Keyword Research for PPC and SEO: The Differences You Must Know

Both SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) require keyword research, but each approaches the common practice differently. SEO uses keywords to drive more traffic to the website to improve search engine ranking. PPC uses keywords to generate more traffic for a website by bidding on the best keywords to encourage users to click on advertisements and learn more. Each approach has the same end goal, but each assumes a slightly different angle. Here are some of the major differences in PPC and SEO keyword research that you need to be aware of before launching a campaign. 

Keyword Research for PPC

Keyword Research for PPC should involve finding keywords to bid on that are relevant to the product or service that you are trying to promote. The goal of the exercise is the determine which keywords will make the most money for each investment that’s made. You want to bid on keywords that will generate the most traffic. These keywords should be used in your campaigns and also in ad groups. The quality score of the landing page should be high when selecting keywords.
When researching for keywords in PPC, you must recognize that the margin for error isn’t very large. If you make a mistake, you will pay for it financially. You must choose the most competitive keywords for your site, or your ad will not be displayed to the intended target audience.
PPC requires special selection of keywords, which may include constantly checking the quality score and adding negatives where necessary. Negative keywords will eliminate keywords that are not likely to result in a sales conversion. This will save money. For instance, if “hotel jobs” is the keyword phrase, “jobs” will be removed from the search because it is too broad to attract the type of traffic the customer is seeking.
The keywords must also be categorized by theme to ensure that your ad copy is the most effective. Experts are recommended for this process, but it’s not necessary. Some of the instructions are specific enough to guide novice users.

Keyword Research for SEO

The margin of error for SEO is larger than PPC. You can always revamp your strategy with minimal financial loss if your keyword doesn’t work with SEO techniques. Most companies may check keyword ranking, but the process isn’t nearly as detailed as it is for PPC.
Most people write content for their website, and then, they’ll later optimize it for SEO keywords. Typically, one or two keywords can be chosen for website content optimization. The keywords should also be optimized in titles and meta tags.
Keywords should be refreshed every now and again to ensure that the website ranking improves. As new advancements or technologies are introduced, you’ll have to add new keywords that were not as popular when you first chose the keywords. Since it doesn’t cost any money, you should always use high competition words or SEO purposes. When you use the high competition keywords, you’re more likely to qualify for long tail keywords.

The Differences Between PPC and SEO

The primary difference in PPC versus SEO is the cost. PPC requires that customers bid on keywords, which cost between five cents and $20 per click. Unless a cap is set on the number of clicks per day, this can quickly become very expensive. If the campaigns are not well thought out, a company could invest a significant amount of money with little return or sales conversions.
With SEO, there is no cost associated with using keywords in the copy. Thus, web developers can try as many keywords as they want without losing money every time a person reads the content. If the keywords do not work, the data can be analyzed and modified based on the findings. Since time is money, it is best to perform some research to find the best keywords, but it’s not necessary if traffic generation is not needed immediately.

Which is Best?

Most companies will begin their keyword research with PPC campaigns to gain some initial traffic to the website. Once the visitors reach the website and purchase products, the website ranking will improve. With an increased ranking, more visitors will enter the site through organic search results. Long-term SEO campaigns are more effective since users are three to five more times to click on an ad that originates from SEO than from PPC. Start with PPC and focus on SEO for long-term results.

About Author:
White Chalk Road is Perth’s leading online marketing and SEO agency and consists of a small team of dedicated SEO professionals and paid search adverstising consultants.

  • Probably the biggest mistake people make when doing their own PPC advertising is choosing the wrong keywords just because they want to get traffic. A couple of things to know are 1) General keywords get lots of searches and traffic but are less qualified and less likely to buy. When you’re paying for visitors, you want results, not just traffic. 2) The keywords that are being bid on must be extremely relevant to the product/services you are offering. If it was a retail store, would you want to pay for male motor bikers to walk into Victoria’s secret? Nothing against bikers, it’s just not the target market – and that’s what happens when you bid on general, broad keywords. You get lots of untargeted visitors so your ROI doesn’t work. If anybody wants help with this, call my buddy Simon here: 240-455-3886.