At Boostability, we talk a lot about how to help our small business customers succeed online with a strong SEO strategy. In this week’s Search Sessions, our guest Clayton Hunter, a manager for the Google Customer Solutions sales team, discussed SEO and PPC/ a paid search strategy. The two work incredibly well together to build up your online presence for maximum reach with your target customers. 

While at Google, Clayton has had the opportunity to serve in program development, marketing, and leads several business-related supporting teams. His experience has given him a unique understanding of the marketing landscape and how to connect Google Ads to drive business results.

Google Ads makes it easy to show the world what is unique about your business so you can reach customers searching for what you offer. You can decide on a global audience, or stay local. You decide where to show your ads, and Google gets them in front of the right people.

Watch the broadcast here, or read on for some of the key takeaways.

Google states: “Using SEO and Google Ads together may give you the best chance of bringing traffic to your site in the short term, and enhancing your business’s presence online for long-term success.”

There are 3 main points Clayton discussed to help businesses drive results with Google Ads: measurement, machine learning, and next steps to win for the holidays. 


Measurement is Key

When you get into Google Ads, you need to have a strong measurement strategy. It is an input-output game where everything you do for your business should be based off of data. If you’re not taking that step, you’re behind the curve. So, why is conversion tracking so important?

Conversion Tracking

When things are not being measured appropriately, it is difficult to make improvements. While 99% of SMB’s served have conversion tracking set up, only 30% of accounts are tracking conversion value. The quality of the conversion based recommendations and data you see is dependent on the quality of the input. When you have more data, you can start to make more informed decisions.

Not all conversions are created equal. Track both macro and micro conversions but optimize towards the more important actions to drive the most value for your business. Rather than measuring every single customer interaction, think about ones that will help you understand how likely customers are to buy. The more data you can gather the more results you’ll have on Google Ads. Make sure to measure the total conversion value generated by your campaign’s conversions.

Applying Data

Understand your demographic data and how to target your audience. As a business owner, it’s important to have demographic data to better focus your marketing efforts. There are lots of features in Google Ads you can use to help you make the best choices. For example, you can pull data about your different audiences, their interests, and behaviors. Explore all the features available to you and pull the best data for your campaigns so you can best meet the needs of your customers and improve your conversions.


Machine Learning Simplifies Campaign Management

There are 3.6 billion searches happening on Google every day and they constantly change. Every customer journey is different. Customers are different and SMBs should have different types of funnels to capture these diverse customers. Machine Learning simplifies campaign management. Due to the advancements in machine learning, we are now able to understand and act on consumer intent in real-time. 

Intent redefines the marketing funnel. The inherent digital nature has given rise to complex consumer journeys with multiple intent-rich moments, across multiple touchpoints, networks, platforms, and devices. To meet your customer’s needs, you must predict intent and anticipate their needs, tailor messages based on their needs, and be there for them and be relevant. 

There are four ways machine learning helps ads:

Targeting – Acquire the best customers. Find people who aren’t your customers but should be with dynamic campaigns. 

Creative – Improve your creative. Use the right messages for every moment and for every user. 

Bidding – Keep your customers for a lifetime. Reach your customers more efficiently by adjusting bids in real-time. 

Attribution – Optimize your growth. Take a holistic view of your marketing campaign and bid beyond the last click.

More data leads to more informed decisions. Customer behavior is changing and your business needs to be able to predict what they need at every stage of the customer journey.  Take advantage of Google’s machine learning to help bring powerful results for your business.


Take A Next Step and Win for the Holidays 

Now’s the time to start planning for the holiday season if you haven’t already! Brand discovery is even more important this holiday season. 72% of holiday shoppers say they will shop online more than in in previous seasons. People used to carve out time specifically to shop but now customers are in a constant state of discovery. Potential customers will act fast when they see something they want to purchase and 85% of online consumers will take a product-related action within 24 hours of discovering a product that meets their needs. 

As the consumer scrolls through their favorite feeds online, this is a great opportunity to grab their interests. 59% of consumers have found their favorite brand by watching videos online, reading the news, browsing search results, or checking emails. The Discover feature on Google Search is a great visual way for users to explore content that is tailored to their interests. Discovery ads can help grow your online sales, complement your campaigns, and reach new audiences across Google.


SEO + Google Ads 

What can you do to improve your SEO?

Purpose/Goals: Have a purpose or a goal for each page on your website and make sure it makes sense to your users. Make modifications as needed to make sure it’s working. 

Site Structure: Make sure your users understand your website and that it makes sense to them, especially to those who may not be familiar with your industry. Your website needs to be easy to navigate. It’s key for user experience and your SEO. 

Company Detail: Your company information needs to be up-to-date. If you have an about us page, highlight your business and employees. Let the users know who you are and what services you provide. This develops trust with the users.  

Blogs: Teach something specific related to your industry. Answer hard questions and it can help both your SEO and build trust with your customers. Take a stance with your content and your industry and make sure to add your personality. 

Brand Consistency: Make sure your business information, branding, and contact information are consistent on all pages, listings, and platforms.

How this helps with PPC:

Usability / Customer Journey: The two will be more cohesive. If your landing pages have a clear purpose and goal, your users will know how you are trying to help them. The customer journey will be straightforward and you could land more conversions. 

Branding / Synergy: You can get better branding and recognition if you have robust strategies for organic growth and paid targeting. This is combining both short and long-term strategies to maximize opportunity. Users will recognize your brand more and more as they are served ads or see organic SERPs with your results.

Trust / Reputation: You can gain intrinsic trust from combining these two strategies and they may even help with a reputation in your industry.


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Kristine is the Director of Marketing at Boostability. She brings a decade's worth of communications strategy work to the company. Kristine has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Communications from Gonzaga University and graduated from BYU with her undergrad in Broadcast Journalism. She's worked in television news, public relations, communications strategy, and marketing for over 10 years. In addition to being a part of the marketing team, Kristine enjoys traveling, sports, and all things nerdy.