Every day search engine optimization specialists scour the web to look for SEO tools which can help them in researching better, faster and in automating most of the important SEO processes to give them some time for other important activities of life.
Still one of the tools that most Internet marketers (and even hardcore SEOs) use all the time and still ignore is Google Adwords. Google Adwords is so hugely a pay per click marketing system that other benefits, specially the areas in which it can directly help in SEO) are often overlooked. Outlined below are some of the ways in which Google Adwords system can be used for different steps in Search Engine Optimization:
- Google Adwords as a Keyword Research Tool – This is one of my favorite uses of the Adwords platform. Before starting any SEO work on a site, it is essential to understand the popularity of the keywords so that they can be targeted. Adwords as a tool lets you know the relative popularity of the keywords by bidding on them. No other keyword tool in the market will give you this data as all of their data is extrapolated. At the best, SEO experts advocate seeing trends and relative popularity through these tools and not the exact numbers. Adwords “impressions” are numbers that can be relied upon.
- % clicks as a performance metrics – The CTR or the Click thru rate is a measure that the Adwords system uses to price the ads and to determine the rankings. Look out for keywords with a high click thru rate and try using them in your organic campaigns. Google is understood to be moving in a direction where it is taking usability and visitor engagement metrics into consideration for organic SERP ranking reordering. Moreover, high CTR keywords show that the keywords have a transaction intent (of course only if you are selling something)
- Connecting the ends – In Adwords, you have the option to run “ad performance reports” which would let you see which ad copies are performing the best (and the worst). Once armed with this data, you can take the headline and description, inflate them up a bit and use them as title and meta description tags on the landing page.
- Geographic targeting – Most of the small business owners who targets specific counties and cities using Adwords can migrate the intelligence data to SEO and Local SEO and target users in specific cities. Landing pages targeted towards cities and “city targeting” in Google Local business centre is efficiently achieved once you know where the best audience is.
- Content Development – When you syndicate your Adwords ads to the content network, you can run placement performance reports to see which of the sources convert the most. This would help you in understanding the content type that sends traffic to these advertising sources. You can run upstream traffic reports for these pages (say top 10 or top 20) to see where they are ranking and who is linking to them. Produce this content in form of articles, blog post or a web tool. This will not only tie the loose ends 9information to product) but would also help you in attracting organic links.
- Finding Link Buying Opportunities – We are here talking about the same sources as mentioned in the point number five above. If content generation is not a possibility, try and get a direct reference in form of a link purchase from these sources. This would be a fantastic, organic link and would be passing a lot of benefit in form of improved search engine rankings and direct visitors, both.
- Promoting your best free content – Free content can (and should) be promoted using a PPC platform like Google Adwords. The sheer CTR factor of a “free” informational piece would 80% of the times, outdo any commercial competition. Searchers love free stuff, we all do! This content, if well designed, can work as a link bait hook.