Fundamentally, we at WordStream believe in 10 critically important best practices that are the key for both paid and organic search success:
(Drum roll, please...)
1. Your Keywords are a Valuable, Proprietary Asset
Understanding the search queries that people actually use to find the products & services that are relevant to your business, and the way that you categorize, organize, and prioritize the keyword data represents a crucial piece of competitive intelligence. Building a proprietary, comprehensive, up-to-date and well-researched keyword taxonomy is the foundation of any successful SEO and/or PPC effort.
The problem with a typical keyword suggestion tool is it provides suggestions of keywords that might be relevant to your business, and traffic or opportunity estimates that are probably wrong. True keyword research should be based on real searches and actual outcomes on your website.
3. Keyword Grouping & Organization is Critical to Long-Term PPC & SEO Success
In PPC, this means constructing well-organized, targeted campaigns and ad groups and landing pages. In SEO, it means effectively targeting keywords with on-site content while creating search-friendly navigation.
4. PPC & SEO Should be Continuous & Iterative
Much of the power of search as a marketing vehicle is that there is so much that you can measure and react to. If you aren't committed to PPC & SEO as iterative activities, you're giving back most of the channel's superior ROI.
5. Negative Keyword Discovery & Expansion is Critical to PPC & SEO Success
Unearthing all keywords you shouldn't be bidding on can have a drastic impact on both your overall paid search costs, both by reducing irrelevant clicks, but also by improving your click-through-rates and Quality Scores which, further impacts your overall cost per click and first page bids. And if you're weeding out irrelevant terms from your PPC keywords research, why not have those same terms removed from your SEO keywords research as well?
6. Successful SEO & PPC Requires Connecting Analytics with Action
Your insights need to be actionable and your actions need to be informed by data.
7. PPC efforts can be Used to Inform and Optimize SEO Efforts, & Vice Versa
Valuable insights can be gleaned by analyzing SEO & PPC data side-by-side and/or in aggregate. By better executing PPC, you can better execute SEO, and vice versa.
8. Search Marketers Should Focus Time on Adding Value, not Repetitive, Mindless Tasks
While you can't automate search marketing as a whole, we think that there's a place for SEO tools and PPC software to facilitate of certain tedious and repetitive tasks in search.
9. PPC and SEO Tasks are Unlimited, but Time is Limited, so SEO & PPC Tasks Must be Prioritized
There are an endless number of things you can tweak and optimize. One of the most important skills in search is the ability to identify the series of actions (i.e. a workflow) that will provide the biggest returns.
10. PPC and SEO Efforts Require Coordination & Collaboration
To effectively market through search, it's necessary to create an environment where copywriters, marketers, developers, and anyone else involved in a project is aware not only of search marketing best practices, but also of more specific objectives and targets (e.g: which page should be targeting which keyword?, etc.).
Agree or Disagree?
So that's what we think…your turn. What are your search philosophies? Drop us a line and let us know what you believe in the comments.
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