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Google keeps changing – why your SEO and PPC teams must be best frenemies!

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It’s a well known fact that PPC and SEO are always butting heads, however with all of the continuous changes to the digital landscape – mainly through Google – it’s crucial for the two to get along.

Recently we were treated to another Google change  – the usual core algorithm update shrouded in mystery, as well as announcing at the end of January that it was testing out new SERP layouts in order to bring the desktop experience more in line with mobile. Around the same time, Google also revealed that it was moving the goalposts on featured snippets. From now on, the web page that appears in the snippet will no longer be listed in the main organic listings underneath. Many claimed that the new-look SERPs, which were strewn with favicons, made it extremely hard to tell the difference between paid and organic results.

Google quickly moved things back to how they were, but we’ve been seeing lots of different layouts being tested in the SERPs over the past few weeks. The changes and subsequent partial Google backtracking have once again placed the spotlight on the PPC vs. SEO debate. What is for certain is the way searchers interact with the SERPs will continue to evolve and this means that SEOs and PPC specialists simply have to be on the same page.

This shift in mindset is something that is fundamentally needed in order to achieve 3 closely lined core objectives.

  1. Reducing cannibalisation and stop spending money where it doesn’t need to be spent

Narrow focus on ROI from paid search has historically meant that brands focus on maximising the revenue driven via PPC without much scrutiny on whether or not that traffic could have been gained via Organic search.

In some marketplaces, a certain degree of cannibalisation is needed in order to protect branded search space, however, this is not always true and can lead to inflated brand spend in order to drive essentially pre-qualified traffic.

One of QC’s proprietary tools, Halo, cleanses our data and gives us a far more accurate picture of channel attribution by blending GSC and Google Ads data. For AirB&B we removed £4.5m of wasted spend through reduced brand bidding, but also from a large crop of non-brand keywords where organic visibility was strong and CTRs were above the 50% mark.

2. Identify new opportunities to plug gaps between PPC and Organic visibility – provide clear direction for organic search activity roadmaps.

It’s amazing how many organic teams set about formulating a growth strategy without first taking a look at how existing PPC campaigns are performing. By carrying out a PPC/SEO gap analysis during the onboarding and auditing phase, you can see exactly where gaps exist.

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If a particular paid campaign is converting like a boss, but the site has zero organic visibility for those keyword sets, it’s an obvious area to prioritise when piecing together an SEO roadmap.

3. Drive Incremental Performance (how do we get more out of our overall Search performance – true incremental growth and not just “discipline shift”)

To drive incrementality we a adopt a cost per cookie mindset. Bidding on generic terms can be expensive so focus on longer tail keywords higher up the customer funnel. As an example to put this into more context – rather than ‘hotels in Paris’, we look at longer tail variations such as ‘best holiday destinations in October’. Bucket these users and retarget them once they start utilising more expensive search terms further along the customer journey to make CPAs cheaper.

Essentially, we’re moving up the funnel when targeting generics – prioritising cheaper, pre-transactional search terms and working these into our paid campaigns in order to support our content while its organic search authority grows. We can then reduce or turn off reliance on PPC once organic performance is strong!

The argument for aligning your paid and organic search teams is a compelling one and hopefully, with all this in mind, we can all just get along!

If you are interested in how we can further help you build an integrated search strategy, please contact us.

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GOOGLE

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: What’s the best office suite for business?

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Google G Suite vs. Microsoft Office

Once upon a time, Microsoft Office ruled the business world. By the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Microsoft’s office suite had brushed aside rivals such as WordPerfect Office and Lotus SmartSuite, and there was no competition on the horizon.

Then in 2006 Google came along with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, a collaborative online word processing and spreadsheet duo that was combined with other business services to form the Google Apps suite, later rebranded as G Suite, and now as Google Workspace. Although Google’s productivity suite didn’t immediately take the business world by storm, over time it has gained both in features and in popularity, boasting 6 million paying customers, according to Google’s most recent public stats in March 2020.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has shifted its emphasis away from its traditional licensed Office software to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), a subscription-based version that’s treated more like a service, with frequent updates and new features. Microsoft 365 is what we’ve focused on in this story.

Nowadays, choosing an office suite isn’t as simple as it once was. We’re here to help.

Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 have much in common. Both are subscription-based, charging businesses per-person fees every month, in varying tiers, depending on the capabilities their customers are looking for. Although Google Workspace is web-based, it has the capability to work offline as well. And while Microsoft 365 is based on installed desktop software, it also provides (less powerful) web-based versions of its applications.

Both suites work well with a range of devices. Because it’s web-based, Google Workspace works in most browsers on any operating system, and Google also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Microsoft provides Office client apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, and its web-based apps work across browsers.

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