How Paid Search Skills Translate to SEO

    September 1, 2006

This post is a companion to our recent post titled, SEO skills that translate to paid search. Our theory as that the two disciplines are not that different, although there certainly are some distinctions between the skills we use for paid search versus SEO.

If you’ve ever managed a paid search account for your business, but don’t know much about SEO (and have always wanted to learn more), you may be surprised at how much you already know.

Web site performance and anaytics: Marketers love statistics, and search marketers are no exception. In fact, PPC statistics are so readily accessible with nearly instantaneous results that the practice of checking them can become obsessive. Metrics play a role in monitoring the effectiveness of organic search as well. You probably already have some experience looking at Google Analytics or some other web metrics tool to review your paid search campaign results, so it’s not a huge leap to start looking at the organic traffic, top referring keywords and referring URLs (if you’re doing link placement – as you should be) and incorporating them into a useful report for yourself or your client.

Tech savviness a plus: Search marketers are often (though not always), comfortable with online technology. We help set up tracking and reporting which requires some basic knowledge of web programming and database management. The technical aspects of SEO can be a bit more daunting than those of paid search, but if you are the type of person who isn’t swayed by a little programming (and you probably are if you’re doing a lot of paid search management), then it’s a short learning curve to implementing meta tags and 301 redirects.

You already know how to optimize a page: No really, you do. If you’ve been writing keyword-rich title tags and descriptions that correlate with targeted keyword lists, then you’re well on your way to practicing good on-page optimization. It’s true that SEO is more than just tags (Meta or otherwise), but understanding how content ties in with the basics of good SEO (Title tags, description tags and relevancy) is half the battle when performing SEO for any web site.

These are just some of the skills that paid search marketers bring to the organic SEO table. With a little reading and a bit of hands on experience you can sit on both the organic and paid ends of the SEM table.


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Michael Pedone is the President / CEO of, a search engine optimization and website marketing company <> located in Clearwater, Florida that specializes in getting targeted, eager-to-buy traffic to your site. You can catch him blogging at: <>.