Although Google Ads (PPC) and SEO are two separate online marketing methods, if you are running an SEO campaign, running an Google Ads campaign is a must, as the amount of data and analysis you can get from running a Pay Per Click campaign can dramatically influence the planning and direction of where your SEO should or could be heading.

PPC and SEO are separate in terms of methods, but the cross over and how they can help each other is useful for any business looking for more online traffic. Google Ads can provide a wealth of information about keywords, traffic, search volumes and competition, which you should then be using to make sure that your SEO campaign is heading in the right direction. Too many times people chase the vanity aspect of keyword rankings, rather than thinking of the long term success story and going for the correct, but well searched terms that are going to deliver the end result – enquires and sales.

Let’s Kill The Myth

There is no connection to how much you spend on Google Ads and how well your natural listings will rank, meaning that if you think by spending £10K a month on Adwords you will shoot up the natural listings, then you are very much misguided. Likewise, if you decide to stop Google Ads, this will not tell Google to cull your rankings, no matter how much you would love to connect the two. There is no evidence to suggest that there is any link between Google Ads and natural rankings, and I have run enough tests over the years (in hope more than anything at times) to tell you that I am 100% certain that how much you spend on Google Ads does not influence your SEO Campaign.

This is not what this article is about.

Instead, I am explaining how you can use an Google Ads campaign to get a better SEO campaign planned, so let’s move into reality and away from theory and look at how an Adwords Campaign can help you to plan the perfect SEO plan of action.

Keyword Research Volume

One of the most useful features when you have an Google Ads account is the Keyword Tool, and whilst in my opinion it is harder to use with the newer version, it still gives you a wealth of information that can really help you to decide the keywords that you should be targeting for your SEO campaign.

There are two aspects to the tool that I feel can help your SEO and point you in the right direction as to where your campaign should be heading:

Volume

When launching a website or when analysing your SEO, there is a temptation to try to rank for the keywords that you think you should be ranking for, rather than actually going for the keywords that are going to get you traffic. Having 10 keywords that put you in the top three results but deliver no traffic is pointless, but yet still so many people go down this road and try to get the rankings they perceive as the right ones, rather than researching what is going to bring them traffic. The Keyword Tool shows you a rough monthly volume of searches per keyword or keyword phrase, which will allow you to work out whether you are right to be going for these searches, or whether you should rethink your strategy and therefore aim for a better set of keywords that are going to deliver you some firm traffic.

Competition

The Keyword Tool also tells you how tough the completion is, ranging from 0 to 1, with 0 nothing to compete against and 1 being ultra-competitive. Any of the financial industries are going to be nearer 1 as these are full of companies willing and able to spend big money on their Adwords, so you can safely assume that this will be the same for their SEO as well. Whilst competition is good and you should never be afraid to go after keywords that are difficult, you have to be sensible, and whilst the long term aim is to rank for these high traffic sources of keywords, the short to medium term aim should be to focus on less competitive keywords that also have a fair degree of searches, as not only will these be easier to get rankings for, but they will deliver traffic to your website.

Website Usability

Google Ads delivers instant traffic, traffic that a new site can just not hope to get from the natural organic listings for months, if not years, depending on how competitive your industry is. This means that if you need to know how well your site is going to perform in terms of user interaction and of course enquiries and conversions, you will know more in a week with an Google Ads campaign running than you ever could asking friends, family and neighbours to look at your site for you. These are real people using your site, that have landed because you have focused on a keyword that you think will get you the sale or enquiry. Therefore, if you end up with little to no success, you then have chance to put things right before setting off on your SEO journey.

You can learn so much from real traffic, and whilst you wait for your rankings to rise, you not only need immediate business but you also need to know that when you do hit the dizzy heights of the first page of Google that the traffic is going to bring you in business. Once you know the site works and converts from the keywords you are using, you can then target these same keywords for your SEO campaign, as once you know the correct keywords in terms of the ones that bring the most conversions, your future SEO becomes so much simpler, as you have an accurate target, rather than going for searches that you may never earn a penny from.

To Conclude

It is important to always remember, rankings are pure vanity, it is the traffic and therefore conversions that matter. There is no point getting rankings for keywords that will never deliver you visitors, as whilst it is nice to top Google for something, if you are not going to get business from it then what is the point? Take a step back if you are running an SEO campaign and work out if you are really heading in the right direction as you have time to change your focus, rather than wondering why your hard work is delivering little to no results.

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