Far too often SEO and Paid Search personnel are not working as a team and are actually in a competitive state. This may work in the short-term, but over time the competition increases expense for the company and reduces the overall traffic and conversion. A strong relationship between the team and or teams managing Paid Search and SEO can produce phenomenal results.
If you are managing Paid Search the perception of SEO should be that they fund your campaigns. The cost of SEO is significantly lower and lower cost per order translates into more money for marketing. On a monthly basis the two teams should come together for a meeting to discuss new terms added to inventory that are performing well, and the terms that are working well in terms of traffic but are not converting in Paid Search. Understanding what is working allows the two teams to focus where the higher returns exist. High volume traffic related directly to your industry that does not convert is often a better candidate for SEO and prioritized as a brand awareness investment.
Paid Search can be utilized to measure many factors in a business. For example impressions alone are a key measurement. What are the impressions on a monthly basis for your trademark term or website URL? Are the impressions up or are they down? This is a strong measurement of how well your brand is growing or shrinking online. Google Trends is another tool you can utilize to access this information. In a closely managed Paid Search program you will know this information as part of your normal reporting routine.
As part of your monthly reporting, top terms and top performing ads should be provided to the SEO team. You can think of the first page as Google as approximately 22 positions. 10 ads including PLAs and 12 organic (including rick snippets, knowledge graphs, etc.. Realistically with the changes Google has implemented to force less organic on the page you can safely say there are 15 visible positions. The number of websites and or positions you possess on the page is your market share for that term. Affiliates can be included if the URL is to a page that directly drives traffic to your website. Think of your marketing mix as obtaining market share in the SERP.
Marketing channels that work together can easily obtain 30% market share on a term by simply sharing information. If a keyword term you manage on the SEO side is doing well both in traffic and conversions, share that information with the Paid Search team. The affiliate management team should be notified when there is a high volume term that is not converting well and information provided regarding high ranking affiliates. High volume terms are basically the same as a billboard on the 405 in Los Angeles. The conversion may not happen with the first exposure, but over time the brand awareness pays off. You can measure the impact by watching the impressions of your website and trademark term over time.
Successful online marketing programs begin with communication. If you are outsourcing one portion of your marketing management you may consider outsourcing other pieces as well to the same vendor to ensure communication persists. Outsourcing may not be an option for some channels and in this case make sure the agreement with the other vendor includes reporting that ensures critical information is being shared. This works both ways. Internal channels must communicate with the vendor managed channels as well. Focusing simply on communication can drastically improve your online marketing performance.
Simple communication as to how ad content is performing in Paid Search on a CTR basis can give your SEO teams vital information as to which trigger keywords or phrases drive clicks. Evaluation of how the traffic converts should be completed before determining that an ad content test has determined a winner. Working closely together with your teams can drive exponentially more growth, higher cash flow after marketing, and fund prospecting to increase customer acquisition. If you are managing Email, Affiliates, SEO, and or Paid Search, be proactive and schedule a monthly meeting with the teams to explore opportunities and share results.