The beauty of paid search, or PPC (i.e. Google AdWords) is that when developing a list of keywords for your campaigns, it forces you to rack your brain & use keyword tools to find everything and anything relevant that could potentially pull your ad up in search. If you’re setting your campaign up correctly, you develop massive lists of keywords based on keyword research tools (i.e. Google Keyword Planner), put related keywords into different ad groups, and each ad group has a different and unique landing page.

And without even realizing it, you are actually on your way to developing a deep SEO strategy. See how below.

By optimizing PPC campaigns, you are able to:

1.) Optimize your on-page content for organic search

While reviewing one of our brand new Google AdWords PPC campaigns, we came across a Rarely Shown due to Low Quality Scorenumber of ads that were not showing due to low quality score. But we had the keywords in a tight ad group, and had a relevant landing page with products highly related to that keyword. We even matched the ad copy to our keywords. Why were these ads receiving low quality scores?

Given that your keywords match your ad copy, when the message, “rarely shown due to low quality score” appears on your AdWords campaign, it typically means the landing page isn’t relevant to the keywords or ad itself. Even though our landing page was related to the keywords, those keywords didn’t exist on the landing page in the first place! This can happen if clients request specific keywords to be included in a paid search campaign, but the keywords don’t exist on the website first.  By using Google’s Keyword Planner when setting the AdWords campaign up, we were able to see which keywords weren’t prominently displayed on the website by filtering our PPC campaign by “status”, shown in the picture to the right. Neat trick, huh?

So what to do now? If you have keywords in your campaign that are being “rarely shown due to low quality score”, then it’s not a problem, but rather a great opportunity to improve your website’s SEO. Take these low quality score keywords and build out your content on the landing page that the keyword was matched with. Some areas of your website to focus and build keyword-rich content would be:

  • H1 tags
  • Title Tags
  • Meta description
  • On-page content (text)
  • Media (image tags, titles, video titles, etc.)

Once you fix your on-page content, not only will the quality score of your keywords in your paid search campaign increase, but you’ll also get a natural SEO benefit by targeting those keywords even when your ads aren’t running! The overall result will be a decrease in CPC for ads in your ad group and increased traffic due to improved SEO. Win-win! But you can go even 1 step further if you’re feeling extra motivated, as shown below.

2.) Develop new landing pages based on search volume

There are two steps to this; the first step is to sort the keywords in each campaign by impressions, not clicks. Clicks aren’t a good indicator of search traffic because they rely heavily on your ad, but impressions have no bias, they’re simply the number of times your ad appears based what users are searching for. Once you’ve sorted the impressions in descending order, you’ll quickly see what the most searched-for terms for your specific products are! If you’ve taken the time to setup your keywords thoroughly and correctly, then this list basically acts as your own personal keyword planner tool for SEO. That is so cool, in the nerdiest possible way.

Keep in mind that the number of impressions will vary based on the keyword’s match type (broad will have more than exact, etc.) so use your best judgment here. The second step involves an important SEO/website decision. Those really important, high-volume keywords – do you want to plug and chug into your existing landing page, as discussed in #1? Or do you want to create a brand new landing page built specifically for that keyword or phrase?

The benefit of creating a brand new, separate landing page for high volume keywords is that you can focus all your SEO efforts on that specific targeted keyword or phrase, using exact title, h1 tags, meta description, copy, and media. This will make your landing page stronger and even more SEO optimized than if you had added the keywords or phrases to the existing landing page, shown in #1.

Although building out separate landing pages can be a lot of work, it is a proven technique that Modern Marketing Partners continues to use for our clients, and both parties have been more than more than pleased with the results. If the client does not want to edit the landing page in any scenario (# 1 or #2), it is vital that we explain to the client that we cannot run the ads unless the landing page copy and tags match the keywords, otherwise the overall CPC and quality of the ad group will be compromised.

Do you have any tips for integrating PPC with SEO? We’re always listening and always learning so please drop them in the comments below! Also please share this with any of your Google-y friends that would enjoy a good nerdy read.


To learn in-depth about SEO, read our Search Engine Optimization for Marketers Whitepaper.