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Greetings happy readers! Both, PPC and SEO are necessary to gain visibility and boost performance and this week’s PPCChat session was focused on the same. Experts expressed their views on PPC and SEO, how much do they work on SEO while working with clients, how does SEO data impacts their PPC strategy, and more. Here is the screencap of the discussion which was hosted by Julie F Bacchini and guest host Navah Hopkins.

Q1: How much do you currently interact with SEOs on your team/working with your clients/stakeholders?

I make it a habit to build interaction opportunities – in reporting, strategic planning, & execution. There are core rules of engagement in SEO that need to be accounted for in PPC & visa versa. Examples: first-party data + reporting compliance, domain structure. @navahf

Not as much as I would like to. We have a couple clients where we meet regularly with their SEO team and a lot of good ideas/tests come out of those meetings. @selley2134

I am not currently interacting directly with clients’ SEO teams, but I do ask questions about what they are doing on that front and am always happy to share or receive information or data with any SEO folks working on the same accounts. @NeptuneMoon

Way too little interaction with (Google) SEOs in my current role, but I make sure I have a GSC and GA access so I can keep an eye on what is going on. On another note, in the world of Amazon SEO+PPC is a thing too. @soanders

Good timing for this chat for me. I just lobbied to bring on SEO consultants to work with me as I rebuild our paid program. I plan to interact with them a ton. @SEMFlem

The biggest thing is to ensure there’s buy in from the brand on the onset for a collaborative approach (i.e. if two vendors are serving a client that they get facetime together). In-house, be sure that objectives are integrated. @navahf

Quite a lot. When I was still employed, the PPC & SEO teams worked closely together. Now as a freelancer it’s a bit more complicated to build that rapport as I often get brought on a team for a specific task. But best results are to be had when both collaborate. @BorisBeceric

Don’t generally interact with client SEOs, but as someone who has a long background in SEO, I will sometimes provide basic guidance to clients related to SEO. @CJSlattery

Typically once a month to discuss keywords, trends, and opportunities. @mcgregor212

I also regularly provide clients with query data that might be better for SEO rather than PPC. @NeptuneMoon

Web Devs yes, SEOs, no. Usually dealing with Devs on conversion optimization, Tag Management, regulatory compliance. @KurtHenninger

It depends on the SEO. I’m friends with one of the best SEOs in the UK, so he and I often work with the same clients. In which case, we share insights into keywords/messaging etc. @stevegibsonppc

Not enough. We are working on building a cohesive marketing strategy that complements paid advertising. @sonofgorkhali

Not as much as I think we should be but we do ensure that we have GSC access. @adwordsgirl

Since our focus is Amazon and On Amazon PPC has a direct impact on organic our PPC and SEO teams work very closely. In fact, we cross-train as many team members in the fundamentals at a minimum. @AMZRobynJohnson

Aggressively. We make sure the client views us together as the angel and the devil on each shoulder whispering in the ear. @JonKagan

We currently have a program internally called OneSearch. It essentially keeps PPC/SEO teams aligned on keyword strategy for pages and requires page owners to follow recommendations or else paid support will be removed until organic recommendations are implemented. @jesseseogeek

I think you have to listen and work together, but I think you can both get what you want if you are all about improving the customer experience. The technical requirements take care of themselves when you focus on improving CX. It’s a win-win for both. @RyBen3

We try to work together as best as possible. PPC data can be valuable to SEO projects and vice versa. @MenachemAni

Q2: On a scale of 1-10 where would you put your SEO empathy (your understanding of SEO rules of engagement and why SEOs do what they do)? Are you interested in raising that number (why or why not)?

7-8. Having come from #SEO + having friends in SEO, here are core rules of engagement I always account for: no_index/no_follow landing pages Subdomains instead of traffic to the main site Analytics reporting for conversions Automate Search terms to content teams CLS. @navahf

10. I did SEO work starting in 2008 and only stopped in 2019 to focus purely on paid. I remember black Monday when we lost search terms data in Google Analytics. @CJSlattery

I’d put me at a 9 or 10. I did SEO, back before PPC existed, so I understand it fundamentally. SEO, at least to me, has always been part of good marketing. SEO has gotten a lot harder & a lot more technical from when I did it, for sure! I follow a lot of SEOs. @NeptuneMoon

Absolutely 10. I definitely get the point of SEO and why collaboration is important. As Paid Search, we could also save them a lot & of effort knowing there’s no point working on wkd that we have quickly paid for that has low search volume. @TheMarketingAnu

I picked up a lot from an amazingly SEO who happens to also be a close friend. Would say 5. Always strive to improve on my SEO skills, but finding that the best way is to do A LOT of SEO. Limited by time so it’s a struggle. @BorisBeceric

