Synergies with SEOTake advantage of the synergies that arise between SEO and other digital marketing channels.
SEO is a subarea of digital marketing with many points of contact with other digital marketing channels. Activities in other digital channels influence SEO both directly and indirectly. Therefore, it is important to take an integrated marketing approach where each media channel supports the other.
- Exploiting synergies between SEO and other channels: an integrated marketing approach
- SEA - search engine advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media
Exploiting synergies between SEO and other channels: an integrated marketing approach
In this article, we will show you several tips for combining SEO with the marketing channels listed below. On the one hand, these tips will save you resources and on the other hand, you will improve the output of the different channels.
- SEA - Search Engine Advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media
SEA - Search Engine Advertising
Both SEO and search engine advertising are keyword-based processes that aim to get a website to appear in the top positions of the search engine results page (SERP).
While SEO is a longer process that focuses on a sustainable and high positioning of the website in the organic search results, SEA is a more short-term approach. The goal here is to increase the visibility of ads in the search results and to ensure a high position of the ads. Compared to SEO, SEA can achieve faster but also rather shorter-lived results.
Although SEO and SEA may seem like opposing approaches, they can be quite complementary. By mutually exchanging data, knowledge and insights from the two channels, better performance can be achieved through targeted optimization. The following examples illustrate the synergies between SEO and SEA and how both channels can benefit from each other.
Achieving SERP dominance
SERP dominance means that both paid ads (SEA) and unpaid search results (SEO) achieve a prominent position within the SERPs. Maximizing SERP dominance not only increases a site's visibility and credibility, but also increases the chances of being clicked on by searchers.
For many generic and competitive search terms (keywords), an organic position is no longer enough to appear in the visible area of search results (organic positions 1-5). The reason for this is the number of paid ads and SERP features, such as rich snippets or image search. This causes the organic search results to slide further down.
If a website appears in both the paid and organic search results, the trust of potential customers increases and the increased visibility in the SERPs leads to more website visitors.
Example of a search query where a website is prominently visible in both the SEA and SEO positions in the SERP.
Using SEA to predict SEO
SEO is a channel with enormous ROI potential. However, building it up is a long-term and continuous process that ties up resources, especially at the beginning, and takes time before the first results become visible.
The difference between SEO and SEA in terms of return on investment (ROI) over time is visible on the following graph.
Difference of SEA and SO shown graphically
SEA campaigns, on the other hand, deliver immediate results. Therefore, they can help test long-term SEO strategies. Through paid SEA campaigns, you can gather information about the potential of different keywords and webpages and thus evaluate which pages should be optimized for which keywords in the long run.
PPC campaigns (SEA) provide short-term results in terms of conversions, click-through rates (CTR), bounce rates and time spent on the website. In addition, they enable the evaluation of the search intentions of the users in relation to the keywords and target pages used.
The data from the SEA campaigns and the A/B tests performed can be used to improve the metadata for SEO. For example, SEA ad texts with the best results can be used to optimize page titles and meta descriptions, thus improving the organic click-through rate.
This strategy also works the other way around: successful SEO snippets can serve as inspiration for SEA ad copy.
Improve quality score
Optimizing the Google Quality Score is crucial for an effective SEA strategy, as it has a significant impact on the performance and cost of SEA campaigns.
A crucial Quality Score factor is the relevance and quality of the landing page.
SEO is mainly about providing the best experience to users and thus always creating relevant and user-friendly landing pages. This know-how can help in SEA campaigns to create optimal landing pages, which in turn is reflected in a better Quality Score of the ads, optimizing the performance of the SEA campaign.
Optimizing bidding strategy and budget management
SEO and SEA go hand in hand when aiming for an optimal and dynamic bidding strategy.
If organic rankings for certain keywords generate a relatively high number of conversions or, depending on the target, a lot of web traffic (without necessarily ranking in the top positions), it is advisable to additionally set up SEA campaigns for these search queries or to increase the corresponding SEA budget.
This is also true the other way around. If you see in your SEA campaigns that certain keywords generate high conversions or a lot of traffic, it makes sense to focus your SEO strategy on these specific keywords at the beginning in order to achieve better organic positions for these search queries.
In the long run, this also offers the possibility to slowly and steadily reduce the SEA budget for (cost-intensive) keywords, as long as good rankings are achieved in organic search.
Use SEA as a backup strategy
SEO is not an exact science and many variables affect organic rankings.
Results can be longer in coming than originally expected, or rankings can drop significantly in a short period of time. SEA can be used as a short-term solution to maintain a website's presence and generate traffic through the SERPs.
Links play an important role in both affiliate marketing and SEO.
In SEO, backlinks contribute to the authority of a website in the eyes of search engines and are an important ranking factor. The higher the authority, the more likely a good ranking.
In the affiliate field, links are tools that lead to conversions. The main goal is to drive relevant visitors to a website with the right affiliates. However, affiliate links are not the same as backlinks. Unlike organic links, search engines do not consider affiliate links as "natural votes" because there is a commercial relationship between the link and the publisher. In addition, affiliate links come with tracking parameters.
What they have in common, however, is that both affiliate marketing and SEO need to build a strong network of diverse publishers to be successful. There are three ways the two channels can inspire each other:
Streamlining the affiliate search process.
SEO uses a variety of strategies to find relevant domains and get backlinks. Strategies range from guest posts to social media promotions to manual outreach to following competitors' backlinks.
In link building, both affiliate marketing and SEO can sometimes target the same domains without realizing it. Ineffective outreach to the appropriate publishers, is often due to a lack of communication between affiliate and SEO managers. Poor communication between these two channels eats up resources and looks unprofessional.
Therefore, it is beneficial to research the list of potential affiliate and SEO partners together and constantly share the current status.
Combine partner acquisition
Streamlining partner acquisition between different departments not only saves valuable time, but can also save a significant amount of budget.
If a particular site is potentially valuable to both channels, it is beneficial to negotiate a collaboration for both channels with the appropriate webmaster right away. By killing two birds with one stone, it is possible to negotiate a better overall deal and better terms.
Use content inspiration
Editorial affiliate links are placed in a relevant context within a page text. If an affiliate generates a lot of leads, it's a sign that readers trust its content and value it as a source of information.
These insights can help as a source of inspiration for the creation of own content and give hints in which context further backlinks should be targeted.
The task of public relations (PR) is to increase the awareness of a brand and strengthen its image and authority. Also, one task of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase the overall authority of a website in order to get more organic traffic. Since both PR and SEO aim to achieve authority, they can help each other as follows:
Identify target audiences and trending topics
PR aims to spread a company's message and get that message across in the best way possible. Using SEO for PR helps to better understand the target audience and their interests to derive relevant topic areas. SEO can provide great insight into search volume for specific keywords and hot topics throughout the calendar year. Google Trends data can be used to find frequently searched and trending topics for PR articles for defined target audiences.
Use press releases for SEO
Press releases do not provide direct ranking benefits for SEO if the release is clearly labeled as such. As Google's John Mueller explained, the best practice for links in press releases is to "Nofollow" them according to Google guidelines. Furthermore, Google ignores most links in press releases. Nevertheless, press releases may be of interest to certain publishers who are willing to write a post about your news. If these publishers in turn link your website, this can help SEO.
For this reason, the PR department should work with the SEO department when press releases are sent out, as they can be used by the SEO department as link bait to get organic publications and "dofollow" backlinks.
SEO and PR should also work together to create linkable content such as infographics, interviews or imagery. This content can be considered a powerful element to get backlinks and increase the authority and awareness of a brand and its website.
Convert non-linked brand mentions into backlinks
Some media platforms like to write about a brand without linking to its website in the publication. These unlinked brand mentions can be easily tracked down using alerts from various tools and subsequently converted into SEO-relevant backlinks.
Approaching the authors of digital articles and asking for a link back to the website will work in most cases, as providing more information about a brand, product or service can definitely add value for the readers.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM) and SEO need to provide users with engaging content, among other things, to generate traffic or trigger conversions. Consequently, they have a common goal and can support each other:
Faster content indexing
Sharing new content on social media platforms results in pages being (re)indexed faster. Search engines notice and follow links in social media posts. If new links are noticed, this can lead to corresponding pages being re-crawled (read) faster.
Understand user intent
Social media marketing can provide a wealth of insights about the target audience, as it is often easier for users to share and interact with content on social media than on websites. This type of data can serve as input for creating relevant content that directly addresses searcher intent. In addition, this data can be used to improve the user experience on the website and find information on new trends and keywords.
Using the SparkToro tool, social media can be used to analyze which topics are frequently associated with one's own brand or the competition. This can then in turn be derived into a keyword strategy and/or content strategy.
Optimize posts with relevant keywords
Social media platforms use algorithms that decide which content is displayed to their users based on keywords. Thus, even on social media, posts from brands must be optimized with hashtags and keywords so that they are displayed to the selected target audience.
SEO can assist social media managers by providing keywords that can reach the appropriate audience on social media platforms. In addition, social media posts can appear in SERPs for specific keywords, increasing visibility in search engines.
Promote new content
Social media marketing is an excellent and easy way to promote new content on a website. When a new content goes online on the website, it is important to share it on the various active social media accounts. This encourages traffic and engagement from users, which can have a positive impact on rankings.
Stimulate link building
Although social links to a website don't have a direct impact on SEO rankings, actively sharing content on social media is an indirect way to get natural and high-quality backlinks to a website. For example, if you can draw influencers' attention to a high-quality and relevant piece of content, there is a chance that the influencers will mention it again on their blog or platform, thus adding a backlink to your website.
Develop joint partnerships
Since many website and blog owners are also active on social media, collaboration between SEO and social media managers on partnership acquisition can save time, effort and budget and make partner acquisition more efficient.
Although SEO and email marketing (EMM) focus on different aspects of marketing, both are powerful acquisition channels. By sharing the insights gained, both channels can discover potential problems and opportunities:
Increase CTR and open rates
If you know which email subject lines get the best open rates, you can use them as inspiration for writing new page titles and meta descriptions, potentially increasing organic CTR.
Conversely, it can also be beneficial for EMM to copy headlines from landing pages with the highest CTR in the SERPs.
Improve content relevancy
Measuring click-to-open rates (CTOR) from emails and bounce rates from landing pages can be very insightful for both channels. From this, it is possible to deduce what can prevent users from making the intended conversions. Consequently, if adjustments in one of the two channels lead to an improvement in user behavior, the changes can also be implemented in the other channel.
Newsletter content is not indexed by search engines. Therefore, successful emails can be recycled, optimized and turned into blog posts that can be shared across multiple channels.
Promote content and collect backlinks
Sending an email to customers or subscribers is a great way to make them aware of new content on the website. This can lead to more traffic and more intense user engagement, especially if personalized emails are sent based on interests and preferences.
In addition, linking to blog posts in emails can increase the likelihood that people will continue to link to them, leading to an increase in natural backlinks.
SEO + UX = SXO: Optimizing the search experience.
User experience is an essential aspect of SEO. In June 2021, Google released the Page Experience Update, which rewards websites that provide an excellent online experience to their users.
Constant communication and collaboration between the SEO and User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI) departments are necessary, as both can help each other with various elements - for example:
Building an information architecture
A logical website architecture is a significant foundation for search engines to properly crawl, index and rank a website accordingly. From the user's perspective, a good website structure allows for easy navigation and a clear understanding of the website.
The deeper a specific page is buried in the website architecture, the more difficult it is to rank it well with search engines. On the one hand, it becomes harder for search engine crawlers to read the site correctly, and on the other hand, it means more effort (more clicks) for users to reach it. Navigation links receive the most weight, which is why they should always be chosen wisely and the user experience should be taken into account when making the choice.
SEO and UX should ensure that a website is mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor since 2015 and is becoming even more important with the Page Experience Update. Responsive design, text size, and button size are examples of elements Google considers when evaluating a website's mobile-friendliness.
Improve page speed
Speed is critical to user experience and rankings, especially optimizing Core Web Vitals.
Certain website design elements can slow down websites significantly when implemented. Therefore, it is imperative to always look at new website elements from an SEO perspective and check the impact on website performance even before they are released. If a negative impact on performance is detected, the new element should be optimized.
Managing pop-ups and ads
Pop-ups and banner ads on your website can have a negative impact on your rankings. In January 2017, Google released an update stating that intrusive ads are a negative ranking factor. Therefore, you need to make sure that annoying pop-ups or third-party ads are used with great care so that they do not affect the optimal user experience.
Examples of accepted interstitials and intrusive interstitials that make it difficult to access the content.
Writing content that no one reads is the tragic reality faced by companies that consistently forgo SEO.
The job of search engine optimization is to ensure that content is produced that people are searching for. Although content is part of SEO work in many companies, the two channels still often work independently.
There are several elements that should be considered when creating content through SEO to create quality content that is optimized for both visitors and search engines:
Ensure content is relevant
Quality, keyword-rich content that meets searcher intent drives user engagement and improves visibility in SERPs. SEO can help content creators find topics that are actually in demand and relevant to a company's potential clients and customers. But it's not just the content itself that should be optimized. The format, structure, length, and timeliness of the content must also be defined with the expectations of the users in mind.
Every single piece of content must be unique. Duplicate content, whether internal or external, can result in a page not appearing in search results. SEO managers can help ensure that each page has unique content, especially in the first visible part of the site. This can help avoid duplicate content issues.
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is a concept used by Google quality reviewers to evaluate the quality of websites. It is important to display information about the author(s) of the content on a website. A piece of content is considered high quality as well as trustworthy and is valued by users if its author has experience and expertise (either in an academic or professional capacity) in the area they are writing about.
SEO is a non-negligible and powerful channel to increase the presence and value of a website. As we have seen from the examples above, potential can be seen to achieve better results when SEO is used in conjunction with other marketing channels. Whether it's SEA, affiliate, EMM, or any of the other examples discussed, SEO can be integrated to drive optimal results and more conversions.
Sebastian Jüngling • CMO
Partner and CMO at Remo DigitalLinkedIn