Google ads are more than an advertising platform. It’s a treasure trove of data that SEOs can use to improve organic visibility for their site. And today, I’m going to show you a few of my favorite tried and tested ways to use
Google search ads to improve SEO on both Google and YouTube. Stay tuned.
If you’re like most people and keep SEO and PPC campaigns separate, you’re making a mistake. You’re missing out on a ton of reliable data that can be used for SEO to gain the long-term benefits of free and passive search traffic from Google and YouTube. Now, over the past year, I’ve spent some time advertising on YouTube and a bit on Google and I’ve found some cool ways to use the data to improve SEO. So let’s kick things off with the first use case, which is to find keywords that result in conversions.
Not every keyword you bid on or rank for is going to result in customers. But Google Ads has a conversion tracking feature that lets you attribute an action on your website to a keyword. To set this up, just go to the Conversions settings in your Google ads account. Now, if I hover over “website,” you’ll see that you can track things like Online sales, link clicks, and sign-ups. So click the website icon, and then fill out the form to set up your conversion action. Now, after you’ve spent enough money to get some conversion data, go to the Search terms report. And this report shows you a list of queries where your ad was shown to a significant
a number of people.
You can see things like Impressions, interactions, the average cost per click, total conversions, and conversion rate, which is a percentage of the number of clicks to conversions. Now, I want to note that the reason why you’re seeing zero conversions is that we haven’t used the conversion tracking pixel for years. In fact, we even got rid of Google Analytics. But assuming you have the conversion tracking pixel on your site, you can simply sort the table by the Conversion or Conversion rate column, and see which keywords are converting visitors or viewers into sign-ups. So let’s draw out a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say that the query, “website checker” had an average CPC of $2 and your break-even cost was $40.
That means you need to convert one visitor for every 20 clicks to break even. Now, if your cost per conversion was $50, then from an ads perspective, you’re losing $250 for every one thousand dollars spent. So let’s do a bit of reverse engineering. With this information, you know that ranking for the query, “website checker” will lead to conversions. You also know that you’ll need around 25 clicks to get one conversion. Now, let’s find out how much traffic you could get if you ranked in the #1 position for that keyword. So I’ll take the top-ranking page’s URL and put it into Site Explorer. Then I’ll head over to the organic keywords report. And it looks like they get around 3,500 monthly search visits for the query “website checker”
just from the US.
So if 25 clicks result in a lead or customer, then you’d get around 140 of them each month, just when people search for “website checker” and click on your website. And if a conversion is worth $40, then that’s $5,600 in value each month from free organic traffic! So assuming I wanted to go after that query, I’d toss it into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Then, I’d scroll to the SERP overview, and assess what it would take to outrank the rest
of the competition. And I talk about assessing ranking difficulty in our keyword research Alright, the next use case is to find keyword opportunities as well as pages that can benefit from on-page optimizations.
According to Google, 15% of queries they see every day have never been seen before. That means billions of queries are going unnoticed and if Google doesn’t even know them, then third-party keyword research tools probably won’t either. To set yourself up for success, you can try bidding on keywords using broad match modifiers. Broad match modifiers ensure your ads are only shown for searches that include words you’ve marked with a plus sign. For example, if you were to bid on a keyword like “leather shoes” wrapped in quotes, you’re only bidding on queries that match that exact phrase.
But if you bid on queries with broad match modifiers like +leather +shoes, then that would include queries like “leather work shoes.” By using broad match modifiers, you can usually broaden your keyword pool without having to know the exact phrasing searchers are using. So after you’ve run the ads for long enough, go to the Search terms report and we’re going to look for two things: