Surprising Ways SEO & PPC Help Each Other Webinar

Date: October 1, 2020? ? ?Time: 2 PM ET | 11 AM PT? ? ?Duration: 50 mins

Webinar Description:?

It is far too often that brands silo SEO and PPC efforts, managing them independently, and ultimately missing out on the many benefits that can be had in integrating the two channels. As such, many are surprised to learn that integrating SEO and PPC can lead to increases in online visibility, stronger opportunities for enhanced conversion rates, better-informed insights into audiences and their user behaviors, and more effective management of digital marketing budgets.

For others, where the notion of an integrated approach has always been acknowledged as an important item on their “to-do” list, actually putting the notion into practice can seem a bit more difficult—but not for long!

Join team members Tripp, Nina, and Sheffield for this 50 minute webinar, where you will learn how to assess SEO and PPC data, apply insights toward integrated strategies, and better leverage the two channels for your online goals.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to measure and assess the influence of PPC and SEO efforts relative to one another and on other channels
  • How to create stronger performing web pages that serve both PPC and SEO
  • How to discover new keywords, audience behaviors, and even new personas
  • How to leverage data for overall improvements in website performance and budget allocation

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Sheffield Pulley:
All right. We’ll go ahead and get started here. I want to thank you all for joining us today. We’re excited to be putting on these live trainings for you all. This is the fourth in what’s going to be a series of live training webinars we’re going to be doing, where some of our specialists are going to be sharing some of their expertise with you all. And we’re excited today to actually have two of them. Nina and Tripp. Nina is from our paid advertising team and Tripp is a part of our SEO team, and they’re going to be talking about how one another’s expertise relate to one another. And so I’m excited to learn from them, two of my dear friends. Thank you both for doing this.

Nina Martinez:
Absolutely. Thank you for inviting me, and thank you all for joining us.

Sheffield Pulley:
Real quickly before I turn it over to you all, I just want to… If you have a question, we’re going to save them to the end, but if you’ll put them in the Q and A down there at the bottom, or you can put them in the chat, either way, we’ll get to those towards the end. We’re going to save some time to answer some questions towards the end. With that, I’ll pass it on to the two of you. Thank you, again. Looking forward to it.

Nina Martinez:
Awesome. Well, today we’re going to be talking about all of the surprising ways that SEO and PPC help each other. So thank you, again, for joining us. Tripp, if you want to head to the next slide. And let’s see here. So some of the things that we’re going to be covering today are going to include the bullet points that are listed here. We’re going to be talking a lot about what it means to measure and assess the influence of both of these channels on one another and how they impact other channels. We’ll be talking a bit about what it means to leverage both of these channels and the data that comes from them such that you can create stronger performing campaigns and web pages. And we’ll be looking at how to use that data to discover new keywords, audiences, see patterns of behavior across your users, and leverage that data as well for overall improvements to website campaigns. And then, of course, budget allocation.

Tripp Hamilton:
Thank you, Nina. And just to get a couple housekeeping items out of the way, first, it will be recorded and we’ll have it available to watch at a later date. Second, the information that we are presenting today can work for a lot of verticals, but potentially some verticals where it may not be as effective. And as Sheffield said earlier, there will be time for questions and answers at the end. So, I guess, I’ll introduce myself. My name is Tripp. I’ve been at Hive Digital since 2012. I earned my history degree at NC State where I developed a love for writing and research. And I got my start at Hive Digital getting websites out of unnatural link penalties. But my main focus has evolved over the past several years and mostly lies within the realm of SEO and website now. I’m proficient in WordPress, Shopify, and Hubspot platforms, and I have three wonderful kids and amazing wife. I also like to see live music and festivals, although in current circumstances, I mostly watch live streams

Nina Martinez:
And it looks like… All right, there we go. Sorry, I thought we had a little bit of delay over here. Well, my name is Nina. A little bit about me here, I tell a lot of people I fell into marketing. My background educationally is in biology and visual communications, and found the intersection of those two things, loving both art and the science of digital advertising, and so just kind of finding a good way now to kind of blend both of those things that I studied. In the time that it’s been kind of exploring these different channels, I have been doing this for over a decade. It started with the traditional background. But working in digital areas, kind of the focus has been in paid media.

Nina Martinez:
So all things advertising on search and social media channels, spending a lot of time helping clients with creative assets, market segmentation, looking at different websites and figuring what we could do to analyze the behavior of users and help improve the website for whatever the goals were for a said client, and then also I have a proficiency in WordPress and other CMS platforms as well. In my spare time, I’m a mother of two and having been a military brat and traveling quite a bit is such that I gained an appreciation for different cultures, exploring arts and dance across a lot of those as well. And then given my own cultural background, I spend a lot of time in those circles in power arrangements here locally in North Carolina. So things that I enjoy in my own time.

