In this crazy digital era where even people like my poor old gospel-singing father look online for almost everything (usually guns and cashews), you really need to understand how to use as many types of advertising as possible in order to improve your efforts and expand your reach. Since link building is all over the SEO news right now, it’s being touted as the “fix” that will open the doors of the site to vast wealth and bring loads and loads of converting traffic.
However, like with any form of marketing, nothing should truly stand alone. If you’re just doing paid ads, you should consider link building. If you think that having lovely titles is enough to rank well, perhaps you should consider getting into social media. The key today is to embrace all sorts of different ideas and market yourself in the ways that matter to your audience, while using everything you have learned from one format to do better in another. Thus, we’ll talk about how to make PPC and link development work together, instead of at cross-purposes, which I’ve seen all too often.
1. Create linkable content on your site
This ups the chance of a PPC conversion turning into a good link. Remember, a PPC user may not just stay on the landing page. Your entire site should have great and enticing content on it.
2. Create “sticky” landing pages
Make sure your landing page for PPC is “sticky” enough to generate inbound links from the people who click on an ad, go to your site, then link to it for whatever reason (great content, fantastic user experience, amazing product, etc.) This is no different from any other “content is king” idea, but sometimes PPC ads just aren’t written, or maintained, with link building in mind. Maybe the person in charge of the ads has no clue about the fact that your PPC landing page does have the power to garner a link, so always point it out. Any visibility is a chance to get a link, period. Don’t waste it.
3. Make your copy memorable
Create PPC copy that people will remember, even if they don’t click right now. They may be back later, and they may even give you a link. PPC copy is a lot like Twitter tweets in that you need to say a lot in a small amount of space, or no one’s going to care. Now’s the time to get your main keywords out there, tell a user why he or she should click, and make the connection that will stick in someone’s mind.
4. Visualize your anchor text
Think of how you would word your ideal anchor text for the landing page and include those words in your ad. I’m sure that you know what your most important keywords are, but many people don’t actually put those words in the actual ad. If your desired anchor text for a link is “wholesale flowers” then don’t just add it as a keyphrase that will trigger the ad to be shown. Use it in the title and/or the ad description. The more exact connections you make, the higher the chance of getting something good (like a link) out of it later.
5. Build up internal page visibility
The beauty of sending a PPC user to a landing page and not the home page is that you get a chance to generate a link to a subpage. This is an opportunity not to be missed. Depending upon your site, deep links can be very, very difficult to get without a lot of hard work. If there are internal pages that aren’t generating decent links but they’re important to you, create some ads landing on those page, and perhaps you’ll start seeing links show up soon.
6. Don’t be deceptive
Yes, this should go without saying, but too often, I’ve clicked on an ad that wasn’t at all what I was looking for, but due to some clever copy, I thought it would be. Not only does this waste money, it wastes time and it irritates users. The only link you’re getting out of deception is going to be one that trashes your name, most likely. Although that might be part of a natural link profile…just don’t do it.
7. Make use of the capability for quick testing
In general, PPC changes are super fast and paid ads make an excellent arena for testing purposes. Test different PPC content to see what converts, and carry this over into your link building efforts through content changes, new page names, and so forth.
8. Use your PPC analytics
PPC platforms give you analytics, so use them to figure out which phrases convert. Converting phrases make darned good anchor text. Try to alter your content to boost your visibility for those terms organically, as well. Don’t take converting copy lightly – perhaps you can figure out what’s causing the conversions and replicate it on other pages.
At the risk of alienating individuals who rely on PPC for their business, it is sometimes used as a band-aid that covers up all the poor SEO and lack of content on a site. Even if you can’t rank organically, you can still buy advertising space. Successful online marketing is about taking all the available chances to get your name out there. If people know where to find you, they may link to you. It’s very simple. All paid ads send a user to a page on your site that is a chance to not only convert, but to generate a link.
There’s a lot that you can apply to both PPC and link building through use of the other, so if you’re not making use of these arenas in conjunction with one another, perhaps you should consider it.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.