How Do SEO and PPC Work Together?

How SEO and PPC Work Together

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, “search” often serves as an umbrella term for both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Both funnel visitors to your website using the search engine results pages (SERPs). Both impact the search results users are even able to see. 

But many business owners ask, “Can my PPC ads affect my site’s SEO or vice versa?” Technically, the answer is no — having PPC ads can’t affect your site’s ranking, and your site’s ranking can’t affect your ads. 

Instead, you may find more answers in the understanding that you don’t have to choose between SEO and PPC. You can benefit from both, even on a shoestring budget. 

Here are some ways that the two practices can work together to attract people to your website. 

Increased Search Engine Visibility

The most obvious benefit of SEO is to rank higher (ideally on the first page and in the number one position) for one or more keywords that you’re targeting. But purchasing PPC ads for those same keywords with a high enough bid will push your ad to the top of the page a user searches for using that keyword. 

 Sponsored ads get top positioning on the SERPs, which means that targeting both organic and paid advertising ensures that your brand dominates the search results. Not only will you likely capture valuable clicks, but you’ll give the impression that you’re an established presence in a particular market.

Remarketing Campaigns

Even when your SEO efforts increase your website ranking, those same shoppers or potential leads can quickly change their minds. Price and product comparisons on other websites lead to shoppers leaving your website before they’ve made a purchase. 

To get these potential buyers to return, track the goods that initially brought them to your site and purchase ad space to remind them of these exact items at a later time. After all, it’s easier to click on an ad than to make an additional search for specific items.  

Keyword Testing for SEO  

PPC keyword data shows words that have already been searched, clicked, and converted. Needless to say, this information simplifies the work of creating an SEO strategy.

To test, simply choose a highly relevant keyword for your products or services and purchase PPC advertising for it. After some time monitoring it, see how your website performs and translate that into optimizing your site for that particular keyword or avoiding it altogether. 

Brand Image Control

Sometimes people write negative critiques about your company online. It happens. Thankfully, a combined effort between PPC and SEO can do damage control by controlling your image through visibility. 

You can begin to control the conversation by focusing on specific keywords and phrases. For example, following BP’s Gulf Coast oil spill, they paid for PPC ads linked to the keyword “oil spill.” They chose to create a landing page connected to BP’s site that showcased their cleanup effort. This can be used as your opportunity to tell your side of the story. 

Social Media Presence

Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube offer targeted ads to highly specific groups of people. Using Facebook user profile information, ads can be shown uniquely to 20-year-olds living in Boston, Massachusetts who are interested in technology and motorcycles. 

The paid ads are precise and can lead to more highly qualified leads in addition to narrowing your overall SEO strategy.

Need help creating a marketing plan using both SEO and PPC strategies? 
Real results to improve your website’s search engine visibility, retargeting, and keyword testing are possible with our digital marketing team. As a leading full-service Internet marketing agency, our experts can work to establish your website’s presence using PPC and SEO. 
Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

How to Fix a High Cost Per Click

High Cost-Per-Click

Is Your Average Cost Per Click High?

Here’s How to Fix It.

Pay-per-click advertising is centered around the ability to lower CPC (cost-per-click) costs.


In other words, if you’re able to pay less for a click, then your cost per conversion will also be less, right?


The answer is definitely yes.


But as PPC gets increasingly competitive, niches that were once relatively uncompetitive have become insupportable for advertisers with rising costs per click.


In this post, we’ll look at four things you can do to try to reduce those Google Ads costs per click beyond simply lowering your bid.

  1. Create Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGS)


The best PPC agency campaigns are the ones that are the most relevant. Each of your ad groups should have one keyword with three different match types: broad match modified, phrase match, and exact match (despite the fact that Google suggests upwards of 10 to 20 keywords).


SKAGS ensure that your landing pages and text ads can be keyword specific in order to enhance your quality score. When quality scores are high, you pay less for clicks.


The keywords should then have specific landing pages for that keyword and those ads. Your goal is to keep the messaging in the ad consistent with the messaging on the landing page.



  1. Check Your Quality Score


Fortunately, relevant landing pages, keywords, and messaging naturally lead to a higher quality score. Google determines quality score from your click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page relevance.


When all of those areas are above average (7-10 is best), you pay less per click.


Why does it matter beyond paying less?


Here’s the ad rank formula for the Google Search Network:


Ad Rank = CPC bid x Quality Score


Here’s the ad rank formula for keyword-targeted ads:


Ad Rank = Display Network bid x Quality Score


And here’s the ad formula for placement-targeted ads on the Google Display Network:


Ad Rank = Bid x Quality Score


Ultimately, Quality Score affects your account health and success across the board.