Tripp Hamilton:
Thank you, Nina. And, I guess, we’ll jump straight into it. So we’ll start out with ways SEO and PPC help each other. The first area is just the search engine results page as it stands now. So whenever you search in Google, it brings you to a search engine results page or SERP. Think of this page in terms of real estate. So there are different sections that more valuable than others when it comes to positioning, such as content that appears above the fold, where this line is right here. So the average fold for desktop is about right here. So most of what you see are ads. If there’s not a map pack, sometimes organic listings can be up here, or if there’s a featured snippet, it can be up there as well.

Tripp Hamilton:
These SERPs have definitely evolved over the past decade to greatly benefit the user so that we can match, or that Google is better at matching search intent with the keyword in general. So if something’s very generic, like children’s clothing, they’re going to provide a lot of different things. But the more specific you get, the more specific the SERP is going to be. So really the thought here is when you have this ad dominated landscape, the more times your brand is mentioned on this page, the more familiar your brand becomes to a user trying to find your specific product or service. So having both organic, these can be considered organic as well, and these paid listings is essential for seeding your brand authority in the minds of your customers.

Nina Martinez:
And this is going to be kind of important throughout. I mean, the whole vision of this is a lot of times people think about paid search, and SEO efforts, and kind of silo them or work and managing them independently. And really when we’re talking about this and a number of the other factors that we’re going to bring up, it’s going to be really important that these two channels play well with one another such that you can increase the opportunity with which users engage with you.

Tripp Hamilton:
Exactly.

Nina Martinez:
So you mentioned this idea of dominating the SERPs. But another really good reason that these two need to be working hand in hand with one another is for the testing options that then become available. Traditionally, SEO can take a while, right, before you start to see value from those channels. And that’s just the nature of the beast in that way. And so while we’re waiting on Google to look at these pages, to rank them organically, and a number of things in that way, a paid search issue the ability to start promoting your content and start collecting data real time.

Nina Martinez:
And that data can be helpful in a number of ways. Some of those ways may be better understanding how the users are engaging with them, such that you can test out new pages, new content, and figure out what you can do to enhance the overall performance of your website. Another way that that testing can be helpful is in testing specific keywords that you can go after, and get keyword level conversion data that wouldn’t otherwise exist since that data is no longer present in Google Analytics for organic channels.

Nina Martinez:
And another really popular way is in promoting your content via ads, you can test different messaging that can then be applied to your organic efforts. It’s very often that Tripp and I will work together, and in testing ad copy, we can see which of those ads are most engaging, have the highest click-through rates attributed to them. And we share that data with Tripp and his team such that they can then apply that to the meta descriptions so that when that content then ranks organically, it has a high chance of accruing clicks from users as well.

Tripp Hamilton:
Yeah. That’s one of my favorite parts is using those meta descriptions that are already tested and proven. So we then move on to content quality and relevance. So for landing pages used in adverts, Google provides a scoring system that can tell you whether your page would work well for a given keyword, which is called Quality Score or Google’s Quality Score. It can indicate the relevance to a given keyword or keyword phrase. This metric takes into account several aspects of the landing page, most importantly, it’s the content that exists on the page itself.

Tripp Hamilton:
For example, if you’re bidding for a term like baby strollers, but the landing page you’re using doesn’t say that word, then you’re more than likely going to have a lower quality score which can affect positioning and cost. Like Nina said before, we regularly collaborate to ensure that landing pages that are being used for both paid search and organic search have those keywords on them to help with quality score and overall relevance. And using this, the quality score metric, you can also help measure a page’s potential performance in organic search.

Tripp Hamilton:
So if it has a higher quality score for a given keyword, you can surmise that it’ll potentially have better performance in organic as well as paid. So if you take anything from this presentation, know that Google is interested in delivering a good experience to the end user. That’s kind of what this quality score is about, like landing page experience, ad relevance, and stuff like that. And a large part of that determination is matching keywords from that search to your page, or at least that’s how we understand it or sort of works now.

Nina Martinez:
Absolutely. Awesome. So another really interesting way that these two channels can work hand in hand with one another is via Google Trends. We had a pretty interesting article coming out from a team member of ours named John Gibbings, and he is one of our SEO experts. And he spent a lot of time talking about how effective it is to use rising Google Trends data, and then paid channels on top of that, such that we can do a number of things. In that, one of the things that he looks at in this channel is saying, ‘Well, if I look at a given keyword, what are some of the related topics and related queries that are on the rise?

Nina Martinez:
Can we create content for that and create ads to go ahead and promote it and start better understanding both the user’s experience, both understanding how they’re engaging with the ads, copy and all the things that we’ve mentioned before, such that we can enhance the pages so that we can rank for these new things organically? And try to get ahead of the competition when it comes to those rising search terms or those trends.” So on this page here, we list a couple of free tools that can help you discover those types of items. But, of course, Google Trends is the one that’s going to be outlined in his piece, and we’ve marked it as a reference at the end of this presentation.

Nina Martinez:
Here’s a slide where we use an example. He had used it for one of our clients who is in the coffee subscription business. And just pulling some quick datasets here, you can see where in typing in a query like coffee subscription, it can give you the list of related topics that are on breakout and then list the related queries. And so thinking about this when we’re formulating the new keywords to promote or new content, and then the testing that happens between those two. This can be a very effective way in which both channels play well with one another.

Tripp Hamilton:
We can then dive into visibility. So this kind of speaks to some of the past slides where say, there’s an emerging trend and you want immediate visibility. With ad-words or with paid search, you can target those high value key terms where you don’t necessarily have a super specific landing page yet. But you can still target those terms with paid search and find out different things like user intent or whether or not that keyword is potentially going to convert. You can also target seasonal or event-related items that need instant visibility. So paid search is the perfect way to appear for those searches as well.

Tripp Hamilton:
If there are new industry terms pop up while your organic and designed teams are working on that landing page, you can still capture traffic. And then really optimizing pages for organic visibility is a trial and error process more times than not. Something things that may work for a competitor may not work for you, but with paid search, you can get that visibility almost instantly and start to gather that data on the user behavior that can help you to determine what’s the best course of action for your SEO plan.

Nina Martinez:
And when we’re talking about visibility, while SEO is in the works, Google has even come out here and said that SEO typically means this four months to a year to benefit or see potential benefit from improvements that are made on pages. And so that’s why it’s very important where you can start leveraging data in the meantime, that can be useful as well. That’s where paid would come in in complimenting those efforts. So another one of my favorite ways in which these two channels work hand in hand is addressing negative PR. To Tripp’s point where he mentioned that paid advertising gives you an opportunity to put up a immediate type of visibility for a given query.

Nina Martinez:
A lot of times what we see is brands leveraging that ability whenever something bad happens and they need to address it, and they can’t get their pages to rank well enough organically for it. So in understanding, hey, we can have these ads, not only on the page setting for a given query, but we can put it at the very top of these pages, controlling the placement of that messaging, targeting specific terms on that messaging, and a number of other things that can help. And one of my favorite examples is on the following slide here, where we look at BP oil spill.

Nina Martinez:
I’m sure a lot of you remember them being constantly in the news, not too long ago for this. And they decided that they were going to use their ads pretty effectively to try to set… Users when they were performing a search for BP oil spill, they were doing a lot of work to maintain this primary or a premium positioning at the top of the stirrups. And they use this type of messaging where they’re saying, “Hey, we’re becoming a safer company, and see what you can do to reach out to us 24/7, and figure out what we’re doing to make not only the company safer, but everybody else’s job, and how we’re going to start building this culture around responsibility.” And it was very clever, one of the most clever examples of how a company can address negative PR via paid until they can get the content created via organic methods.

Tripp Hamilton:
And, I guess, this kind of leads into the idea that working as a team is kind of the most important thing when it comes to digital marketing. Oftentimes, Nina said before, PPC and SEO work in silos, in that they’re considered and treated as separate entities. However, if you start coordinate efforts for things like quality score, landing page experience, user behavior relevance, all the data that’s shared between the two, you can start to see how these systems can work together in harmony. Sharing data between departments, like I said, that way you can coordinate these efforts so that you can both work towards the same goal, which is more conversions and then sales.

Tripp Hamilton:
I think definitely a big part of this is the quality score optimization, making sure keywords that you’re bidding on are on the page itself and in the ad copy as well potentially, because that can help both paid search and SEO if you’re utilizing the same page for both. And honestly, working together makes life easier. If you have two people working towards a goal as opposed to one or maybe two people working towards two separate goals, it just makes it much, much easier.

Nina Martinez:
So here’s the fun part. I love diving into data and spending a lot of time here. And so what we’re going to talk about here is how you can dive into that data and find out these nuggets of information that we’ve kind of alluded to in previous slides, and how to make use of it. So when you’re ready, Tripp. Awesome. So one of the things here is we started thinking about, well, these channels are affecting each other, but in what ways are they affecting each other? Is there some type of proof of influence? And how can we collect that data or see it without playing a lot of guessing games? And what’s really cool is Google is one of the channels that gives us an opportunity to do that with their advertising platform in addition to organic data.

Nina Martinez:
So in this case here, there’s this really cool report called Paid and Organic, and it’s available in the Google Ads platform. What’s neat about this is you can look for any of the particular queries that have taken place and find out when an ad has shown by itself, when a organic placement has shown by itself, and when they’re both shown alongside each other. And in looking at that, you can see, not only the number of clicks and impressions and whatnot, but you can create a pivot table of sorts to get an understanding as to what the click-through rate is in each of those circumstances, and determine how valuable these are to one another. And in most cases, what we find is that when they’re both served alongside one another, doing so actually improves the rate at which users are engaging with you as a brand at all via ads or via organic.

Nina Martinez:
And on the following slide, I think, we show a little bit about where to access this report, and then I’ll dive into an example. Again, it’s in the paid advertising, I’m sorry, in Google Ads platform. If you were to go to the report section, looking in the predefined reports, and then you’ll find if you hover over basic, you’ll see where there’s paid and organic. Again, this is going to give you the data that will support some of your decisions and in better understanding how these channels influence one another. On the following slide, this is what it looks like when we create that type of view. You can see for a client of ours who has a commercial equipment what the results look like for them. And we can say, well, when the ads were showing by themselves, they were doing pretty well, right? We have a near 10% click-through rate. And then when organic was showing by itself, the click-through rate was not as high. But when they’re both shown alongside one another, there’s a lift happening in both channels.

Nina Martinez:
And this is very typical behavior. As a matter of fact, there’s been just a few instances where I’ve seen this not be the case. And Google actually did this pretty elaborate study, all right, a comprehensive study, where they were looking at this over several hundreds of different cases and found that 89% of the ad clicks are incremental. And in this way here, it means that these ads would not have… I’m sorry, these visits to advertise your sites. These clicks, this engagement would not have otherwise happened had ads not been shown alongside organic. And so when we’re talking about questions down the road and we have some slides dedicated to it where a lot of people will question, “Well, hey, if I am promoting ads, but I also have no getting listing, am I paying for things that it doesn’t make sense to pay for since I’m already present anyway?”

Nina Martinez:
And these types of reports can help you determine what that influence is and better understand that behavior and then make those decisions based on that performance. Another awesome report that’s available. This one here is coming out of Google Analytics where you can see the proof of influence that these two channels have on one another. In this case here, this is one of the top conversion path reports and it’s in analytics, under conversions, multi-channel funnels, and then, again, top conversion paths. And with these data here, will show you is, hey, how are these channels influencing one another?

Nina Martinez:
In many instances, a user will have to touch your brand a few times before they convert. And so what this particular report shows is how many of these users are engaging via paid, and then organic, or vice versa, or any kind of combination thereof. A lot of times when we look at these channels in silo, we say, well, there’s a certain number of conversions that are attributed to one, but we don’t see how these play together to acquire set conversions. And without being a bit more integrated in your approach and taking that direction from this type of data, you may find that you are hurting one by not building the other and vice versa.

Tripp Hamilton:
Yeah. And if you weren’t using paid search, essentially a lot of these that started or involve paid search would not be here at all. We would not have these conversions at all without this kind of the seating.

Nina Martinez:
So when we talk about this, I mentioned how a lot of times when we’re looking at these channels in silo, we see the conversion center attributed to them. And by default, I think, a lot of people will see what’s called a last click conversion or a direct conversion. And this is where the very last channel that somebody engages with is getting credit for that value that’s being brought to the brand. When I think about it in terms of the previous report and how they influence one another, what we may find is that even though some of these channels aren’t necessarily getting direct credit, they assisted in a significant portion of those conversions that are attributed to other channels.

Nina Martinez:
And in this case here for this client, what you’ll see is that there’s this $281,000 that this brand was able to acquire, but it’s because it was influenced or there was some type of impact that paid had in getting that user to better understand the brand, better understand the product and or service, and feel comfortable with pursuing that engagement that led to that conversion. So I talked about how Tripp and I worked together regularly. And some of the things we talk about in these previous slides, we noted how the impact of quality score here. He had spent a little time talking about. And that’s probably why Tripp and I are so close because we do this for quite a bit of clients, and we can see the success.

Nina Martinez:
We really believe in making these two channels work. We have a client who’s in the pest control space. And one of the things that they were looking to do was drive traffic to the website, and obviously they wanted to ensure that it’s quality traffic. And one of the ways by which a lot of people assess quality is the onsite engagement for the users on that website and whether or not they’re converting. And then taking some of the approaches that we’ve mentioned before, and collecting said data and better understanding some of the patterns that were coming back from either search queries, and how we are changing some of the pages and the content there on, we were able to see quite a bit of results. We were able to see this lift that happened in the rate at which people were engaging with us in ads and also in organic.

Nina Martinez:
The conversion rate then lifted because we were… I think, when we started ensuring that we were getting these quality of users, but also making sure that we had taken up more real estate on these pages, I think, it made it where the brand looked it had more authority, more legitimacy. And I think that that helped as well. In doing both of those things and ensuring the quality score was… we were more relevant and Google was rewarding us by charging us less per click. And in doing that, we were able to help also influence the cost for each of these conversions.

Nina Martinez:
And you can also see some of these onsite engagement metrics. People were bouncing less, they were consuming more pages, and they were staying on the website longer. But these things didn’t happen until we started having paid work alongside organic and making use of the data, the shared data between us, such as to improve performance. At the bottom of this page and then on our reference slide, you’ll see this case study reference when you can dive more into what was involved for that project.

