Google has said over and over again that SEO is not a paid activity. This means that advertising with Google Ads will not have an impact on your organic search rankings.
This article does not dispute the above. We definitely believe that using Google Ads alone is not enough for your site to see a boost in its results on the SERPs. However, there are definitely ways that using Google Ads can help improve your SEO strategy. Google Ads and SEO have a similar premise behind them; the benefit of using Google Ads over SEO is that it generates data immediately. Google Ads can provide a wealth of useful audience and keyword-specific data that can be used to inform an SEO campaign before wasting a lot of time and money figuring out what works with slower SEO results.
For example, you may choose keywords for SEO that you think are relevant and spend significant amounts of time and money to rank for them, only to discover months down the line that the traffic those particular keywords brings in does not convert. If you had run a Google Ads campaign previously, you would have already identified that this keyword was not effective.
The following are some of the other ways that you can apply Google Ads to help with your SEO strategy.
1. Look at the Search Terms Report
The Search Terms report from Google Ads provides advertisers with a list of the phrases that people are actually typing into Google before clicking on the ads. It shows the exact phrases that are triggering your ads, which is vital information for your business to know. You can use this report to identify words or phrases that get a lot of impressions and clicks, and most importantly, the ones that lead to conversions. This information can give you a great insight into the keywords that searchers are using to find your business. For SEO, look for the phrases that have intent behind them and the ones that convert to incorporate into your strategy, rather than simply casting a wide net with high-volume keywords.
2. Analyse Your Click-Through Rates (CTRs)
An ad with a high Click Through Rate (CTR) will typically be well written, or contain something compelling that drives a searcher to respond. If you can replicate the formula that gets the best CTR for your ads, you are likely to increase the CTR on your organic results too, which means more traffic for your site without having to increase your position on the SERPs.
Look at your Google Ads account to see if you can identify anything in your ads that seems to be connecting with the audience and leading to a higher click through rate, such as a specific headline or call to action.
Each part of your ad can corresponds to a different part of your on-page SEO as follows:
- Google Ads Headlines = Title Tags
- Google Ads Ad Descriptions = Meta Descriptions
- Google Ads Display URL = Landing Page URL
This knowledge can be used to create SEO meta data that turns searchers into relevant traffic. Just be careful not to optimise Click Through Rate in a way that generates irrelevant traffic, as this will affect bounce rate and dwell time, which may negatively impact your SEO efforts.
3. Identify Geographic Locations that Work
Your Google Ads campaign can provide data on geographic locations that can be useful for creating Local SEO campaigns. Even if your business doesn’t have a physical location to visit, location data from Google Ads can enhance the performance of your campaign in different geographical areas.
In order to use your Google Ads location data, find the areas you are interested in, then, identify which are performing well. For example, look at the ads that have the most conversions, highest sales by revenue, the most clicks or the best Click Through Rates. This information can then be used for location-specific SEO campaigns to improve on-page SEO and refine targeted keywords.
4. Compliment SEO With Remarketing
Remarketing (also known as retargeting) is the tactic of serving targeted ads to people who have already visited or taken action on your website. Considering 96-98% of the visitors to your website won’t make a purchase the first time that they are there, this is an incredibly effective way of keeping your brand fresh in their mind and convincing them to come back to your site. When they come back as returning visitors, they are more likely to convert, as they are already aware of your business and its products and services.
Remarketing can help improve your SEO results by giving your business an easy and cost-effective way to get in front of prospects several times, which allows you to get the most value that you can from the visitors that you generate to your site organically.