Sunday Morning SEO: Using PPC to Test Keywords

Filed as Features on October 11, 2009 11:00 am

Like the title of my column implies, I do a lot of SEO work – both for clients and my own sites.  However, I’ve recently started getting into PPC, or pay per click, marketing.  This has been a great education.

One of the things that I’ve learned is the importance of testing.  The fundamental principle in PPC seems to be to test every variable you can think of so your campaign is as efficient as it can be.  PPC is the fastest way to drive targeted traffic to your site.  However, if you’re not constantly testing in order to improve your campaign, you can quickly lose a lot of money.  We as humans are not perfect, so your first ads and keywords will have to tweaked as you gain data from your testing.

Looking to be a more holistic online marketer, I tried to make a connection from PPC to SEO.  Here’s what I came up with.

SEO doesn’t have a cost per visitor like PPC, but to rank for keywords takes time, effort, and resources.  And have you ever ranked for keyword and then been disappointed by the lack of results from the keyword?  You may have used a keyword tool that told you that keyword has a high search volume.  But keyword tools are not 100% accurate.  Also, some keywords can drive a lot of traffic but have poor conversion rates.

PPC can take the guess work out of your initial keyword research.  You can quickly test a keyword by running a PPC campaign targeting the keyword.  If you get good results from the PPC campaign, then it makes sense to devote SEO time for the keyword.  However, if your results are subpar, then you saved all those SEO resources.

Sure, you had to spend a little bit of money for the PPC, but that’s better than wasting all the effort on SEO, which takes more resources than PPC.  And you save a ton of resources if you were targeting a competitive keyword, since those often take months of work to rank for.

Tags: , , , ,

This post was written by

You can visit the for a short bio, more posts, and other information about the author.

Submissions & Subscriptions

Submit the post to Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg or

Did you like it? Then subscribe to our RSS feed!

  1. By Gareth James posted on October 12, 2009 at 9:51 am
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    PPC is also great for getting your meta titles correct for maximum CTR.


  2. By Dee Barizo posted on October 14, 2009 at 3:50 am
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    @Gareth Great point!


  3. By Nick @ Brick Marketing posted on October 14, 2009 at 1:28 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    I think it is important to test small changes at a time. When you make large sweeping changes it can sometimes become difficult to track what change is working and which is not.


  4. By Mohammed Shahid Rahman posted on October 21, 2009 at 11:57 am
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment


    I would like to know whether my site has appropriate keywords and fit for SEO or not ? Is there any tool for that. I am totally new in web technologies.


    Your words are your own, so be nice and helpful if you can. If this is the first time you're posting a comment, it might go into moderation. Don't worry, it's not lost, so there's no need to repost it! We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it please.