3 Things an SEO Learned During Her First PPC Campaign Build

This SEO turned PPC for a very niche client project. We wanted more insights into what was converting for our client to stop guessing and start using data to make better keyword choices that resonate with our audience. So we paused our SEO engagement and pivoted to a PPC campaign.  

When I raised my hand to give this whole PPC thing a go, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that it would make me an overall better practitioner if I tactically knew how a PPC campaign was built, here’s what I learned.

Start With Keyword Research 

We had a head start on keyword research as the client approved our keyword proposal and matrix for a majority of the pages promoting our clients' enterprise product. What I didn’t know was that a PPC campaign also starts with keyword research. I had the assumption that the process went: Campaigns >Ad Groups > Keywords, but more on that later. 

Knowing that both SEO and PPC start with keyword research made me think of a more integrated approach to sharing our data. At Seer, we do our keyword research together at the client kickoff. This made me think of other times we (SEO) iteratively do keyword research for our clients and how we could collaborate across divisions.

It could be a simple thing like tagging your PPC manager, “FYI seeing those keywords in striking distance for our client” when doing content audits and even metadata updates. Our PPC counterparts tweak, adjust, and add to campaigns regularly, insights into what we’re seeing on the organic side could make these money-saving tweaks an easier lift. 

Building Ad Groups 

I asked my PPC desk-mate, Emily Pollock, why PPC starts with keywords and not Ad Groups that focus on themes or benefits of my clients’ main enterprise product. Being in SEO, I thought: If I start with why this product could benefit users (audience first) and identify pain points, wouldn’t my keywords fall into place?

Short answer: No.

Long Answer: You work keywords into ad copy because depending on what the user inputs into their search, those keywords could be bolded if they match, like an organic meta description, enticing the user to click through. In SEO, we could leverage the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of PPC Ad Group performance and see which keywords in each Ad Group are getting the most engagement. You can use those keywords in your page copy and/or metadata (especially your meta description). 

Landing Pages

In SEO, we look at the keywords a page is ranking for and optimize those keywords that are doing well, the keywords in striking distance, or keywords that competitors are ranking for where our client is not. We target keywords based on the content of the page or we suggest additional copy if we need to incorporate certain keywords. This is not necessarily the case in PPC. While landing page quality and relevance is a factor in Quality Score, you do not have to have the exact copy or keywords on the landing page itself. 

The more important aspect of a landing page is if users can convert easily. For SEO, this could be adding a CTA at the top of the page, above the fold, for my PPC counterpart to potentially use the page as a Landing Page.

While I gained valuable insights about PPC during my first campaign build, I also took note of better ways to integrate and collaborate with my PPC counterpart:

  • Share SEO keyword research with your PPC team for content audits and metadata updates. Our PPC counterparts tweak, adjust and add to campaigns regularly; insights into what we’re seeing on the organic side could make these money-saving tweaks an easier lift
  • Look at which PPC Ad Groups have a high click-through rate. Take note of the keywords in each ad group and use those keywords in your page content and meta descriptions
  • Optimize pages so users can convert, think CTAs at the top of the page as well as the bottom

Want more integrated tips? Read PPC and SEO Powers Combined.

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