Tripp Hamilton:
And now we can, knowing all of that and taking all that data in to consideration, really how to utilize both channels effectively. There’s a variety of different ways, but one thing that comes to mind is budget allocation. So budget allocation can be a difficult hurdle to surpass since it can be difficult to properly attribute costs spent to sales. But thinking of paid as a component of SEO, strategy and vice-versa is definitely a big part of that. Making sure that both can help each other from the various aspects of keyword research, user behavior and all those other nuggets of information.

Tripp Hamilton:
So it really starts when it comes to research and discovering new keywords, ad copy for competitors, conversion points. You wouldn’t get a lot of the insight without using paid search. Same thing when it comes to intelligence, you get more information to analyze when you’re utilizing both of these channels, especially when it comes to keywords and conversions. And then testing. Testing is definitely a big part because Google makes it a lot easier to A/B test different forms of ad copy, as opposed to SEO, where you might have to manually change it. And then you have to wait for weeks to kind of get that data.

Tripp Hamilton:
And it really shows you what pages perform best and, again, what keywords lead to conversions. And when it comes to that conversion attribution, it really depends on whether or not you have data integrated into your CRM, because if you can do that, then you can really start to link different specific ad campaign to this conversion and then track that conversion to a specific sale. So you can say, “Oh, I spent $5,000 on paid search this month, but that led to maybe $20,000 or $30,000 of sales.” So the two can really work in harmony especially when there’s budget allocated there.

Nina Martinez:
Yeah. We oftentimes get a lot of prospective clients and even some of our own clients, who you are working with and they’re trying to best figure out, “Hey, I know that both of these are important. I hear constantly about how I need to be integrating my efforts.” But for most brands, as anybody, budget is limited in some capacity. And so when you’re trying to think of how do I allocate things to give me the strongest performance or the strongest lift, or what’s most important at this time.” Again, it’s a common question to say, “Hey, does it need to go to SEO or it does it need to go to paid?” In most instances, we’re going to say it should go to both in some form or way. But we do recognize that there are a lot of different things your budget has to go to, right?

Nina Martinez:
And a lot of people are basing the allocation on human capital, I’m sorry, human capital tools, et cetera. And when they’re asking us, where should it be best go, one of the first things that we’re going to encourage them to do, or allow us to help them in better understanding is what is the value that you’re getting from these channels and how they’re currently working together, and should the budget be such that we should find support between the two, or allocate some time for testing between the two to get that lift? And so the types of things that we then begin to look at is that conversion activity, maybe lifetime value and, again, the influence of those channels on one another via those reports that were shared previously.

Tripp Hamilton:
I would definitely say human capital is one of the most important, because if you have one person handling both SEO and paid search, they’re only going to be able to dedicate 50% of their time to each. But if you have two people who can work together, then they can put forth all of their effort towards their particular vertical or their particular channel. Makes that much easier and much more effective. Speaking of effectiveness, really the way to determine this is measuring the effectiveness of the channels.

Tripp Hamilton:
So as we’ve stated before about brand authority or brand domination, increasing the user’s perception of our brand authority, remember the SERP landscape, and having your brand appear in both ads, search features, whether that’s maps, featured snippets. People also ask, and then the organic listings as well, which are being pushed further and further down the page, can help increase that brand authority in the eyes of potential customers. Click-through rate can be affected not just by brand authority, but by utilizing different kinds of A/B testing.

Tripp Hamilton:
See what ad copy works, and implementing that ad copy for the organic listings as well. And then visibility. The more time you are running that particular campaign and monitoring your organic rankings, the better data you have to analyze whether you’re analyzing your own data or your competitors. And the more optimizations you make to both can hopefully lead to better positioning in ads and organic search, therefore increasing that visibility.

Nina Martinez:
So we talked about measuring the effectiveness of this kind of in aggregate and in looking at it overall, but when we’re looking at it in these individual channels, what does that look like? And how can we make use of that data? We’ve already talked a little bit about some of these things in measuring the performance, and SEO, and paid via understanding what the positioning is, right? And you can see an average position in your Google Search Console. That particular metric used to be available in Google Ads. It’s not anymore.

Nina Martinez:
It was replaced with a couple other ones, and those new ones are just search top impression rate. So this is how often are you at the top of the page? And then the second metric here is how often are you at the absolute top of the page? So think of that as position number one, and understanding the rate at which people are engaging with you with the click-through rate. Other ways to look at it for those two channels is looking at the conversion and the onsite engagement metrics. So, again, how many times was this particular goal firing for you? And then in other instances, how often are people bouncing from your website? How long are they spending on your pages, and how many pages are they consuming?