In campaigns that are targeted on Google Search, each keyword has a Quality Score. But it’s hidden by default. Here’s how to show it:


  1. Click the “keywords” tab in your Google Ads account.

  2. Click “Columns” then “Modify columns.”

  3. In the section that opens up, choose “Quality Score.”

  4. Select “Quality Score” in the list of options.

  5. Click “Apply” to save.


You should now have a Quality Score column in your data. A 7/10 Quality Score is the recommended number and is sufficient. Going above 7 is great but not always achievable and may not be worth the effort. Anything below 7 is a sign that something is wrong and should be worked on immediately.



  1. Strategically Adjust Keywords

Negative keywords probably aren’t the first things you think of when you begin running a PPC campaign. In fact, they may be the very subject you avoid.


But, as per the Google definition, a negative keyword prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.


For example, when you add “free” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you are telling Google Ads not to show your ad for any search containing the term “free.”


Why would you not want to show up for every search?


If, for example, you own a landscape supply company seeking to sell inventory, then you want to make sure you don’t get clicks from people who are searching for rentals. You don’t want to rent the equipment, you want to sell it.


Fortunately, you can compile a list of negative keywords fairly easily by opening your account, clicking on the Keywords tab and clicking “Search terms.” This should pull up a list of search terms people have entered that triggered your ads during your specified time period.


In this example, add the word “rental” to your negative keywords list, and you’ll be on your way to making your clicks more relevant. This will increase click-through rates and improve quality scores.


  1. Adjust Bids Beyond Keywords: Locations, Devices, and Ad Schedule


Of course, bids go beyond keywords. They take into consideration other factors such as the user’s location, the device they use, and the prime hours for more traffic and leads.


Some questions to consider in order to lower your Cost Per Click:


  • Which days drive the most traffic and leads?

  • Which time of the day results in the most conversions?

  • What device do users search on the most?

  • Which location drives higher-quality traffic?


If you find that one day of the week is generating clicks without resulting sales, you can pause or stop your ads running on that date or day of the week.


On the other hand, you can increase your bid on days that generate both targeted clicks and sales in order to become more visible and raise your conversion rate.


You can take similar measures to target users’ devices, but keep in mind that mobile phones have increasingly dominated the overall digital industry for years.

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

Cost Per Click

How to Write PPC Ads That Convert


Pay-per-click marketing is your chance to create effective, highly targeted ad campaigns. Your paid ads are the gateway between your customers’ needs and the solutions your business offers.  

Continue reading

5 Super-Effective Ways to Nurture Prospects with PPC

AdWords and Facebook paid advertising are effective in reaching and nurturing highly-targeted prospects who become consumers.

lead gen funnel image
Let’s face it, most of the time people just aren’t ready to convert. The time it takes to close business lasts anywhere from minutes to months, and competitors have ample time to sway prospects from your sale. That is, unless you do something called nurture.
The catch-all term applies to any system or strategy that moves potential customers down a business’s conversion funnel. And while email is an invaluable channel for engaging prospects, the Gmail promotions tab is where nurture often languishes.
That’s why Adwords’ paid search and Facebook paid social provide consistent brand awareness and greater value without giving customers the feeling they’re being stalked around the internet.

  1. Use AdWords Tracking Codes and Facebook Pixels

Nurture is the current that draws the stream of consumers to your doorstep.
But if your website exists without the ability to track actions to and on its landing pages, nurture is rendered nearly impossible. There are three primary forms of tracking codes that differ across AdWords, Facebook, and Google Analytics.
AdWords Tracking Code
The tags you can generate in AdWords effectively track your conversions. Simply define the parameters for your conversion and finally paste the code onto your landing page between the <body></body> tags of the page you’d like to track.
The Facebook Pixel
facebook pixel examples
Put the pixel around your website and optimize for different types of on-site actions.
In order to avoid overlapping data, distinguish the parameters of a conversion: revenue, email address, or other.
Google Analytics UA Code
Most people track organic metrics using an Analytics code on their site. It provides essential nurture data, informing consumer actions to, on, and from your site.
Without tracking site-related data, it’s difficult to evaluate the success on each channel that a business uses to eventually nurture consumers.  

2. Keywords Research

The primary advantage to paid search and social is the ability to reach hyper-targeted audiences as opposed to the unmeasurable ears and eyeballs of a radio or TV spot. And a great place to start is Google’s Keyword Planner, which allows you to research and prioritize new keywords for your AdWords account.

Ad Group Relevance - AdWords
While broad keywords may be a waste of your time if you’re a smaller business, consider search intent: what do the search queries you’re bidding on say about the prospect’s ultimate goal?

Facebook works similarly in that you can leverage their targeting options to zoom in on local demographics and view how many potential customers in the area fit your targeting goals. With both PPC strategies, the nurture funnel for your business initiates prospects much closer to conversion.

