Do your paid media efforts result in enough conversions to meet revenue goals? When every interaction costs money, you’ll want to make sure you’re capturing the right audience and driving traffic that converts. Capture the attention of your most relevant audiences by using search data to discover the topics and keywords they’re interested in and the channels where they’re already engaging with content.

 Keywords and Phrases that Lead to Conversion

search volume share of voice
The keyword that ranks the highest for the most number of clicks may not be the keyword you want to use in your paid media campaign. For one thing, the keywords with the highest search volume are going to be more expensive and carry with them a high cost per click or other paid consequence. The problem is, the most popular keyword that you’re spending all that money on, may not be the one that will bring in the most relevant audience to your site. On the other hand, a less popular keyword might be a great converter eventhough it doesn’t have thousands of searches associated with it.
This is where understanding SEO and conversion data can help you out. If you start using the keywords that are the best converters for you, eventhough they may have lower search volume, you’ll end up with more targeted audience performance and engagement, and lower costs for your advertising.
“What you might have is a keyword that has fewer impressions, but a much higher conversion rate on your advertising that’s similar to your content, so you don’t need a million views,” advises Erin O’Brien, COO. “You need a thousand of the right views to get the same number.”
Paid media becomes expensive when the terms used are too broad and too competitive. Look for the relevant, specific terms and phrases that are specific to your niche in the market. Spend less money and get more conversions using highly targeted, long-tail phrases with enough volume to show return.
“The problem with trying to go after very competitive terms on paid is the same problem you have with organic,” states Ray Grieselhuber, Founder and CEO. “You’re going to spend a lot more money than necessary to acquire traffic when you can get a better return with a long-tail, highly targeted, volume-based approach.”
When deciding which keywords to use in PPC campaigns, you’ll want the keywords people are actually searching for, versus those you think might be relevant. You can get some very specific data about search and keyword volumes through Google AdWords. For instance, Google AdWords provides specific keyword data that includes how many people are searching for your target keywords on specific devices, or by geographic location. The challenge is to decide which topics and phrases will bring in the traffic that converts for the lowest investment. Having an analytics platform with keyword discovery tools allows you to find new recommendations for keywords based on what people are already searching for when they come to your site. Using your own search data in combination with Google AdWords data, you can make strategic choices about the best content for paid efforts that will lead to relevant traffic that converts.

 Get Better Results Data With Keyword and Content Groups

content groups for SEO and content marketing
Creating keyword and content groups will help you to measure your efforts more effectively after campaigns have run. While getting started creating groups can be intimidating initially, they’ll give you the insights about what’s working in segments that matter to your brand. By segmenting your results by groups, you’ll see what types of keywords and topics are working well across all your marketing efforts. Content and keywords can be segmented by:

  • Marketing campaigns
  • Products
  • Features
  • Audience segments
  • Geographies

“An example would be if you create keywords around a specific product that you’re planning a campaign for: you’ll actually be able to see what content is performing well with audiences organically and the corresponding keywords that actually led them to that content,” advises Erin. “Then, you can leverage that information to create better advertising and paid efforts using those keywords that you know are relevant to your audience.”
Once keyword and content groups are in place, it’s easy to discern how audiences are reacting to your content in terms of engagement. These interactions should naturally point to content and keyword groups that can be used in paid efforts and will lead to better conversions. Instead of taking a singular approach to conversions, identify which keywords worked well with which conversion type to better match messaging to specific media.
All conversions are not created equal. Different types of conversions happen at different stages of the sales funnel. The keywords that work well to drive audiences to initial landing pages may not be the same topics and keywords that work with people ready to fill out a form, or contact a sales person. Segment out keyword groups and conversion types and adjust your strategy depending on how keyword groups match up to conversion types. Some common conversion types are:

  • Lead generation form fill
  • Newsletter sign up
  • Purchases
  • Demo requests
  • Sales representative request

High Quality Content in the PPC Environment

In the PPC environment, high converting landing pages will be your least expensive and most beneficial asset. The more Google sees your content performing well for paid search, the more they’re going to reward you with cheaper cost per click due to their perception of your brand as having a higher quality score. 
“It’s economically to your advantage to have high quality content to send people to,” advises Ray. “High quality is both a relative and an objective term, but relatively speaking, if you have higher quality content compared to your competitors, then that’s going to position you for better success.”
Popular content is different from high quality content. Popular content is the content that’s performing well on social, or on your own site. While you may not want to commit a lot of resources to promoting it, popular content has it’s value. If something is a trending topic, and it’s not going to be evergreen content, it can be used to draw in and engage new audiences and introduce them to your brand, products, and services. Trending content, that has proven to be  something that people like to interact with, is useful in finding new visitors for your site who may not have come otherwise.
A piece of content that achieves instant popularity may not be related to a topic that you want to expend a lot of resources on. By their very nature, trends are only popular for a short period of time. On the other hand, evergreen content will continue to perform over a long period of time and will be where you want to focus your paid efforts. The idea is to keep the traffic rolling in long after you’ve stopped paying for it.
“The best practices I’ve seen for paid is when people use really great converting landing pages and drive some paid efforts to them initially to get the ball rolling. Once the landing pages build up steam, the paid side can taper off and allow organic to take back over,” notes Erin.

Multi-Channel Results Inform Marketing Strategy

Marketing Channel Performance Chart
The biggest difference between paid and organic traffic acquisition is time and longevity. While organic takes a lot longer to gain traction, you’ll eventually benefit from long-term brand loyalty and higher conversion rates based on your highest performing content. The greatest strength of Pay Per Click campaigns is the instant traffic you’ll get as a result. However, as soon as you stop paying for the traffic, it shuts off just like a faucet. Using both these channels, along with your other marketing channels, will help you create the most relevant ads and marketing content using the best possible phrases and messaging based on what people are already interested in. Sharing data between the organic and paid functions allows marketers to use PPC to inform organic strategy and organic search to boost long-term customer engagement and loyalty.
Using PPC data can be  can be very useful for testing organic strategies early on and before dedicating time and money to topics that might not work in the long term. When you use paid channels to test out new content or new topics, the acquisition cost of that traffic is going to be higher than just using organic channels. The data you acquire through PPC will show you how that content is going to perform post-click, and post site visit and give you other important information:

  • Is the content relevant?
  • Is it shared on social networks?
  • Do audiences viewing it convert?
  • Do visitors buy what you want them to buy?
  • Are audiences getting into your funnel appropriately?

Creating top of mind awareness means looking at all your marketing channels and the data you gather from them as part of the marketing ecosystem. Following conversations on social can influence your search messaging by telling you what people are already talking about and what they might turn to Google to search for. Placing an ad that addresses the same topics will continue to point visitors in your direction. But, in order to get the benefit out of shared data, search, social, and paid need a structured line of communication. When all those departments aren’t talking to each other and sharing data, they risk missing a lot of opportunities.
“The internet has become a really large Vegas-style flashing billboard,” notes Erin. ” To get found, search and paid need to work together alongside social to inform decisions about creating content that really matters to your audience.”