SMX East Liveblog: How SEO & SEM Can Help Each Other

When SEO and SEM work together, the outcome is stronger campaigns for both sides. SEO and PPC VIPs Lisa Williams, Aaron Levy and Brett Snyder break down the relationship between SEO and SEM from an operational and tactical level during the first session of Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East 2014’s Tactics Track.

SMX East 2014 Panel

Lisa Williams: 10 Lessons From Disney Characters

Lisa Williams, president and founder of Sustainable Digital Marketing, will approach the relationship between SEO and SEM from an operational level, exploring how the two spheres can play nicely together. In thinking about this, she realized the place where we can best learn to play together well is from Disney movies, and accordingly her slides feature Disney movies embodying each lesson.

1. Strategy: “Big Thinking Proceeds Great Achievement”

SEO and SEM teams need to understand the goals of each side. Practically, that means being able to answer:

  • Who are we talking to?
  • What’s the compelling thing we do?
  • How do we measure success?

2. Learn to Partner: You can have different objectives and work together

What are our rules of engagement and how can we check each other’s expectations

Who’s at the table?

  • What can we learn from each other?
  • Have we defined a metric for team success?
  • Are we speaking the same language?

3. Create Culture of Teamwork: Are people incentivized to work together?

  • What are our values?
  • How are we aligning actions with values?
  • How do we measure a culture of teamwork?

4. Tell a Great Story: Account Managers are like “Content Concierges”

Telling a great story means getting the right content to the right people at the right time. Each brand/business should know:

  • Who are our storytellers?
  • What assets are we creating that SEO & SEM can leverage?
  • Where will we keep our stories?

5. Know What It Takes to Win

  • Do we know what it takes to win
  • Are we allowing for lots of way sot win?

6. Leverage Leadership

Someone has to own the project outcome.

  • Who is ultimately responsible for the outcome of an initiative?
  • Has leadership provided clarity?
  • Has leadership provided ownership?

7. Talent Diversification

Respect different talents necessary to win.

  • Do SEO and SEM teams have subject matter expertise?
  • Does talent have earning opportunities?

8. Allow for Change: There’s More than Just the Way You’ve Always Done It

  • Is it perfect? There’s room for change!

9. Deal with Fragmentation: Media Fragmentation is Reflective of Agency or Operational Fragmentation

  •  Are teams fragmented or working together?
  • How can we improve fragmentation operationally?

10. Words Matter: Use More Words and Fewer Numbers in Analysis

Don’t just provide numbers — provide takeaways.

  • Does the data dive direction with words?
  • Is the data present for the right level?

Williams concludes by telling us that no matter what we do, be brave — just like our Disney heroes and heroines.

Brett Snyder: Embracing an Agile Methodology

View Snyder’s slides:

Brett Snyder, owner of Brett Snyder Consulting, is an SEO who started in PPC, and says that this has given him unique insights into both spheres of Internet marketing.

Snyder asserts that PPC and SEO and two sides of the same brain, and calls PPC the more logical, analytical and objective side and SEO is the more intuitive, thoughtful, subjective side. He says that keyword research is the common foundation and also the fundamental difference between SEO and PPC.

We can each learn from each others’ reports, and says looking at the Search Terms Report to find new search terms is a must-do. He also is a fan of the search query report — it helps the PPC team learn from organic engagement and identify new opportunities.

Competitive Keyword Research with SEMRush

Synder says SEMrush is “shockingly undervalued in the SEO community.” Snyder likes to use SEMRush to pinpoint keywords that competitors are already ranking for but also bid on in AdWords — if your competitor is paying for traffic they already rank for, this indicates they are are high-priority search terms.

On-Page Optimization

Snyder goes to urge the audience to understand how people get to your website before they convert. Identify content gaps on referring sites and develop content to fill those gaps. Promote new content within same content network.

Off-Page Optimization

If you build it, they will come … is a lie. SEOs and SEMs know this.

Amplify your campaigns using paid media. He recommends social advertising via:

  • Content and display networks
  • StumbleUpon Paid Discovery (Snyder calls this a highly underused platform that yields real results).
  • Reddit Advertising (proceed with caution – Reddit-ers are very particular about the ads they see.

When it comes to SEO and SEM, Snyder advises that, in short, Internet marketers embrace collaboration.

Aaron Levy: PPC + SEO

View Levy’s slides:

PPC is a means to solving who are the people searching for your targeted keywords – it’s far more than demographics. It’s getting to specifics – who are they? Levy tells us to know:

  • What excites them?
  • What scares them?
  • What has them waking at sunrise?
  • What do they love?
  • What do they do on their vacations?
  • What will they read? Save? Share?
  • What will make them give you money?

Query Mining & Question Mining

Clump queries together to find more data – separate things out by gender.

Have content that answers your consumers questions – formulate content based on long-tail queries your customers are searching for.

Retargeting: Stock Them Until they Love You and find Content Opportunities

With retargeting reports, we can know where consumers are going when they’re not on your site.

Here Comes the Bride: An Example

Levy found that when retargeting bridal ads, brides went to weather sites. That’s a tremendous opportunity to write an adverse weather guide for weddings.

They also go to celebrity gossip sites – which means you should do a celebrity wedding inspiration guide.

Real estate sites –  they’re buying houses. Maybe that means an article like “Living Together After the Wedding” would be great.

POF/OK Cupid – this means there are a lot of window shoppers or bridesmaids are shopping on the site – it’s actually a bigger audience than just brides.

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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