is best for the user and it really is having those open conversations and trying to remove yourself out of your channel and your own personal biases around what’s great and looking at it from a customer point of view, and remembering the fact that your customer doesn’t care what channels you market on. They just care that you’re there to be found at the right time when they’ve got the intent and the need for what it is you’re selling. So, yeah, that again feels like a cop-out on the fence answer, but that’s me.
David: And where can people find you, Becky?
Becky: Find me on LinkedIn is probably the best place or @BeckyReflect on Twitter. So, yeah.
David: Superb. Well, thanks for joining us. And Nadia, shall we go with you next? What’s your thoughts on that one? What can either an SEO learn from a PPC or PPC learn from an SEO? What’s the most important thing?
Nadia: I think I would need some more time to reflect on it, but to answer that short, I think PPC is very much concerned with conversions. When it comes to the page copy, I like to look always at the page copy from a PPC perspective and to apply always the best conversion practices on the page because I find it always useful direct to the point. For me, it’s always the exercise of collaboration and exchange because sometimes, yeah, it’s case-by-case, and then having the other perspective always is useful. And just, like, not to be fixated on one perspective, to be really inclusive of different angles. And finally, it’s always great to look at the performance of what the PPC work is doing. So, it’s always great to collaborate together.
David: And where can people find you, Nadia?
Nadia: So, best on LinkedIn, Nadia Mojahed, or yeah, seotransformer.com as well. So, my contacts are there.
David: Superb stuff. And Navah.
Navah: So, 100% agree, share, collaborate. One of the things I think not enough folks do is look at CRO as a really useful bridger between PPC and SEO. The more campaigns, the more brands that build CRO or conversion rate optimization into how they think about it from a technical standpoint, from a creative standpoint, the better the campaigns perform. So, if you do not have someone that looks at both and distills that data down, shares it, definitely need to look there.
Build in wild and crazy time. Have 15 minutes that are unmovable on your calendar to collaborate with the PPCs and the SEOs. And just know that we’re all human and we all are trying to drive sales, and profit, and happiness for the brands we serve. And we’re all in this together. And if it’s a technical faux pas, let’s find a way to mitigate that and to overcome it in a way that’s that much more innovative. If it’s a creative opportunity, like, let’s figure out which is the best channel to scale it. Just know that we’re not enemies. We’re empowering buddies, and it’s all good things.
And to preemptively answer your question, you can find me also on LinkedIn, Navah Hopkins. You can also check out my site, navahhopkins.com, where I offer consulting, speaking engagements. As I mentioned, I’m the “Ask the PPC” on Search Engine Journal. You can submit questions there, or find me on Twitter, @navahf, and I’m always happy to chat about literally anything, whether it’s digital marketing, “Star Wars,” puppies. The world is your oyster.
David: Building wild and crazy times. Love it. Great advice there from everyone. Superb panel discussion today. Much appreciated. We have this every single month, not just about SEO and PPC and how things can be more collaborative between different marketing channels. Next month’s discussion is on “How to Keep your SEO Clients Happy.” That will be happening on Monday the 18th of June. We’ve already got two great guests for that one, Jake Gauntley from Reprise Digital and Olga Tsimaraki. Sorry, I got that surname… There’s a bit of a challenge there, but from Zima Media. So, a couple of great guests. We’re gonna have another one on there as well. “How to Keep your SEO Clients Happy,” Monday the 18th of June. Sign up at theknowledgepanelshow.com to watch that one live. We will hopefully have Dixon joining us for that one and hosting that one.
In the meantime, Navah, Becky, Nadia, thank you so much for joining us live. Great episode. Much appreciated.
Navah: Cheers, guys.
Becky: Thank you.