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13 Marketing Tips SEOs Can Learn From PPC Managers


As an SEO expert, you know what it takes to get your content ranked high in search engine results.

Depending on how good you are at SEO, sometimes the only results displayed higher than yours are those from PPC campaigns.

SEO and PPC are considered to be two very different marketing approaches. But these strategies are more similar than you think.

The biggest difference between SEO and PPC is you’re paying for your PPC campaigns, as the name implies. Driving organic traffic to your website with SEO is free.

While keywords are obviously important to PPC managers, they don’t need to focus on search engine optimization as much because they’re bidding on those keywords.

If they’re willing to pay enough, their search engine ads can generate hits and clicks, even if their headlines aren’t extremely SEO friendly.

Using SEO to drive website traffic is much more competitive. To gain an advantage over your competitors, you can use PPC principles to improve your SEO strategy.

After all, your search ranking is useless if it doesn’t generate clicks.

These are the top 13 marketing tips SEOs can learn from PPC managers. By combining principles from these two strategies, you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your website.

1. Write headlines that generate clicks

As I said before, the basic principle behind SEO is getting a high search ranking. This is obviously very important for your traffic.

But is that high ranking translating to clicks and traffic? It should.

The first page of search engine results generates 75% of all clicks.

If you’re getting ranked high but not seeing a spike in traffic, there is likely a problem with your headlines. You need to learn how to increase clicks by mastering your headlines.

There are common elements in titles that encourage clicks.

clickbait

Even if your headline has SEO friendly keywords, it doesn’t mean people will click on it.

PPC managers are masters at writing great ad copy. This helps improve their click-through rates and increases their quality scores.

But with SEO, you don’t need to pay for ads to generate clicks.

You just need to make slight adjustments to your SEO headlines that will make them more enticing.

For example, add a number to your headline. You may not think this is good for SEO because people probably aren’t searching for numbers. But this strategy generates clicks.

Headlines containing numbers are 36% more likely to get clicked. Using odd numbers improves CTR by 20% compared to even numbers.

2. Come up with new keywords

Don’t be broad with your keyword research.

Get specific. Use long-tail keywords to generate more relevant search results.

Using long-tail keywords will also make the search results less competitive. For example, let’s say your company sells backpacks.

If that’s the only keyword you’re using, it’ll be tough to get ranked high and generate clicks.

But if you’re using long-tail keywords, e.g., “red waterproof hiking backpack,” you’re appealing to a very specific audience.

Yes, the search volume for those words will definitely be lower. However, you won’t be competing with as many websites.

Now you’ll get ranked higher and increase your chances of getting more clicks.

It’s also important to use new keywords based on seasons, promotions, or the audiences you’re trying to target with specific campaigns. Don’t use the same keywords over and over again expecting to get great results, especially if the keywords are highly competitive.

3. Monitor keywords from your competitors

Your keyword research shouldn’t be conducted in a vacuum. You need to know what your competition is doing.

PPC managers use this strategy to help them see which keywords are the most competitive. It allows them to adjust their bids accordingly.

But it’s important for you to implement this strategy when you’re focusing on search engine optimization as well.

Try using tools such as SpyFu to help you with your keyword monitoring:

spyfu

With SpyFu, you can search for specific competitors, and the platform will analyze their websites’ content.

You’ll be able to identify exact keywords they’re using.

Based on this information, you can make the necessary adjustments. If one of your competitors is always getting ranked higher than you, maybe it’s time for you to start using some of their keywords.

You can make those keywords even better by turning them into long-tail keywords, which I’ve already talked about.

4. Track your leads with UTM parameters

Where are your leads coming from?

I’m hoping you’re not relying solely on organic search traffic to get more visitors to your website. You should be running other campaigns as well.

If you see a spike in website traffic, you can’t assume it’s coming from your improved SEO efforts. But how can you know for sure?

By creating custom links with UTM parameters, you’ll be able to distinguish your search engine traffic from the traffic generated by other campaigns.

For example, you can set up a unique link for each one of your email marketing newsletters. Have a different link for all your social media posts.