Nina Martinez:
Those type of metrics. You can also do this by the reports that we had mentioned previously. So, for example, the paid and organic report. And then, again, just wanting to emphasize the presence of these other ones where we’re looking at the assisted conversions, Top Conversion Paths, attribution models, things of that nature, all of these data that is made present that can help you put that type of insight into use in optimizing your campaigns and the pages themselves.

Tripp Hamilton:
And there are certain roadblocks or barriers to entry, whether that’s the competitive landscape. So if you’re working against a multi-million dollar company that can throw endless resources or ads for positioning, it can be difficult to get the absolute top positions, just because you might be limited by budget. However, you may look at these roadblocks as insurmountable, but they can be used to your advantage when you analyze the changes that those companies might make in a given month.

Tripp Hamilton:
Sometimes you can utilize these strategies yourself if they have a particular version of an ad that works well, you can modify it to make it work well for yourself. If your brand name includes a high value keyword, so something like exact match domain, so something like pestcontrolsolutions.com, it might be difficult to bid on your own brand term just because it is a very commercial keyword, but it’s also advantageous because you’re automatically seeding that keyword in every your own website.

Tripp Hamilton:
So some of these are kind of a double-edged sword. And then lack of resources, like we’ve said before, whether you have lack of people on your side to work with, whether you’re limited by budget, or if you’re limited by experience, if you don’t have experience in one of these platforms, whether that’s ads or organic, making sure that you find someone that has experience so that there isn’t kind of a cutting of teeth on these things and spending money needlessly, so to speak.

Nina Martinez:
Awesome. So we kind of alluded to this before and we mentioned some of these roadblocks still being here, one of them, again, being budget. We talked about allocation. One of the most popular questions that comes up is, “Hey, again, if I’m present organically, am I just spending more money? Am I wasting or money by being present also in paid? Am I cannibalizing that we’re getting organic traffic in some way?” And what I encourage a lot of people to think about in that capacity is, yes, you may be cannibalizing the traffic, but is that cannibalization worth it?

Nina Martinez:
So when we’re looking at it, there’s a few different factors to consider. Some of these are, if you turned off your branded campaigns, is that going to affect the overall revenue stream? Well, likely so when we think about how these different channels influence one another. Can you attribute conversions in your sales and your web analytics, or your CRM system, or whatever you’re using to look at that revenue or that value? And can you see that influence of paid? And or are you willing to dementia in some way by no longer investing in another channel?

Nina Martinez:
Is there evidence that we could invest more in it by getting these things aligned? And another thing that we’ve seen before happen is where some of the clients or prospective clients we’ve engaged with where they’re like, “Well, I rank well organically. Maybe I don’t necessarily want to bid on my branded terms.” And we’ve seen plenty of instances where that was not necessarily advantageous for them for a number of reasons. So it’s important to ensure that you are leveraging those things and working well together. And in these cases, the cannibalization was worth it because of the added lift in getting users to not only see your brand, but engage with it and then convert.

Nina Martinez:
And so there’s positives when we think about it. Again, the increase with the rate of that engagement when we think about it being a great place to make those tests or any other tests that could contribute to helping you better understand your users, and make changes that would encourage more of the desired actions you have from said users, and then using that insight to create new campaigns, new segments, new landing pages, new tactics that can further assist in reaching out whatever your brand’s goals are.

Tripp Hamilton:
Yeah. And even when it comes to the research that’s been done on this on Google’s end, they never outwardly say to turn off a campaign, they kind of allude to it. But people that have kind of analyzed that research study say that that’s pretty much the most direct but kind of a blow all things up mentality where it can affect revenue streams. So we’re not saying that you should turn off your branded campaigns, but if someone is truly hammering it away, that’s really the most direct way to see it. Or if you are good at working with pivot tables, you can kind of estimate that as well.

Nina Martinez:
Yeah. I mean, it is a pretty extreme way to do it, and it used to be the recommended approach for a long time ago, but with the presence of these reports that are now available, I don’t think there’s any reason to be kind of trigger happy in jumping to do that. Just because there’s so much data that is now available to better assess and measure that influence from one another before taking that kind of drastic measure. So next steps and resources. We mentioned that there’s a lot of barriers to roadblocks where there’s a lot of data to assess in terms of making these types of decisions.

Nina Martinez:
And we have a team that’s ready to help. If you find that you could benefit from that, here’s a slide that shares a little bit about our team, and on this page you’ll see that we have a number of SEO experts. We’ve got individuals here who have a background in paid, and analytics, and a number of different capacities that we would very much be more than happy to assist in helping you to better understand what’s going on with your channels, and what we can do to help with that performance.

Nina Martinez:
Again, the ways in which we can do that include web analytics, SEO, paid advertising, and off the social media marketing as well. Here’s the resource slide that we mentioned. It has the studies from Google. There’s one also here from NYU that I think would be helpful. And then we have a blog post that elaborates a bit more on how paid advertising and SEO compliment one another. We have the blog posts from John Gibbings that has the using Google Trends to identify upcoming opportunities. Some other pieces here that we think are very helpful, and then we have that case study that we mentioned with the pest control agency.

