You wouldn’t hire a brain surgeon to treat your heart condition. Different conditions require different specialists. It’s the same for search engine marketing. SEO has a role. PPC has a role. And, like holistic medicine, they work best when tightly integrated.
Easier said than done. Too often, marketers find themselves managing multiple agencies or internal teams, each of which is trying to accomplish their goals. The result is an inefficient, ineffective strategy.
Deeply integrated teams, in contrast, deliver:
- Streamlined communication across multiple teams, allowing you to play the role of air traffic controller rather than carrier pigeon.
- Clear expectations to ensure agency partners strategize effectively, with a high degree of accountability and without a self-preservation bias.
So how do you get there? Ask the following six questions to help SEO and PPC teams collaborate—and achieve better results than either could on their own.
1. Are SEO and PPC teams communicating effectively and sharing insights?
SEO and PPC teams that don’t communicate effectively (or at all) achieve less.
For example, our PPC team discovered fast-moving trends during the onset of COVID-19 for an events management company. Search volume dried up overnight for generic queries like “summer concerts in Richmond, VA,” as well as branded events that had been canceled.
Shortly thereafter, we discovered a corresponding increase in paid search queries for “things to do during quarantine in Richmond, VA.” The PPC team noticed the changes in search behavior and informed the SEO team so they could start creating relevant content to position the client ahead of the trend.
The first step is to establish communication channels between teams and set expectations about when and how to use them. Focus less on the tools (e.g., Slack vs. email) and more on the integration of existing workflows and communication paths.
In pre-COVID days, our SEO and PPC teams sat in close proximity, so conversations could naturally flow between them. Now that we’re remote, we share threaded conversations in Basecamp (our project management tool of choice) so both teams are aware of the others’ activities.
Encourage your teams to over-communicate. Response times are a critical factor to address market change; prioritize speed over formality. It may not be possible or necessary to have everybody on each phone call or impromptu discussion. We share client call notes internally (again, in Basecamp) to create a paper trail and immediately bring everybody up to speed.