If you’re running ads on other websites or getting affiliate links, those should each have a custom URL as well.

Now you’ll be able to identify the sources of your traffic. You’ll see which headlines, ads, platforms, and promotions are yielding the highest results.

PPC managers do this to see if it’s worth it to continue paying for specific ads on websites. But you can use it to figure out if your SEO strategy and keywords are working.

5. Optimize keywords for mobile searches

When it comes to your keyword research, you need to keep different devices in mind.

That’s because more than half of all website traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

mobile

In this day and age, you need to keep an eye on the most important mobile trends of the year.

Mobile devices changed the way people search.

What do I mean by this?

The same person using their smartphone to search for something will enter different terms than they would if they searched using their desktop or laptop computers.

In fact, 79% of all Google keywords rank differently in mobile searches. And 47% of the top 20 positions are ranked differently on mobile devices compared to desktops.

You need to identify these differences and adjust your keywords accordingly to accommodate the needs of mobile users.

6. Retarget your prospects

Let’s say someone visits your website because of your SEO efforts.

That’s great. But now what?

You need to understand how people search, navigate, and convert. Just because someone lands on your homepage through organic search traffic doesn’t mean they’ll convert.

Maybe they’re just browsing or scanning a blog post. After that, they’ll leave your website.

That’s why you need to learn how to increase conversions with retargeting strategies.

Retargeting campaigns can get these visitors back to your website in the future.

retargeting

You can take the lead from PPC managers and run ads on other websites.

When the user lands on your site in the first place, you can use cookies to track their browsing behavior. Now they’ll see your ad when they visit another website.

Change up your ads so they don’t keep seeing the same ones over and over again.

7. Run A/B tests on your landing pages

You need to make sure your clicks are driving conversions.

If you can create landing pages that have high conversion results, you’ll be able to make more money whenever you increase your site traffic with SEO.

Right now, you might be satisfied with your conversion rates. But how can you be sure the pages are optimized for the highest conversions?

You can’t know for sure unless you test and measure the results.

Use A/B testing to change different elements on your landing pages to see whether you can improve those conversion rates.

Test things such as CTA placement, images, CTA wording, sizes, value proposition, and color schemes. You can basically test every element on each landing page to come up with the best design to drive conversions.

SEO focuses on site ranking and traffic. PPC managers focus on clicks. But both SEOs and PPC managers ultimately need to prioritize conversions.

8. Target people based on their locations

PPC marketers use geotargeting campaigns to limit their search results to prospective customers within a specific area.

Google AdWords lets you set this up:

geotargeting

When it comes to your SEO strategy, you can still target people based on their locations, even if you don’t want to pay for ads.

Just create specific landing pages for different areas.

For example, let’s say your business has locations all over the country. Each location should have its own local website.

This will increase the website traffic for people within those areas whenever they search for something relevant to what you’re offering.

You can even create custom landing pages based on these locations. For example, the needs of consumers in Boston will differ from those of consumers in Dallas when it comes to buying clothing in December.

9. Showcase your competitive advantage

In a list of search results, your website will appear next to the websites of your competitors. Even if you’re paying for ads, other sites will pay for ads that will show up on the page too.

How can you stand apart from your competition?

Write SEO-friendly headlines and meta descriptions that show your value proposition. Just look at these ads that come up when you use Google to search for plumbers in Seattle:

seattle plumbers

What’s going to make users pick one business over the others?

The top advertisement offers free estimates, which is very enticing, especially for plumbing services.

Another company has financing options available to help its customers pay off expensive services.

Take a look at the ad in the middle. To stand out from the crowd, they tell you that all their employees are background checked and drug tested.

Honestly, I thought this was odd to mention, but it definitely helps them stand out from the other ads on this page.

10. Consider the timing of your ads

If you’re going to take your SEO campaigns to the next level and start running PPC ads, you need to know when to run them.

For example, B2B brands would want to run their ads during normal business hours. That’s when their target audiences will be searching for their products and services.

