:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
As a business owner, your primary goal is to drive as much profit as possible - as soon as possible.
One of the fastest ways to identify high-revenue keywords and profitable sales funnels is to use Google's PPC system - AdWords. With AdWords, you can test different combinations of keywords, landing pages, value propositions and funnel architectures to determine the optimal fit as quickly as possible.
Let's take a closer look now at how you can take advantage of the speed and cost effectiveness of the AdWords platform in order to determine which keywords and pages should constitute your long-term SEO strategy.
Identifying Profitable SEO Keywords with Google AdWords
Instead of investing thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of effort into developing a digital presence targeting certain keywords, why not test them first with AdWords? That way, you can identify which keyword combinations are more likely to achieve higher click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates (CVR) and achieve greater average monthly search volume. Google AdWords incorporates a number of different tools and platforms that make this task even easier so that you can accurately predict which keyword combinations are likely to have sufficient monthly volume to sustain your business operations.
Using Google AdWords Keyword Planner to Identify Keywords
To begin, you should spend some time conducting market research. With this research in hand, you can begin to do some keyword research in Google's helpful Keyword Planner tool. Keyword Planner gives you access to all of the AdWords keyword data, including average monthly search volume. Even better, you can select specific cities and regions to analyze keyword search volumes - this feature is especially helpful for those businesses seeking to employ a local SEO strategy. Now that you have a few different batches of keywords, you're ready for the next step: running ads and testing out your keyword set.
Testing Ad Groups, Value Propositions and Landing Pages
With your keywords selected, you can now begin the process of testing them for revenue potential. To accomplish this task, you're going to need to create a series of different ads with different marketing propositions. Then, you can run these ads across your chosen keyword sets to analyze your CTR, CVR and revenue. You'll also need to create different landing pages in order to identify which ones perform the best for each keyword and ad combination. With all of this data, you'll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to creating your organic SEO strategy.
What Ad Performance Can Tell You About SEO
Let's say that you have an ad that performs well and leads to a high CTR and CVR. What does this tell you about a potential SEO strategy? The answer is simple: It tells you that your customers are thinking of that keyword when it comes time to make a purchase. As such, your SEO strategy should incorporate those keywords and plant them on buying-focused pages rather than content pages. In other words, these keywords represent "bottom of the funnel" search terms that your prospects are punching into the search engines when they are ready to buy.
Mapping AdWords Keywords to Profitable Landing Pages
If you have a particular set of landing pages that are performing better on AdWords, you can take advantage of this performance when it comes time to create your SEO strategy. Which elements of the pages are performing optimally? Maybe you've noticed a consistent trend with specific colors or headlines that tend to convert well. These design and marketing copy elements can be transplanted into your SEO strategy by creating content which incorporates those strongly converting elements. Again, this is more suitable for the bottom of the funnel, but these elements can also be used for top of the funnel pages as well.
Using AdWords Performance to Create Your Content Strategy
Now that you've identified those AdWords landing pages and keywords which tend to perform the best, it's time to take a look at those pages and keywords which did not necessarily perform as well. Maybe those pages had high CTRs but low CVRs - what does this fact tell you about their performance? Think about it for a moment: It's telling you that you these keywords and those content pieces are more suitable for prospects who are still at the top of the sales funnel.
Creating Top-of-Funnel Content with High CTR/Low CVR Keyword and Landing Page Combinations
Here's how we can take advantage of this fact to supercharge your SEO strategy. You can use those high CTR keywords and landing pages as the basis for informational content pieces that draw your prospect into your sales funnel. Since your potential customers are only hunting for information at this point in their buyer journey, it makes sense to not bombard them with a sales pitch. Instead, create valuable content (at least 1,500 words and with good on-page SEO) with a call-to-action that leads the prospect to sign up for your email list or social media profile feed. You can also take advantage of remarketing technologies at this stage in order to bring the prospect back into your funnel if they exit the site at this point.
Summarizing the Approach: How AdWords Can Save You Time & Money for SEO Planning
We've covered a lot of ground in this article, so let's take a moment to summarize what we've learned. You've seen that there are two types of content that can be used to form the two pillars of your SEO strategy: top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel elements. Your top of the funnel pages and content will target informational queries that have high CTRs but low CVRs, while your bottom of the funnel pages will target high CVR keywords. You also can now assign a monetary value to your chosen keywords, thereby giving you some predictive capabilities when it comes to forecasting against their positions and average search volume over time.
In other words, you've saved yourself a lot of money and time by taking advantage of AdWords to rapidly identify profitable combinations and narrow down your target keyword list. Nicely Played!
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Marion, IL. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz