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6 things an SEO can learn from Google Ads

Few times ago, having a chat on Twitter with the excellent Marco Giordano, we landed on discussing what an SEO can learn from PPC campaigns.

Having managed Google and Bing Ads campaigns for more then 3 years, Iโ€™ve found 6 things an SEO can learn from managing Google Ads campaigns, or analyzing campaigns results on Google Analytics.

This is an evolving post, so it may turn in 7 things an SEO… and so on.

This is what usually happen to your SEO forecasting when you add data from paid search campaigns:


Here we go:

  1. Conversion rate per query
  2. Uncovering promising keywords
  3. Uncover anonymized queries in Google Search Console
  4. Conversion rate per landing page
  5. Conversion rate per website in the Google Display Network
  6. Testing different metas

Conversion rate per query

This is probably the most powerful weapon in the arsenal.

We know that, in SEO, wa can’t have information about what keywords are bringing in value. We can make some estimation, of course, but nothing sure.

Using Google Ads data, instead, we can collect some solid informations about what search terms are converting, at what cost, and if they have a good conversion rate.

This is super useful for understanding if we’re missing or overlooking some terms that may instead drive in conversions for SEO as well, or even for labelling our pre-collected data in terms of expected difficulty to rank.

Uncovering promising keywords

This could easily be a 1.1.

GAds keywords data aren’t only useful if you already have an SEO campaign in place. It’s a powerful source of information if you are still in the planning phase as well!

In fact, leveraging pre-existent Google Ads data can help you with forecasting results and choosing the best side to attack, and ultimately with the value you can expect and prospect from the SEO campaign.

Uncover anonymized queries in Google Search Console

Some time ago, on LinkedIn, I wrote a post regarding anonymized queries (sorry, in Italian at the moment). The problem, which was quite evident on the site under analysis, was not only that the impressions and query counts were heavily influenced by anonymized queries; but that the traffic on the small site being analyzed was composed primarily of anonymized queries.

The graph you see in the post, created through Looker Studio by querying a BigQuery table to which Google Search Console data was flipped, explains this situation well.

Well, one of the things that can happen through Google Ads Search Term analysis is that you happen to discover some of the hidden terms.

Of course, there’s no way to know if that’s really the case, except by cross-referencing the search terms with organic queries (vlookup, is that you?), and trying to see if you fill in any spaces.

If you really have a flood of queries, there’s always the Python merge() option.

Conversion rate per landing page

Contrary to the previous one, we have these data.

Yes, but let me ask you something as if I were your marketing manager or CMO:

Is it a seasonal variation?
Is it because of the growth of the market share?
Is it because of our last TV spot?
At the end of the day, is it because of something totally unrelated with your SEO skills?

Ok, maybe is not going to be harsh like the last one. It was just for letting you understand where I wanna go. Comparing SEO and SEA data help you understanding if the things are moving only for organic traffic or, on the other side, if it’s something related to the market.

So, at the end of the day, maybe you need to investigate further to understand if it’s your merit or not.

Conversion rate per website in the Google Display Network

This is something I know can sound strange or useless, but stay with me here. It’s going to be worth reading.

We all know that awful situation when you are planning a link building campaign, and don’t really know which websites you should contact. It can be stressful, and drive you to an underperforming campaign.

No more! Analyzing the data you have in Google Ads, you can spot some interesting websites in the GDN (Google Display Network) where you’re showing ads that are actually driving some conversions.

With all probability, they’re going to be good websites for you link building campaign, too. They’ve already showed that can bring you converting users, so why not try to contact them during your campaign?

Just a specification: pay close attention to what campaign was showed! If it was a remarketing campaign, those data can be meaningless for this goal!

Testing different metas

This is something I really love.

Navigating in Google Ads you can spot what title tags and what meta description is the paid advertising team using, and what are the results of the tests the Google AI’s is doing.

If you can build some form of mutual collaboration with paid team, it can be a win-win situation for both! Using Responsive Search Ads, they can test a huge amount of title tags and meta descriptions together, so you can access to pre-vetted variations and only pick the best performing one!





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