You don’t expect a prospective B2B client to be searching for a service at 2 AM on a Saturday night.

However, if you’re a global B2C ecommerce shop, you’ll probably want to run your ads at all times.

11. Include a CTA

When it comes to your SEO efforts, obviously you want to be descriptive in your headlines and meta descriptions to target specific audiences.

But you need to come up with a way to be informative while still encouraging an action.

Ultimately, you want people to click on your website. PPC marketers understand this, so they craft ads with keywords that include CTAs.

Just look at the differences in conversion rates based on CTAs:

CTA

As you can see, including the word buy in your headline won’t lead to conversions.

Even if you think certain words are SEO-friendly, you need to recognize the impact those keywords will have on your clicks.

12. Pre-qualify your leads

It seems PPC campaigns are usually better than SEO efforts at pre-qualifying leads.

That’s because each click from a PPC campaign is costly. If that click doesn’t generate money, it’s a waste of valuable marketing dollars.

Even if your SEO efforts lead to a high search ranking, it’s not helpful if your leads aren’t qualified. While these clicks aren’t necessarily costing you money as they would if they were PPC ads, you should still approach this the same way as you would a PPC campaign.

For example, headlines and keywords run by B2B brands will differ from those run by B2C brands.

Let’s take a look at the search results for “escape rooms for big groups:”

escape rooms

Right away, there are certain keywords in these headlines and meta descriptions that pre-qualify leads.

One of the results advertises corporate events. If you’re planning a birthday party or a similar event, you probably won’t be clicking that link. But if you’re a manager looking to schedule a team building event, that option would definitely appeal to you.

Another way to pre-qualify leads is to use pricing. If people aren’t willing to spend $30 per person at a minimum, they won’t click that link in the middle of the page.

What qualifies as a large group? Well, the business at the bottom of the page says its escape rooms are for groups larger than 12 people.

If you were planning an event for eight people, you’d look elsewhere.

Now that the leads have been pre-qualified, they’ll be more likely to convert when they visit the websites.

13. Create custom landing pages

This tip is related to the topic of traffic sources.

For example, let’s say a PPC advertisement is placed on the sidebar of another website. This ad is promoting a specific product.

The landing page for this ad should be specific to the product or service being promoted. You wouldn’t want to take that user to your homepage because it would lower your conversion rates.

Use this strategy for your SEO efforts as well.

You’ll want to set up different landing pages based on what your prospective customers are shopping for, such as men’s or women’s clothing for your ecommerce shop.

Conclusion

In theory, high search rankings should result in more website traffic.

But if you’re not getting the traffic you’re expecting based on your ranking, it’s time for you to re-analyze your SEO efforts.

While they may be optimized for search engines, that’s useless if Internet users aren’t navigating to your website. It’s in your best interest to take advice from marketers who specialize in generating clicks.

You can learn a lot from PPC campaigns.

Even if you don’t want to pay for ads, you can apply the same principles to your SEO efforts to increase your website traffic.

How do you apply PPC concepts to your SEO strategy?





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Copyblogger Certification Is Open to New Writers (Limited Time)


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3 Simple Models for Building an Audience with Storytelling


We’re surrounded and enmeshed by stories 24-7. In our multiplying news notifications, podcasts, email inboxes, and blog comments. At coffee…

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The Secret Behind My 1,866,913 Monthly Search Visitors (It’s Not What You Think)


secret

How many visitors do you think NeilPatel.com generates each month?

Maybe a million… maybe 2 million?

I bet you’re going to guess 1,866,913.

If that’s what you guessed, you are wrong. This blog actually generated 2,530,346 visitors. 1,866,913 is the number that came from search engines.

google graph

So, what’s the secret to my ever-growing Google traffic?

Sure, I have optimized my on-page SEO, I’ve built links, written tons of blog post… I’ve done all of the stuff that most of my competition has done. But doing the same stuff as your competition isn’t enough.

My secret sauce is that I optimize for user signals.

Last week, I broke down some of the user signals Google looks at, as well as providing benchmarks to aim for if you don’t want to be penalized by Google.

