How to generate more leads by integrating your SEO and paid media effectively
Efficient lead generation is a paramount objective for many businesses, and seamless integration between SEO and paid media plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal. Oban’s recent webinar at the B2B Marketing Expo 2023 delved into the complexities of this topic, offering valuable insights for marketers. This summary is a useful guide for marketers looking to navigate the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities of organic and paid media integration.
What causes SEO and paid media siloes?
Siloes between SEO and paid media can arise because of:
- Teams operating within different cultures
- Teams working towards varied objectives and KPIs, each with their own ways of reporting
- Teams having individual managers, each with their own management styles or ways of working
- Teams using disparate tools
Where scopes of work are international, with team members working across different markets, additional factors come into play:
- Diversity of languages and cultures
- Different time zones and perceptions of time
- Distinct competitor sets
- Different currencies
Consequences of siloes: A cascade of challenges
Siloed ways of work have negative consequences for businesses, including:
- Limited knowledge sharing: The absence of collaboration hampers the exchange of ideas and experiences.
- Missed opportunities: Lack of coordination results in overlooking potential leads and valuable insights.
- Inefficiency and wasted effort: Resources are misdirected, leading to duplicated work and wasted effort.
- Budget inefficiency: Siloes contribute to inefficient use of budgets, yielding fewer leads and lower ROI.
- Poor user experience: Siloes negatively impact cross-channel brand experiences, affecting user satisfaction.
- Frustrated stakeholders: The culmination of these challenges results in dissatisfaction among stakeholders.
How to build an integrated digital strategy
- Harmonise goals: Align objectives and KPIs to create a shared vision and unified focus.
- Standardise reporting: Implement consistent reporting practices and tools for clear and comparable performance metrics.
- Provide interdisciplinary training: Provide training opportunities to enhance team members’ understanding of both SEO and paid media strategies.
- Integrate tools: Invest in tools supporting both SEO and paid media efforts to minimise technology disparities.
- Centralise communication: Establish clear communication channels, such as regular meetings and shared documents, for efficient information exchange.
- Align leadership: Ensure alignment among team leaders to set a unified vision and strategy for both teams.
- Conduct regular reviews: Conduct joint performance reviews to assess collective impact, identify improvements, and celebrate shared successes.
These actions will help to break down siloes and enhance collaboration. When creating an integrated digital strategy, it’s also important to:
- Set clear objectives across the customer journey: Define objectives at each stage of the customer journey, from introduction to conversion.
- Connect, interact, and convert: Strategically introduce the brand, engage users with unique selling propositions (USPs), and capture inbound interest.
- Align channels: Understand and agree on channels based on user journey stages, optimising measurement and reporting.
Crafting an integrated keyword strategy
Combining organic and paid team experiences can unearth additional keyword opportunities. An integrated keyword strategy involves:
- Analysis of existing Google Search Console and Ads search terms: Start by examining existing Google Search Console (GSC) and Ads search terms.
- Evaluation of organic and paid competitors: Assess competitors in both organic and paid spaces.
- Expanding with tools: Use organic and paid tools to identify keywords, search intent, and shared techniques.
- Mapping keywords to pages: Align keywords with pages, identifying gaps and opportunities.
Keyword ownership maximises performance – but should you pay for it, optimise it, or both?
- Analyse relevant factors: This includes search volume, keyword value, competitiveness, ranking, cost, effort required, and product relevance.
- Map keywords to intent: Map keywords to intent and common research journeys, distinguishing between the upper and lower funnel.
- Adapt your strategies based on data: Modify strategies based on factors such as zero click searches, organic competitor strength, and paid ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
The crucial role of cross-channel reporting
Cross-channel reporting is a cornerstone of integration. It enables informed decision-making, holistic performance assessment, and alignment with channel KPIs. Considerations for integrated reporting include:
- Shared language
- Robust tracking
- CRM data integration
- Competitor analysis
- Choosing the right attribution model
- Providing a comprehensive digital or search overview, as well as channel performance
- Commentary designed to answer a pre-agreed set of questions
Navigating the shift with Search Generative Experience
Google is making changes with Search Generative Experience (SGE), and it’s expected to increase zero click searches. These are searches where people find what they need on the Search Engine Results Page without clicking on any links. Because of this, businesses will need to measure things differently. When artificial intelligence (AI) is added to Google’s search results through SGE, the way search results look will change.
Because of more conversational features, people might spend more time on the search page without clicking through to a website. This means the usual way we measure organic traffic will probably show a decrease. Also, the metrics we usually use for paid activities, like CPM (the cost of reaching 1,000 of your trading audience) , will become more important for measuring how well organic searches are doing. Businesses need to adapt to these changes in how people use and interact with search results.
Testing and learning: A continuous cycle
Continuous testing is essential for both paid and organic channels. This includes:
- Landing pages: Test which pages you send a user to for a keyword and let the SEO team know which has the best engagement and conversion rate. Remember to optimise landing page speed – a faster-loading page contributes to better user experience and can positively impact search rankings and ad quality scores.
- Ad copy: Test different copy for click-through rate and conversion rate and optimise page titles and meta descriptions based on successful ads.
- CTA (Call to Action) testing: Experiment with various calls-to-action in both paid and organic campaigns. Determine which CTAs lead to higher engagement and conversions and apply these insights to optimise campaign performance.
- Seasonal messaging: Tailor ad copy and organic content to capitalise on seasonal trends and events. Use Oban’s Global Marketing Calendar to help you plan dates and target relevant events.
- User experience for both channels: Don’t assume you need different pages for each channel, and remember, CRO isn’t for paid search only.
Key takeaways: Charting your pathway to success
In conclusion, Oban’s webinar offered several key takeaways for marketers looking to integrate SEO and paid media effectively:
- Clarity on business objectives: Clearly define overarching business objectives.
- Align KPIs and objectives: Ensure that each channel has clear KPIs and objectives aligned with broader business and marketing goals.
- Comprehensive cross-channel plan: Develop a thorough cross-channel marketing plan.
- Integrate reporting: Encourage communication and learning by sharing insights across paid and SEO activities.
- Continuous testing: Embrace a culture of continuous testing and learning.
As businesses navigate the digital landscape, effective integration of SEO and paid media is a strategic imperative that can increase lead generation. Oban’s webinar insights provide a roadmap for marketers to navigate challenges, optimise strategies, and deliver meaningful results. Stay tuned for more insightful webinars from Oban in 2024!
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Stay tuned for more webinars from Oban in 2024. In the meantime, to find out how we can accelerate your brand’s international growth using our unique network of Local In-Market Experts, get in touch.
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To find out how Oban can propel your business to international success using our unique network of Local In-Market Experts, please get in touch.
Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion.
Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.