I feel like I’m always preaching that you should build a business that doesn’t rely solely on Google. Who wants to be at the mercy of an algorithm? Yeah, I know that can be easier said than done. Luckily Google gives you access to the very tools you need to weaken the bonds and break the proverbial chains. Let me explain.
It used to be back in the day, that you could log into webmaster tools, or Urchin (remember that name?) and get clear counts on what keywords were driving what traffic to your site. Well as time went on, Google bought Urchin and rolled it to Google Analytics and google has also discovered the value behind that data, so now you get very little insight into what keywords are driving organic traffic.
This is where paying for traffic can help. You see by paying “the man”, google in this case, you get direct visibility into your valuable keywords again via their Adwords console, soon to just be ads. I’m sure you’ve probably got some idea of relevant keywords for your site already, but this will give you confirmation and actionable insights as to what keywords you should improve on in the organic realm.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search term list from Google or Bing or whatever paid search engine you’re using. You’ll obviously want to prioritize based on what terms are costing you the most in CPC and focus on bringing their organic rankings up. I’ve noticed and I’ll use the term “synergy” but It’s probably more sinister than that, but when you’re top-ranking organically AND you have a paid listing also showing; that BOTH seem to perform better. It’s interesting to note, and you should be aware that you may suffer a bit when you begin decreasing your paid budget since you’ll no longer be the most prominent real-estate on the SERP, so expect your organic listing to also drop when you pull or pause your paid ads.
Yeah it sucks, but it seems to be a reality.
Use your data!
While you’re using a paid ads platform, do yourself a favor and export and start compiling your search term data in your own systems, as the goal is to eventually stop paying for search traffic. Once you have a large dataset of your most valuable keywords over time you’ll have better control over where and how to optimize your site for organic placement.
eCommerce Usability Optimization Expert
PNW Native, Outdoor Enthusiast and Overlander.