How SEO can up your Google Ads game

How SEO can up your Google Ads game

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When you’re running a digital commerce business, a digital ad strategy is a must to help you reach new customers looking for your product. If you’re on a mission to optimise your Google Ads campaign, then SEO could be an unlikely hero to help you reach your goal.

There are lots of different aspects of SEO, from technical improvements to creating content. We will focus on the two areas we deem most relevant to improving your ads – keyword research and content optimisation.

Keyword research will help you learn what to bid on, what not to bid on, and which keywords to include in your ads. But you can go beyond simply choosing the right keywords by using SEO techniques to create awesome landing pages relevant to your customers. Doing so could improve your quality score and lower your cost-per-click (CPC).

The synergy between SEO and SEA

What is SEO? SEO (search engine optimisation) does what it says: optimising your website or app for organic search. SEO aims to increase your search ranking, to easily be found when someone searches for something related to your product or service. So, how does SEO help your ads?

First, there are similarities between the two. Both hinge on relevance for search terms, so it stands to reason that by following specific SEO techniques, you’ll create a relevant ad that can reach potential customers.

A nice by-product of SEO on your landing page is that it could start ranking in organic search. A much-referenced study by Google shows that high organic page rankings can positively impact ad clicks. Although this isn’t a recent study, it does point to a clear benefit of pairing a high organic ranking with an ad: building trust.

If people see your page early in search results, it’s clear it’s a popular page, which creates trustworthiness. People are aware that ads are paid for, so showing up in organic search results also adds to your cred. As you can see, it pays to invest in SEO for your landing pages.

Create a keyword research strategy

The first place to start when optimising your ads is with keyword research. Keyword research is finding which keywords you want to use in your ad campaign. These keywords will define which search terms to bid on if you’re doing keyword targeting, inform your ad copy, and help optimise your landing page.

When it comes to keyword research, you have a couple of options; Google Ads Keyword Planner or SEO tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs. Google Ads Keyword Planner is available in Expert Mode and can help you discover new keywords, see monthly search volume, see the cost of keywords and organise your keywords into categories. Meanwhile, SEO tools can provide similar data and additional information you can’t find in Google Ads, like search intent. You could use Google Ads Keyword Planner, an SEO tool, or both to do your research.

What makes a great keyword?

A great keyword has ‘high potential’. This means that the keyword has:

- High search volume: the number of people who search for your keyword

- Commercial or transactional intent: someone is looking to buy a product

- Reasonable CPC: the cost-per-click is within your budget

If you’re unsure where to start with your research, consider how potential customers would search for your product. Any customer research you have to deepen your understanding of your target market will be helpful.

Use your tool(s) to see information on your keywords to help determine if they’re high potential. In tools like SEMRush, you can look at related keywords that could also be relevant to your campaign. It’s essential to check out CPC in Google Ads Keyword Planner to see how much a campaign could cost you. But there’s another important aspect to look at when choosing your keywords: and that’s search intent.

Get specific with search intent

Search intent is the reason why a person is searching for something. In a campaign selling a product or service, you need to know that your target audience is ready to buy or researching a future purchase.

SEO software labels keyword intent in different ways, but generally, there are four categories:

- Commercial: Someone is doing research before buying something.

- Transactional: Someone is ready to buy something.

- Informational: Someone wants to learn about something.

- Navigational: Someone is looking for a specific page.

So, if you’re selling something, you probably only want to target commercial or transactional keywords that indicate strong buyer intent. Then you can tailor your campaign to that part of the buying journey. This could be obvious, like ‘buy sports shoes’, or surprising, like ‘is [brand] good for feet’.

Search intent can feel intuitive, but there can be tiny nuances between different terms that change the intent, so it’s always a good idea to check your assumptions by looking at an SEO tool.

While choosing keywords that would work well for your campaign, keep track of ones that aren’t relevant but show up as related. You’ll need these later on in your ad setup.

Grouping your keywords

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to group similar keywords to use in your Ad Groups.

Although it’s tempting to go very broad with these groups, the more specific you can be, the better. For example, separate branded and general keywords to further tailor your copy and pages. It means more work as you should create different ads for each ad group, but your ads will be relevant to the search terms and could drive better results.

Set your negative keywords

Your negative keywords are searches that Google won’t show your ad for. You can set negative keywords for each ad group.

