Search marketing has become essential for any business looking to establish an online presence. Entrepreneurs are willing to invest in the various search marketing methods as long as they know the kind of returns they can expect. The two most effective methods for optimizing your website for the search engine remain search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click marketing (PPC). You can choose to run either or both campaigns for your business.
Over a period of time, your business could end up spending a substantial sum of money on PPC and SEO. The fact that SEO takes some time to deliver results also means that the costs keep piling up. Yet, the return on investment is worth the risk you take. What you need to do though is to audit your search marketing strategies. You have to conduct PPC and SEO audits to make sure your campaigns are on track and delivering the results you are looking for.
An audit will give you a fair idea of how your campaigns are performing. You can use the data you collect to decide if you want to invest more or stop one of the campaigns you are running. Though the purpose of both SEO and PPC is fundamentally the same, i.e. driving more traffic to your website, the approaches you have to take with each one are diametrically different. This is why your SEO analysis will not be the same as your PPC audit. The tactics and methods you use will be different as well.
Regardless of whether you are running both an SEO and a PPC campaign or just one of the two, you will need to find the most relevant keywords to use in your content and ad copy. One of the best resources for keyword research and organization is SEMrush. This tool could go a long way in ensuring your campaigns become successful, virtually guaranteeing positive results in your PPC and SEO audits.
Let’s look at each one in more details.
Auditing Your SEO
An SEO audit has to be carried out at least twice a year. The reason for this is quite simple. Google loves introducing new changes and keeps updating its search algorithm. If you don’t keep your SEO tactics and techniques up to speed, you could lose out in the rat race. Also, you have to stay on top of the SEO best practices that also keep changing with time. Therefore, you will have to analyze your SEO campaign more than once in a year.
There are several factors that play a major role in determining the success (or failure) of your SEO campaign. They are the ones you have to keep an eye on when conducting your website SEO analysis. Here are some of the important ones.
- Assess the quality of your onpage optimization. You need to see whether your website is SEO friendly. Else, it is quite possible that your website’s internal factors may be hampering your SEO. Among the things you need to keep an eye on are the title tags and Meta tags you are using. They have to be relevant, keyword-rich and accurate. Furthermore, the content you post on your website should be relevant to its theme and be of a high quality.
- Secondly, you need to remove any links or backlinks to and from your website which are no longer active. Often, webmasters don’t pay much attention to broken or dead links. As a result, the links remains there even though they don’t work. Link building is more important than ever when it comes to SEO therefore it has to be a part of your SEO site audit.
- Ensure that your website is open for indexing and that the search engine robots can crawl through it without any hassle. One of the major reasons why a website’s ranking may take a hit is because it is not geared for crawling.
- Go over your backlink profile. Then, run a look over of the profiles your closest rivals have built. What you need to check is the quality of links that you are using with reference to the ones being used by your competitors.
- Give your website a thorough look over. If you feel there are any issues with user experience design, including website navigation, loading speed, etc, take the necessary action to rectify the situation there and then. Your website’s SEO could get hurt because of poor UX design.
These are some of the things you can add to your SEO audit checklist. Of course, these barely scratch the surface. There are many other factors that come into play when determining the success of your SEO campaign.
Thankfully for you, conducting a PPC audit is much easier than its SEO counterpart. The reason for this is that PPC marketing delivers results almost instantaneously. You don’t have to wait for the traffic or leads to be generated. On the other hand, it could take several weeks, even months, before the SEO campaign starts showing some return. This is why analyzing PPC is easier as you can start doing it right away. Also, you don’t have to do this more than once a year though you can choose to do so.
Before you can start off with a PPC analysis, you need to work out your profit margins. This depends on the kind of money you are investing in your campaign. If your investment is high, you will need to have a high conversion rate as well as low cost per click. So, calculate an ideal profit margin beforehand. Only then would you be able to audit your PPC campaign accurately. The things you need to check in your PPC audit include:
- Of course, you will have to start off with the cost per click (CPC). The CPC is basically the amount of money you have to pay every time a person clicks on your ads. The higher the CPC, the more a lead will cost you.
- The conversion rate of your campaign is a critical factor. How many of the people that visit your website actually make a purchase? After all, you are paying to get them there. A low conversion rate simply means the campaign is not worth investing in further.
- The volume of your campaign is the third and final factor to analyze. The volume is simply the number of leads and conversions you expect given a certain level of investment. You need to estimate how changing the level of investment would affect your conversions. Only then would you be able to tweak your campaign according to the results of your PPC audit.
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind when auditing your PPC campaign. As mentioned before, this is easier than conducting an SEO audit. You cannot undermine the value of these two analyses if you want to make the most of your search marketing efforts.