Nina Martinez:
All right. And it looks like we do have a few questions. One of the questions here is some experts say it’s best to be number two or number three and not to aim for the number one spot. What is your position on this, and why? I’ll tell you that my position is based on whatever the data says it’s working well for you within your budget in terms of conversion. Well, I think that it’s not always important to buy for the premium position of number one.

Nina Martinez:
Maybe there’s a cost limitation there or a bid. It’s one of these things where the users oftentimes perceive… This is not always the case. I think most of us advertisers can hear this, but a lot of users perceive that number one position to be Google’s first choice in giving them the most valuable brand that’s going to best serve their user’s interests, be at a service, or a product, or information.

Nina Martinez:
And so because of that user’s perception in seeing that premium position, a lot of times that can be helpful and influence the rate at which you get conversions. Sometimes when you are in lower positions, you may not have the type of conversion activity that you otherwise would have, sometimes because they’ve probably already seen a couple of competitors for you there on the landing pages.

Nina Martinez:
That being said, there are plenty of instances where we’ve seen that it’s not worth spinning an insane amount of money to bid on that very first spot, and two or three does just fine because the nature of the query suggests that that person’s going to do a lot of shopping around before they make a decision. And if your brand is competitive on the landing page when it comes to value proposition and understanding that users intent and creating an experience for them that is better than your competitors’, then it’s not necessarily to bid on Position 1. So I hope that answers that question. Tripp, do you mind taking the second question here?

Tripp Hamilton:
Yeah. I’ll take the next question. I understand that SEO and SEM work best when working as team, but are there situations or instances where prioritizing one over the other is important? I would definitely say if you were limited by budget, so if you didn’t have budget for paid search, yes, you want to prioritize SEO since you won’t have to pay for that positioning. That’s one of the only ones that I can think of where you would want to prioritize if you were just limited by budget. Nina, can you think of any other instances?

Nina Martinez:
Yeah. From my perspective, I think it depends on what you’re looking to do. If you need instant visibility, then you may have to defer to paid, right, because SEO can take a while to get it. And while I think a lot of times we think about, hey, paying for paid search you’re paying for that positioning and organic will be evergreen when it comes, there’s still a pretty good in size investment that needs to be made in SEO in order to get the benefits from it.

Nina Martinez:
So in essence, you’re kind of paying either way to get that visibility, but it’s kind of dependent upon how quickly do you need it. And then is it such that just the innate value that comes from the learnings from paid would better or help you create a better strategy for SEO in the future? So slight bias here, but there’s been plenty of instances where I’ve seen that prioritizing SEM ahead of SEO can be beneficial in those ways.

Tripp Hamilton:
For sure. I’ll take the next one since it relates to SEO. So Britt’s asking, “If we don’t have any experience, is it possible to learn SEO and try to do it on our own? Or does it take so long to learn that it’s recommended to just hire someone who knows what they’re doing?” So I don’t think it takes a really, really long time to learn SEO because especially if you are a subject matter expert, say you have worked in your industry for five, 10, 15 years, you may already have some of that experience that you can kind of translate into SEO.

Tripp Hamilton:
You may not know how to use the tools, you may not know how to properly analyze the data, but I do think that you would have a better understanding of valuable keywords when it comes to your particular vertical, as opposed to someone that you hire that has no experience. So really it just depends. I would always suggest getting someone on the outside to just do a quick keyword research or look at competitive landscape and see if they can kind of give you a roadmap, because having that roadmap can help you learn along the way. So you’ll have those steps to kind of find your way to success when it comes to organic search.

Nina Martinez:
And talking about roadmaps, that kind of reminds me of the slide roadblocks, right? We were talking about one of the issues could be human capital when it comes to resources. For many of our clients, we have several of them who are super savvy when it comes to SEO, and are more than capable of doing things themselves. But where their time is best applied is doing the things that have them in that position, or running that business, or whatever, despite the subject matter expertise.

Nina Martinez:
Those are the things that they would rather be doing. And working with a partner who can help alleviate the burden of doing all that work and wearing that many hats can be very effective and very helpful. And so this is one of the many reasons why some people would consider engaging or hiring an agency even if they are savvy with the platform, just because it’s a better use of time for them.

Nina Martinez:
And being that it’s something that working with an agency, we’re in everyday, all day, totally up to date on all of the trends and different new features, and tools, and changing policy, that can save a lot of time. And so it may be more cost effective to work with an agency in that capacity, even if you did know what you were doing.

Tripp Hamilton:
And I like to think of it as… especially when we get a new client who comes on board that’s not something I know anything about, a lot of it on, our end, is learning about what that client is about, by reading the content that’s on their site, reading content that’s on competitors’ sites. So part of the process, even when you hire an agency, is learning process on their end of what’s your perfect customer? Or what are the user personas that come to your site? What are the converting keywords? There’s a lot of different things that go into it that I think could lend that expertise.

