At first glance, the two methods have very little in common, but they can be used together to create a more informed and effective marketing strategy on both fronts.
From an SEO perspective, AdWords’ main value lies in its potential to find and test keyword phrases with quick results.
Instead of spending half a year optimizing for a promising query only to be disappointed, an AdWords campaign can collect the necessary information in as little as a month.
Performing Keyword Research
Most webmasters limit their AdWords usage to its Keyword Tool, which provides a number of statistics for any given search term.
The tool is free to use and simple to learn, though some terms are not immediately intuitive.
When a phrase is entered, the Keyword Tool returns the competition level for advertiser fees as well as an estimated number of searches per month.
More importantly, it also offers variants on the phrase, which may be more lucrative or at least spawn a few new ideas. It is not fool-proof, but the Keyword Tool is a useful starting point in any SEO strategy.
Collecting Demographic Information
Once you have some keywords in mind, you can choose to either walk away from AdWords or begin a campaign.
It costs money, but the information gathered is generally well worth the initial investment.
AdWords provides extensive reports based on performance, including a rough sketch of the people most likely to click the ad. This may divulge age, gender and location, all of which play a role in conversions.
Knowing your visitors helps shape content to better suit their needs, resulting in a better experience for everyone involved. At the same time, don’t get so focused on one group that other traffic feels alienated.
Determining Click-Through Rates
The click-through rate is the number of times an ad is clicked relative to the number of times it is shown.
A low rate indicates either a lackluster keyword or poor copy. Unless the first run is satisfactory, it may take several tries to get right. How does this help SEO?
Think of the title and description that appear on Google’s results page as an advertisement that runs without any fees.
Those few lines of text are all you have to lure in readers. Knowing what it most likely to get them clicking is a key part of business success.
Last but not least, the number of people you reach is only important within the context of conversion rates.
The conversion rate describes how many visitors actually go on to do a profitable activity, whether that is buying a product, signing up for a service or clicking someone else’s advertisement.
The right keywords and copy are essential in this. For example, someone searching for how to potty train a puppy might be interested in buying house pads, but they may just take the information and run.
An AdWords campaign is your first clue whether or not a keyword string is actually commercially viable, making it one of the most important pieces of research in SEO.
Author Bio – Paul Teitelman is a Toronto SEO expert who has been involved with the industry since its earliest days. He currently offers consulting and optimization services through his website at www.paulteitelman.com.