  1. Connect Messaging Between Platforms

If a potential customer sees a text ad, their next steps may include clicking and then downloading an ebook or whitepaper.
Your Facebook messaging should overlap this nurturing effort by serving an ad to the very same users that downloaded the white paper. This ad should address the problem suggested in the text ad and offer a research-based solution.
It’s essential that effective advertising acknowledges that channels are interdependent; they are more effective when they create a flow of information that educates and moves the consumer towards a purchase.

  1. Utilize Ad Copy IF Functions

The digital advertising gold standard is an ad capable of adapting on the fly to fulfill the individual search query and sales funnel stage of a prospect.
According to Google, “IF functions allow you to insert a specific message in your text ads when a condition is met, and a default text when it does not.” In other words, if you generally have difficulty converting mobile users, make the ad more appealing to consumers viewing on their phones.

AdWords If Function example

With IF functions, you can primarily target cart abandoners with hyper-targeted messaging using “limited,” “exclusive,” or time-sensitive offer with greater discounts. Prospects not quite so far along in the sales funnel will merely see the standard sale.

  1. Meet Better Prospects with Lookalike and Similar Audiences

Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences and AdWords’ Similar Audiences leverage current customer data to locate new high-quality prospects.
Through targeting or bid adjustment, you can reach audiences similar to your existing remarketing lists in AdWords. And on Facebook, you can create multiple Lookalikes based on their level of similarity to your original audience.

Facebook lookalike image

All new prospects are not created equal and can be dropped into your nurture funnel accordingly based on the comparative data.
Still Struggling to Convert Prospects into Customers?
The question is no longer whether a particular channel is worth the investment. You need to be able to reach prospective customers wherever they exist. Fill your nurture funnel and earn new leads with RLC Media’s optimization strategies and expertise. We can help.

6 Key Remarketing Audience Types for the 2017 Holiday Season

Maximize Google AdWords’ remarketing capabilities in your search campaigns by diving into multi-targeted / remarketing audience types. 

Remarketing is the art of “saving a click,” targeting ads to users who have prior experience with your site, which in turn increases conversion rates, ROI, and retention among existing customers. In the product research boom of the holiday season, you need to utilize strategies to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your site.
Luckily, AdWords’ remarketing tools have advanced in recent years to allow more flexibility and control for account holders. In 2015, Google Analytics audiences became available within Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, which meant that advertisers could use over 200 Google Analytics dimensions and metrics to create audiences for RLSAs. And just last year, a new subtab for demographics became available to display age, gender, and parental status data in that ad group.
But if you’re mainlining off of a single All Users audience, you’re likely coming up short on growth and profit development for your business. Here are six remarketing audience types to help kick off your strategy.
Engaged Audiences
Engaged audiences are categorized by behavioral metrics available through AdWords. Session duration, pages per session, and bounce rate help refine a high-quality target audience who is likely to re-engage with your site.

Demographic-Based Audiences
Demographic-based audiences are categorized by age, gender, parental status or location. Chances are that you or someone on your team already has an idea of what your customer demographics look like. Still, a study by Google has shown that some of our preconceived ideas about which demographics purchase which items may result in us missing out on a significant proportion of buyers. So before running search campaigns that exclude all but 18 to 35-year-old males, use performance data to target most effectively.

AWOL Audiences
Your AWOL Audience has abandoned your conversion funnel and is categorized by the steps a user takes within a particular ad. For example, you can set up a sequence filter to segment visitors that have completed specific sequential behaviors on your site. Running ads that promote a seasonal holiday discount for a product may be customized to surface only to users who complete a series of sequential actions: clicking the product’s landing page, adding it to their cart, and finally proceeding to checkout before bouncing from the site.

Past Purchasing Audiences
Your past purchasing audience is categorized by the purchasing history of existing customers. When you sell a product with minimal involvement in the purchasing decision, remarketing to previous customers can be highly effective to drive sales. Creating a custom strategy is integral to address the differences between remarketing to what you might consider a loyal visitor (i.e. someone who has purchased multiple times within the year) and a user who purchased something a year ago.

Lookalike Audiences
Automatically created by AdWords, look-alike audiences are based on the remarketing lists you create. Within the context of your search campaigns, advertisers provide a source of audience data to an ad network which then matches it to other users on their network. Remarkably, these new networks allow you to be conspicuous to prospective qualified audiences without screwing up your search budget on all potential search impressions.
Unqualified Audiences
Cold and unqualified audiences fail to meet the criteria necessary to make them worth a piece of your search budget, which is why AdWords allows you to exclude sets of users from seeing a specified set of ads. These audiences can be added to your campaigns or ad groups as an exclusion, just as you would add a target audience. Filtering out audiences who don’t qualify for your campaign goals eliminates the need for custom combinations or isolated audiences with a repeated exclusion incorporated into its definition.
Is your business remarketing to a full usership? Are you utilizing AdWords’ tools to remarket to multi-targeted audience types? If you see opportunities to make better data-driven choices in how you market this holiday season, contact our AdWords and PPC experts at RLC Media here./