February 28, 2014
Why Adwords is the Best SEO Tool Around
For those who don’t know, Adwords is the system used to get paid ads in the sponsored section of the Google Search Engine. SEO is all about getting your site to rank in the organic “unpaid” results. They are two very different things.
So what does Adwords have to do with your SEO efforts?
One word… testing.
How do you know which keywords you should be striving to rank for if you don’t run some tests first? The truth is you don’t. You might be able to guess or make an assumption, but you don’t truly know until you start bringing in traffic for your desired keywords.
The Expensive SEO Mistake Many Businesses Make
Let’s take a look at what many businesses do. First, They pick a handful of keywords and say to themselves, “If I could just rank for these keywords my business would take off!”
Then they hire a company to do just that. They spend all this time and money, and finally after a period of several months (if they’re lucky) they are at the top of Google.
Hooray they did it! But there’s just one problem…
The traffic they’re getting for those keywords is awful. Either there isn’t enough traffic (no demand) or people are clicking on their site and leaving right away. Either way they just wasted a ton of time and money ranking for unprofitable keywords.
How to Take the Guesswork out of Keyword Research
Enter Adwords. When you pay to have an ad run on Google you are basically paying to get traffic for specific keywords of your choosing. And when you insert a Google analytics code on your site you can instantly measure how well those keywords are performing.
So let’s say you bid on 100 keywords through Adwords and after a month or two you discover that 3 are consistently performing well. Congratulations, you now know which keywords you should be trying to rank for. And it didn’t take several months to figure it out.
And because you already know they work, you don’t have to worry about wasting money. Sure, you do have to spend some money with Adwords. But it’s a good investment that saves you money and a lot of time in the long run.
What Should you be Testing for?
So testing is good, but what are we looking for. Adwords combined with Google Analytics allows you to test an enormous amount of data. Here are just a few strategies to get you set up for an effective SEO program.
A/B Landing Page Testing
An essential test if you want website visitors to take a specific action like filling out a lead form or making a purchase. With this strategy you are testing more than just your keywords. You are making sure the page those keywords lead to accomplishes your goals.
You can create several versions of a page to see which one performs best. You can change the style of the lead form, change the page layout, experiment with different colors, or anything you want. However, the smaller your budget the less you can test. So if you don’t have a lot of money to work with, you may want to limit yourself to 2 or 3 versions.
Once you’ve run the numbers you’ll know which version of the page you want to keep and focus your SEO efforts on getting it ranked for the keywords that tested the best.
Impression Share (Demand) Testing
There’s no point ranking for a keyword that people aren’t searching for. There are several tools out there that claim to tell you how much demand there is for a particular keyword. Google Keyword Planner is one of them. The problem is these are rarely accurate. And a lot of times they are way off.
With Adwords you get a great look at how much search demand is out there. It shows you the percentage of times your ads show out of all the times a user searches your keyword on Google. So if you have 100 impressions for a keyword and your impression share is 50% a little math will tell you that there were 200 searches for that particular keyword. This number is as close to exact as you can get.
After a Google search the user’s first experience with your brand’s message is either the search result they read or the sponsored ad if you’re running one. Let’s talk about the search results for a second.
For the most part, Google decides what’s displayed there by pulling information from your site. However, you do have control over the blue clickable section at the top. This comes from the title tag on your site, which you have full control over.
Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what to put there to grab the attention of your audience? Well with Adwords you can create multiple ads with different messages and test them against each other. The ad that performs best will give you a clue as to what message you should put in your title tag.
Other Helpful Metrics
The following metrics show you how engaged the visitors are after clicking on to your site. Be careful how you analyze this—bad performance here doesn’t necessarily mean the keyword is bad. It could also mean you need to improve the design, layout or content of your site.
• Bounce Rate – Shows you the percentage of people who came to your site and left immediately. A high bounce rate would indicate your page is irrelevant to the visitors search or your sites content/design was uninteresting.
• Avg. Visit Duration – Shows how long visitors stayed on your site. In theory, the longer they stick around the more interested they are.
• Pages/Visit – Shows how many pages of your site the visitor viewed. Someone who views multiple pages is likely someone interested in what you have to offer.
There you have it. Just a few reasons Adwords is the best (and most accurate) SEO tool on the market today. Sure, you have to pay for the clicks, but it’s a great investment in the long run.