Nina Martinez:
Absolutely. And being fluent in where these data may live, and how to best assess it could also save time, versus trying to learn on your own. And there’s a lot of different ways to look at it. It just kind of depends on the situation. It looks like there was a follow-up question here with, if we’re in a really crowded space, the financial education space, how do you recommend finding affordable keywords? Wow. We spend a lot of time in the financial education space.

Nina Martinez:
I think almost all of our team members have worked with projects in that space, and so quite a bit of experience there. So when we’re thinking about how competitive the landscape is and how we go about finding affordable keywords, there’s a lot of tools that we and some other agencies would have at their disposal that would help us sort through a lot of relevant terms, get a good understanding of what average cost are in a given market, and prioritize that list based upon maybe existing data that that brand has, web analytics data.

Nina Martinez:
And then if not, create a test of sorts that could be affordable, making use of… How am I going to say it? This is such a loaded question. Making use of a lot of those different tools, making use of some of the testing experience that we have to be able to find what’s the right mix of finding the right keywords that’s also giving you value. And as long as you’re receiving value in terms of revenue or whatever the ideal metric is that is coming from that channel, you can take that revenue and reapply it, or reinvest in the channel to continue growing. And that’s ideally what most brands would look to do, right? And so that’s how you go about finding the affordable keywords and how to continue profiting in that way from leveraging that data.

Tripp Hamilton:
And when it really comes to affordability, I think from the SEO side, it’s determining what questions are you trying to answer? And I think this kind of relates to your next question, Brett, which is, how much content do you need, or do you have to have online for an SEO strategy to be effective? It really depends on the questions that you’re trying to answer. So say you have a given keyword. That keyword kind of relates to specific questions that someone may have, like financial education. One thing on my mind is mortgages right now.

Tripp Hamilton:
We’re going through the home buying process and how complicated that is to navigate. Well, there’s thousands different questions that can be asked about mortgages. So having a page that’s just about mortgages, it’s going to be hard to compete against even just a Wikipedia, or an Investopedia, or anything like that. So you want to make sure that you’re drilling down to those specific questions and answering them.

Tripp Hamilton:
It’s not necessarily about a number of blogs. I know it’s not necessarily answering your question directly, but it’s hard to quantify it when I don’t have necessarily the data in front of me, but I would always say that you want your blog post to have intent. You don’t necessarily want to just put content out there to be out there. So looking at things like a keyword gap analysis to see what your competitors are writing about, compares to what you’ve written about and trying to fill in those gaps.

Tripp Hamilton:
Trying to answer the questions, so say your competitor has a featured snippet. Trying to answer that question better or more effectively in the first few sentences. So you can try to grab that featured snippet. There’s a variety of different things you can do, but I would say it really comes to the quality of the blog post as opposed to quality, and making sure that the content on that page, especially, I would say, in the financial education space, where it’s not about the number of words, it’s about answering the question effectively.

Sheffield Pulley:
Perfect. We are almost out of time here. Thank you all for the great questions. Nina, Tripp, thank you so much. This was fantastic as expected. I hope you all were able to gain some insights that will help you moving forward. And as Nina mentioned in the chat, we are always here to connect. More than happy to sit down for a free consultation to discuss your needs. Anything we can do to help, we are here. We’ll be putting on another webinar next month.

Sheffield Pulley:
We’ll be sending out some information about that in the coming weeks. And then at some point in the next couple of days, you’ll get an email from us with the link to our previous webinars, which will also include a recording to this one as well. We’ll also be putting that on our social channels also, and that will include the resources as well on that email. So, again, thank you all for being here, and hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

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Tripp Hamilton - Hive Digital
Tripp Hamilton
Hive Digital SEO Expert

With an in-depth knowledge pertaining to e-commerce clients working on WordPress, Shopify, and other CMS platforms—and a great deal of experience in areas of manual link penalties, local SEO, natural link acquisition strategies, and content optimization/strategy—Tripp has been working in digital marketing since 2012. He is a Senior SEO Consultant with Hive Digital, where he works to ensure the best focus and care is given to each client.

Nina Martinez - Hive Digital
Nina Martinez
Hive Digital Paid Advertising Expert

Specializing in paid media advertising, market segmentation, website analysis, and conversion optimization, Nina leverages her professional background in both traditional and digital marketing to provide honest value to both clients and the communities they serve. She has dedicated her career to responsible marketing since 2008, and is a Senior Paid Advertising Consultant with Hive Digital.

Sheffield Pulley - Hive Digital
Sheffield Pulley
Hive Digital Client Advocate

Sheffield joined Hive Digital in 2017. Sheffield is a proven professional excelling in the promotion of personal and team accomplishments with extensive, results-oriented sales management, marketing and business development experience.

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