Remember those irrelevant but related keywords you set aside earlier? Now’s the time they come in handy. Add these to your negative keywords list.

Once your ad is running, it’s important to check which keywords you’re showing for and continue optimising your campaign. If you’re using broad or phrase match keyword types, your ad could show for searches that don’t perform well, or aren’t quite right for your campaign. Google also has an automated recommendation to ‘remove redundant keywords’, but it’s always best to sense-check these before going ahead.

Adding negative keywords is an easy way to save money on your campaigns and to make sure you’re only showing your ads to relevant searches.

Now you’ve got your keywords sorted, you can move on to the next step – optimising your ads. There are two different elements to optimising your ads, the ad copy itself and your landing page.

Make attractive ads with your keywords

Add your high potential keywords into your ad copy, but get creative. Draw out key information about your product or service, like discounts, popular features or brand names and tie these in with your keywords.

Use keywords naturally in both your ad copy and your landing page. Your copy still needs to be well-written and enticing for customers, not a series of keywords trying to tick all the boxes.

If you’re creating a Search Ad, Dynamic Search Ads will test which keywords work best in your header and which copy gets the most clicks.

Take your landing page to the next level

Your landing page plays a big part in how Google determines your quality score, so make sure your page is relevant to your ad copy.

If you’re linking to a product page, it should already be optimised for search as best practice. The following tips are more relevant for creating a specific campaign landing page, like for a discount sale, product launch or service.

Tie in your keywords

The most important thing you can do to optimise your landing page is to use the right keywords in the right place. So, include the keywords you’re targeting with your ad on your landing page.

Different parts of your landing page have different levels of authority to Google. Headers, like H1 (the page title) and H2 (page section headers), give information on what your page is about to users and to Google. These are the best places to use your high potential keywords in your headers.

Align your landing page copy with everything mentioned in your ad. This is where multiple ad groups with specific keywords can result in a lot of work with different variations of your landing pages, but improving that quality score is worth doing.

Improve your metrics

People scan pages and don’t want too much text. But improving the time spent on your page and decreasing the bounce rate could help your quality score.

It’s a balance, but make sure your page is user-friendly and engaging to potential customers who visit it. It needs to be visually attractive and give a clear overview to your customer. Use fantastic imagery, and consider tools like video to help capture attention.

Let’s get technical

There are a few technical SEO aspects you can look at to help improve your page:

- Optimise your URL by including a high potential keyword. Avoid lengthy URLs with unnecessary paramets and numbers. Make sure you use hyphens to separate words in the url.

- Set meta tags that include your target keywords. These are the title and meta description that could show in an organic search result for your page.

- Make use of internal linking by linking to this page from other places on your website.

- Ensure your page loads quickly – you can check your page speed here.

- Add alt text to your images, and include keywords where it’s relevant.

- See if you can get backlinks (links from other websites) to your page. Avoid paying for backlinks as this isn’t best practise, and instead put your focus on building high-quality links organlically.

- Your website needs to be responsive and have mobile friendly design, so use responsive design templates and test your website on multiple devides. This is crucial for both user experience and search engine rankings.

- Enhance your user experience by making navigation easy, with clear calls-to-action and intuitive website design. This could lead to longer visits and increase engagement which can indirectly impact search engine rankings.

Keep on optimising

Continue optimising your campaign once you put it live. If your quality score isn’t having the desired impact on your CPC, don’t worry. Keep checking back to see which keywords are working, which text is performing best, and if your ad is showing for any keywords that aren’t relevant – and adjust your ads accordingly.

It’s important to have an overview of your ad spend and CPC so that you can make the right adjustments to your ads. Juni can help with that! With Juni, you can have all the information you need at your fingertips in a single, smart dashboard and manage your ad spend more effectively.

Instead of dealing with different platforms and currencies, receipts and invoices, and arguing with banks over spend limits, you can make running ads easier with Juni. With automatic receipt generation, real-time spend insights, and Google Ads invoices auto-pulled into your account, keeping track of your payments is simple.

You can also boost your cash flow with credit, cashback and more to help you fund ad campaigns and unlock revenue growth.

Sounds good? Get Juni.

How SEO can up your Google Ads game
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Download our free whitepaper and gain important ecommerce and marketing insights, directly from Juni.

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