If you aren’t familiar with user signals, check the article I linked to above.

So, how do you optimize for user signals?

Well, I know everyone has different types of websites, so I thought I would share the process I use to optimize NeilPatel.com.

Are you showing people what they want?

Google Analytics is an amazing tool. I’m so addicted to it that I log in at least 3 or 4 times a day. Heck, I even log in on weekends.

But here’s the thing, it only tells you half the story. It gives you numbers, but it doesn’t help you visualize what people are doing and what they aren’t.

For example, here is what my main blog page looked like according to Crazy Egg:

blog heatmap

What’s wrong with the image?

Everyone is going to the blog to learn more about marketing. Above the fold, I have a box that showcases an SEO Analyzer. But there is one big issue: it’s barely clicked compared to the drop-down that lets you filter the blog content.

The SEO Analyzer had 128 clicks versus 359 clicks to the content filtering option.

Because you didn’t care for it as much, I removed it from the main blog page. And now when you head to the blog page you can see the filtering options above the fold.

new blog

I am looking to see what you click on and what you don’t. Simple as that.

If I keep showing you something you aren’t clicking on, I am wasting the opportunity to present you with something you do want to see. Which means I either need to adjust it or delete it.

Now, let me show you my current homepage:

homepage

What’s wrong?

Go ahead, take a guess…

Well, looking at the image you’ll notice there are tons of hot spots in the footer. That’s where the navigation is. With there being all of the clicks on the navigation, I should consider adding a navigation menu bar in the header.

Are you getting the hang of how to make your website more user-friendly? Well, let’s try another one.

Here’s an element in the sidebar of my blog posts:

blog sidebar

That element only has 1 click. That’s terrible considering that the blog post generated 10,016 visits. And to top it off, that click came from a repeat visitor.

My goal is to convert more first-time visitors into leads, which makes up the majority of my visitors, but they are the lowest percentage of my leads.

new visitors

So, what did I do? I deleted that element and you no longer see it in my sidebar.

Are you optimizing for mobile?

Let’s face it, more people are visiting your site using mobile devices than laptops or traditional computers.

If that’s not the case, it is just a matter of time.

So, have you optimized your site for mobile? And no, I’m not just talking about having a responsive design because everyone is doing that these days.

mobile homepage

If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that I removed the image of myself and a few other elements. This helps make the loading experience faster and it helps focus people’s attention on the most important elements.

Similar to the desktop version, my mobile homepage has a 24% conversion rate. When my mobile version included a picture of me above the fold, my conversion rate dropped to 17%… hence there is no picture of me. 😉

Now, I want you to look at the mobile version of my main blog page and compare it to my homepage.

mobile blog page
Do you see an issue? The blog page generates a lot of clicks on the 3 bars at the top… that’s my navigation menu. My developer accidentally removed that from the mobile homepage, hence the contact button in the footer of the homepage gets too many clicks.

Hopefully, that gets fixed in the next day or two as that could be negatively impacting my mobile rankings.

On top of optimizing the mobile experience, you need to ensure your website loads fast. It doesn’t matter if people are using LTE or 4G, sometimes people have terrible reception. And when they do, your website will load slow.

By optimizing it for speed, you’ll reduce the number of people who just bounce away from your site.

If you want a faster load time, follow this.

And don’t just optimize your site for speed once and forget about it. As you make changes to your site, your pagespeed score will drop, which means you’ll have to continually do it.

For example, you’ll notice I have been making a lot of change to NeilPatel.com (at least that is what the heatmaps above show). As I am making those changes, sometimes it affects my pagespeed score negatively. That means I have to go back and optimize my load time again.

A second in load time delay on average will cost you 6.8% of your revenue.

Are you focusing on helping all of your users?

Not every person who visits your website is the same.

For example, a small percentage of the people who visit NeilPatel.com work at large corporations that are publicly traded and are worth billions of dollars.

And a much larger percentage of my visitors own small and medium-sized businesses. These people are trying to figure out how to grow their traffic and revenue without spending an arm and a leg.

And the largest percentage of my visitors don’t have a website and they are trying to figure out how to get started for free.

In a nutshell, I have three groups of people who visit my website. The first group tends to turn into consulting leads for my agency, but they make up the smallest portion of my traffic.

One could say that I should only focus on helping them and ignore everyone else. But I can’t do that for a few reasons…

  1. I started off with having practically no money and people helped me out when I couldn’t afford to pay them. I love paying it forward and helping people who can’t afford my services because I have been there, and I know what it’s like.
  2. If I only focused on the large companies, who would link to my website and promote my content? You can bet that Microsoft isn’t going to link to me on a regular basis. If you want to generate social shares and backlinks you have to focus on the masses.
  3. Little is the new big… if you can please the masses, they will make noise and the big players will eventually hear about you. So, don’t just treat people with deep pockets kindly, treat everyone the same and truly care about your visitors.

Once you figure out the types of people coming to your website (and if you are unsure just survey them), go above and beyond to help them out. Create different experiences for each group.

On NeilPatel.com, I’ve learned that people who work at large corporations are busy and they want to listen to marketing advice on the run. For that reason, I have the Marketing School podcast.

And a lot of beginners wanted me to break down my steps over video, so they can more easily replicate my tactics. For that reason, I create new videos 3 times per week giving marketing and business advice.

Many of you want to attend the conferences that I speak at, but can’t afford to buy a ticket. For those people, I create weekly webinars that are similar to the speeches I give at conferences.

And best of all, I know the majority of you find it hard to follow along with all of these tips as it can be overwhelming. So, I created Ubersuggest to help you out.

ubersuggest

In other words, I try to go above and beyond for all of my visitors.

Yes, it is a lot of work, but if you want to dominate an industry it won’t happen overnight. Expect to put in a lot of time and energy.

Are you taking feedback from people?

You are going to get feedback. Whether it is in the form of email or comments, people will give you feedback.

It’s up to you if you want to listen… but if a lot of people are telling you the same thing you should consider it.

For example, I get a ton of comments on YouTube from people asking me to create videos in Hindi.

hindi

And…

hindi

Now, I am not only working on adding Hindi subtitles to my videos, but I am also working on translating my blog content to Hindi.

hindi content

I’m not doing these to make more money… I’m not doing this to become popular… I’m just trying to do this to help out more people.

It’s the same reason why I have Spanish, Portuguese, and German versions of this website. I had enough requests where I pulled the trigger even though I am not focusing on generating income in those areas.

But here is the thing that most people don’t tell you about business. If you just focus on helping people and solving their problems, you’ll notice that your income will go up over time.

Businesses make money not because their goal is to make money… they make money because they are solving a problem and helping people out.

Another piece of feedback I have been getting recently is that my blog is too hard to read on mobile devices.

hard to read

For that reason, I’ve assigned a task to one of my developers to fix this.

trello

Conclusion

Traffic generation is a business. It’s not a hobby. It’s competitive, and it’s difficult to see short-term gains.

If you want to rank at the top of Google, you can’t treat your website as a hobby. You have to treat it like a business.

And similar to any business, you won’t succeed unless you pay attention to the needs of your customers. That means you have to listen to them. Figure out what they want and provide it.

That’s what Google is trying to do. They are trying to rank sites that people love at the top of their search engine. If you want to be one of those sites, then start paying attention to your visitors.

Show them what they want and go above and beyond so that they will fall in love with your website instead of your competition.

If you aren’t sure if you are making the right changes, monitor your brand queries. The more people that are searching for your brand terms on Google is a big leading indicator that people are happy with your website.

Just look at NeilPatel.com, I get over 40,000 visitors a month from people Googling variations of my name:

search console brand queries

And I generate over 70,000 visits a month just from people searching for my free tool, Ubersuggest.

ubersuggest

That’s how I’m continually able to make my traffic grow. Yes, I do pay attention to what Google loves, but more importantly, I pay attention to your needs and wants.

Are you going to start optimizing your website for user signals?

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