7. My first 5 years in the industry was with an SEO agency doing analytics and PPC. @SEMFlem

8.5 – SEO was my core at the beginning of my career… I still lurk in all their communities years later… @Galliguez

Most SEOs suck and barely know what they’re doing. So I’m guessing that’s a 1 or 2. (Good SEOs don’t suck…but they’re the exception. And, for them, I have full respect.) @stevegibsonppc

I mean my current title is Paid Search… but in my heart, I’m an all-around Search Marketer. @Galliguez

Always 10. SEO is a crucial part of a strategy to create a better experience for buyers’ journeys. @sonofgorkhali

I don’t know if I could put a number value to it but I was an SEO earlier on in my career so i understand it and its role in digital marketing as a whole. @adwordsgirl

10. SEOs work behind the scene to make that PPC campaign a success. We know that the customer journey is not linear and conversion can be supported by many other channels. @arminafareed

SEO an PPC live under the same roof. I usually describe myself as an m&m shaped marketer hoping that includes enough verticals for digital marketing to become holistic. @soanders

I’d say a 5. Got to work a lot with the SEO team at the last agency, so I respect their work and what they have to deal with. @selley2134

If you want to help your SEO team, run DSA ads to pages they have worked on and share the query reports. No better insight into what Google thinks those pages are about! @NeptuneMoon

Shamefully, like a 3. Doesn’t stop me from pretending I am gods gift to the internet, but yeah, a 3. @JonKagan

As an SEO, my knowledge of PPC fundamentals is about a 6/7. I haven’t worked in that area in years but I get best practices which is a great tool in my tool belt. It allows me to have more informed conversations across teams. @jesseseogeek

9 – We used to offer SEO services, so I’m very familiar and understand the value. @MenachemAni

Q3: Where do you see your job ending and an SEO’s job beginning on landing pages, domains, etc? Have you experienced any conflicts in these areas with an SEO team?

As a #ppc my job ends at the technical implantation of web development. I can provide insights on CRO, install & troubleshoot conversion tracking/GTM/FB pixel, & collaborate on content. Anything technical I save for my #TechSEO friends (especially on feeds & schema). @navahf

We have good collaboration. SEO offers. input and tests regularly but for LP builds they trust our experience. @mcgregor212

It varies by operation, but usually we come together with onsite page design/content, but that is where the paid side stops. @JonKagan

Although not true, I’ve traditionally seen content and technical optimization main sites as SEO and conversion and landing pages as PPC. @SEMFlem

I also did a lot of web development and design eons ago, so landing pages are hugely important to me (and the success of any PPC campaign!). The best PPC work in the world will fail with terrible landing pages. Guaranteed. @NeptuneMoon

I guess the lines are blurred depending on the technical expertise a paid search manager has. @BorisBeceric

We don’t see our work ending, but the paid and SEO teams have a conflict. We (paid team) would like to box the user and get the conversion, which is not a great experience, but we attribute every click to $. @sonofgorkhali

PPC’ers will often be sharing ideas with SEOs but never implement them. Absolutely get SEOs into anything requiring landing pages. Ideally, there is a monthly strategy review where reporting is projected and experts seated around the same table @soanders

My goal from Paid Search is mostly to generate leads. But I have many SEO goals starting from informational intent to ranking for transactional intent. I struggle with Landing page structure. Should I keep visitors moving to different pages or just capture leads. @arminafareed

I don’t really know how to answer this one. I’ve always given the developer/client suggestions on design & content but SEO isn’t considered in those suggestions so I guess somewhere in between that? @adwordsgirl

As an SEO I’ve definitely had conflicts with PPC teams in the past and I’m sure they would say the same for me. At the same time, I’ve helped them improve campaigns as well as their data improving my strategies. It’s a balance but there has to be a respect. @jesseseogeek

We have been able to cause significant increases in ad performance by changing listing details on Amazon. So I feel that they have to work together to get the best possible yield. @AMZRobynJohnson

There’s definitely lots of crossovers. Conflicts can happen around bidding on branded terms in Google Ads which can cause lower reported organic traffic etc. @MenachemAni

Q4: What do you wish SEOs would account for and/or understood better in working with us PPCs?

