Although it seems like something that most people should do in theory, the practice of combining your SEO and SEM efforts to identify the best opportunities is something that a lot of businesses fail to do. For a number of reasons (time, separate teams, different KPI’s, etc) marketers and business owners often overlook their biggest search opportunity, which is identifying keyword phrases already performing strongly and capturing a bigger share of that market.

The phrase “co-optimisation” was actually presented to me on the SEO Elite Day at SMX Sydney recently. It has a bit of a buzz word ring to it, so I decided I would run with it! As a broader concept, the phrase would encompass the practice of optimising your SEO and SEM campaigns to work together in order to deliver the best results overall. Most businesses at a glance would believe they do this, but do they really? There could be many ways to “co-optimise” your campaigns, but here’s one great way to get started.

Capitalise on Your Highest Performing SEM Phrases through SEO

One of the great things about SEM and Google Adwords is that you can target a large number of keyword variations that would require a significant amount of SEO work to cover. What this can provide you with is great insight into which phrases you should work on ranking for. Do the following to help co-optimise your search campaign:

1. Ensure Google Analytics Tracking is Set Up Properly

Ensure that your goal tracking and ecommerce tracking (for ecommerce stores) is set up correctly through Google Analytics. By having this data, you can make decisions based on what is actually performing.

2. Download the Matched Search Query Report for Paid Search

Download the “Matched Search Query” report to identify the top phrases that have driven traffic to your site (which coincides mostly with your top spend). Ensure that you include a Goal Set or Ecommerce tracking that you wish to use as your measure of success.

3. Run an SEO Ranking Report for Your Top Paid Search Terms

The number of keywords you run a ranking report for will largely be dependent on your budgets, but you should take a large number of terms and run all of them through a ranking tool such as webposition to determine which phrases you spend SEM budget on that you don’t rank well for organically.

4. Invest in Organic Rankings for Top Performing SEM Terms

Now that you have a complete list of SEM terms that you spend significant budget on and a list of organic rankings for those terms, you just need to compare the two. Start by identifying any top performing SEM terms that you rank outside the top 10 for. Anything that’s off the first page will be receiving a very low portion of the organic traffic potential, so start here and work your way through the list.