It’s been a couple of weeks since Google unveiled its new PPC & SEO Report in Adwords. When the report first came out, I was super excited. But then I remembered a few times when I have been burned by new Google features (see: Wave, Buzz, WebmasterTools Data Sets, Knol, Answers, etc…). However, I could not help but get super stoked about seeing a new report that combined PPC data and SEO data lined up side by side and ready to be thrown into my arsenal of pivot tables. So without any hesitation, I jumped right in. #RefreshTable
In the past couple of weeks, I think I have read nearly every article written about this new PPC & SEO Report. The overall sentiment is that this report is going to provide a lot of new views and perspectives on how we manage our PPC and SEO campaigns, but the real change will be in how we manage and measure the overall Search campaign. It is highly likely that this report will drive a new style of reporting and, ultimately, a new style of campaign management. Our teams are obsessed with data, so it’s basically impossible for me to envision a future where this new PPC & SEO Report doesn’t affect how we create strategies, make decisions, and measure success. Believe me – it will.
For the past several years, we have pieced this data together by combining Adwords reports, Google WMT reports, and Google Analytics reports. And it’s not easy. In fact, we have spent years building and customizing reporting tools for this type of stuff. Now, this data is available to everyone in Adwords with the click of a button. Google has essentially created a level playing field, where all PPC data and organic data is easily available and accessible.
Now that you know how I feel about it, let me give you a few examples of the kinds of data we are getting from the new PPC & SEO Report.
This is the stuff that we have already been doing – only this new report makes it easier:
- Finding keywords with PPC exposure but no SEO exposure.
The helps us discover non-brand keywords that we should be targeting on the SEO side of things. Do a quick vlookup against some ecommerce data in Google Analytics, and you can create a nice list of competitive, high-converting keywords to target with SEO strategies.
- Finding keywords with SEO exposure but no PPC exposure
This is very helpful for PPC teams who are looking to expand their keywords lists, specifically on the non-brand side of things. We consider this to be a key element in the keyword research process and in the process of building keyword lists for PPC campaigns. Sometimes, you can find some real Easter eggs in this data.
- Adjusting PPC bid based on average PPC rankings and SEO rankings
At some point in time, we have all be a part of the eternal PPC/SEO debate: “Why should I pay for keywords that I rank on organically?” It gives me tired-head just thinking about it. But the good news is that now you can test any and every hypothesis you may have. All you need is the data. This new report makes it super simple to look at PPC & SEO rankings data, create some tests, and then pull the lever. This report will help you measure any and all outcomes, and that is the goal, right?!
- Comparing PPC and SEO conversion rates for specific keywords
Since the introduction of the dreaded ‘Not Provided’, we have seen most of our clients see their ‘Not Provided’ data increase from 5% to nearly 50%. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. With every new visit that gets thrown into that ‘Not Provided’ bucket, we lose visibility on keyword-level data in SEO. In the new PPC & SEO Report, we have yet to see anything labeled ‘Not Provided’. This means that from an SEO perspective, we once again have access to all the data. Getting that data back – in a simple report like this – allows us to once again dig into keyword-level data. When looking to target keywords on the SEO front, we like to investigate their respective PPC data. Conversion rate data can tell you a lot about a possible keyword target. Using this report in concert with data from Google Analytics will allow us to create more effective keyword strategies in both the PPC and SEO campaigns.
After spending some time locked in a room for a few days with this new report (just kidding…or am I? #LOL), here are some NEW things that excite me the most about this new report:
- Analyzing Click Percentages
- Finding keywords where SEO gets 100% of the clicks
- Finding keywords where PPC gets 100% of the clicks
This data is extremely interesting, as it raises a lot of questions about why certain keywords generate clicks on one campaign or the other. Because we don’t have to put up with ‘Not Provided’ any more, we can see which campaigns are most successful for various keywords and/or groups of keywords. Most often it comes down to not bidding or not ranking, but there are those odd keywords where one particular listing the clear choice for searchers. This data will likely help us strengthen both campaigns.
- Overall Share of Voice
Never before has it been so easy to see PPC clicks and impressions lined up right next to SEO clicks and impressions. This report makes it almost too easy to see those relationships! And with that, we can see the overall share of voice for the PPC & SEO campaigns combined. For example, we can look at one keyword and know that we drove 8,000 PPC & SEO clicks from 10,000 impressions (80% share of voice). We can also look at that same data for groups of keywords, such as Brand and Non-Brand. We can also measure the share of voice overall for keywords where both a PPC listing and SEO listing appeared in the SERPs. When you’re trying to determine your Search campaign’s overall effectiveness, this data is very helpful. Furthermore, if you are investigating the competition for a specific keyword and/or keyword category, this information is immensely valuable.
- Areas of Dominance
As a data-driven marketer, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve strategies, and that tends to get me focused on negative data. But let’s not forget that we seriously kick ass at so much of this stuff they call PPC and SEO. This new report makes it easy to see areas where we are dominating on PPC and/or SEO. In this report, we can focus in on click-through rates and rankings data. For certain keywords, we have #1 rankings and get 100% of the clicks. Yep. I might just stare at those numbers for a while. You know – really let it sink in. #WINNING!
- The Relationships Between Click-Through Rates and Rankings for PPC and SEO
I’ve just started to investigate this one, but I find it fascinating. In this report, we can see average PPC rankings and average SEO rankings. We can also see the click-through rates for each keyword in PPC and SEO. For example, we see a keyword that ranks #1 in organic but has 0% organic click-through rate. It turns out that we also rank #1 for that keyword in the PPC listings, and our paid ad is getting 75% of the clicks. This is very interesting. What is causing the searcher to skip our organic listing? And why did we only get 75% of the clicks? Who is out there grabbing the other 25% of clicks? Is there copy better? Are they running a promotion? The data in this report raises a lot of questions, and because we can see every data point at the keyword level, we can start figuring out the answers, no matter how granular they may be. And that is going to make us smarter and more effective as search marketers.
Obviously, this PPC & SEO Report is so new that the story on how this data will be used is still being written. In fact, as time goes by, I can imagine the story evolving into something radically different as we find new ways to group KPIs, pull in additional data, and create innovative strategies based on this report. It’s an exciting time for data-driven marketers. Speaking of…I’ve got some pivot tables to get back to. Cheers!
* Yes, I know that is Lore. It’s not two Data’s. I don’t need you to remind me. It was just a joke.