We don’t need or want to compete with you for value and there is no #SEO magic that comes from running ads. Technically: 1. Let us know if you will redirect something (don’t cause disapprovals)… @navahf

That 1. SEM includes both of us, 2. I don’t know what it is you do all that well, 3. We share the same tools, but we use them differently, 4. Yes, I do know you could make a lot more as a freelancer, please stop reminding me. @JonKagan

That it’s not us vs them. And on that note I’ll have to leave this lively chat cause the kids are on a rampage. @BorisBeceric

That a page isn’t optimized until it’s optimized for the users. @SEMFlem

#PPC “speed is tied to budget – sometimes a client will get faster results by harnessing SEO content if they don’t have the budget to compete in the auctions. 3. We’re more than Google search – we focus on Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Display, Video. @navahf

Rarely encounter issues working with SEO. They usually understand the LP goal and are more than happy to help make the experience better. @mcgregor212

My biggest complaint is changes in URL. It hasn’t happened recently but we had issues in the past with the SEO updating URLs but never communicating that information to us. @adwordsgirl

SEO teams I have worked with always work well with the paid team. However, they sometimes feel left out ‘coz they can’t tie up their work to $ value, making it hard to justify their work. I wish they understood how SEO complements other marketing. @sonofgorkhali

Q5: Is there data that you regularly share with an SEO team and/or that you get from an SEO team? How does this impact your PPC strategy and work?

Always share search term data (conversions/auction price, etc.), as well as landing page tests that could make sense to build into the core #SEO strategy (extensions, display initiatives, etc). @navahf

I look to my #SEO friends to tell me where a targeted strike would be useful (competitive content, overcoming objections, audience building). Also, look to collaborate with them on domain structure and what landing page strategy will serve the client the best. @navahf

This might mean some initiatives take a little longer to implement but it ensures that all the working parts serving the brand are working in unison and not accidentally causing pitfalls for the others (redirects, blocking the ad bot = no quality score, etc.) @navahf

I definitely share query data. As I said in an earlier answer, you see lots of queries that are higher funnel that would be better for organic content to address/capture. I also like to know from SEOs if they are having trouble with a term or theme. @NeptuneMoon

The Paid & Organic report in Google Ads is fire. I use it all the time. @SEMFlem

There are typically a ton of terms that people search on that just don’t make sense to bid on. But, organic content around those terms and themes might be worth it. Sometimes paid is the answer for high organic competition terms too. @NeptuneMoon

I don’t proactively work on sharing grains between silos, I work on building supertankers with digital performance displays for all to see. @soanders

I like the metric Paid Click %. Filter for top paid terms over 50% and give to the SEO team. @SEMFlem

Analytics and keyword lists. @JonKagan

I tend to send the SEO team question search terms. Filter search terms for “how”, “what”, etc. Helps them come up with copy & blog ideas. Also, let them know which products/pages are performing well vs which arent from PPC perspective. @selley2134

We share keyword-level conversion data, revenue per keyword, RPL, CPL, form conversion, and drop-off by stage. It’s an open channel, and we share data, ideas, and thoughts. @sonofgorkhali

I’m back. Query data and patterns therein, useful n-grams. Also, collaborate on where PPC can assist in gaining new insights (testing paid for KWs SEO is looking to target, etc). LP tests. @BorisBeceric

Keyword data. We also like to share/request keyword data from Amazon campaigns as well. It all works together. @MenachemAni

Q6: How do you handle questions of attribution and ROI when the data tells conflicting stories of who was the bigger hero between SEO and PPC?

My view on attribution. @soanders

I try to bypass them by ensuring all reporting is done from the same source of truth (analytics conversions, UTM parameters, and open communication). If an attribution issue comes up, I try to drill down to the specific conversion and check the CRM/sales data. @navahf

We’re all going to have to get comfortable with conversion modeling and non-last click attribution. A big way to help that is using a call tracking solution (like @CallTrac or Callrail) so you can see the leads coming from organic content. @navahf

We use different attribution models and conversion path reports to show clients that PPC and SEO are working together. This tends to avoid the conflict from the start. Don’t just use GA default. @selley2134

If you can get tracking in place across both channels, it can help. Also, SEO and PPC support each other in ways you can’t necessarily see in a report. I think it’s important to acknowledge that. Regular people often don’t know ads from organic. @NeptuneMoon

And people search for things more than once. They may click on organic then paid then organic for example. Or organic than paid. Who gets credit for that? I’d argue both. Easier to turn off ads and see the impact if really in question. @NeptuneMoon

It’s always a tussle. Been there, done that. We look at revenue or leads or lead quality by medium (all MQL). But at the end of the month, we will look at MQL and SQL by medium and how we worked together towards the bigger picture. @sonofgorkhali

Get biblical and split it in half. @JonKagan

There’s no perfect attribution, but I recommend clients look at performance by SERP — lots of interesting insights arise when you look at the problem from the consumer perspective vs the marketing perspective. @DigitalSamIAm

PPCChat Participants

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