A world leader in the production and supply of reagents for the life science industry maintained a complex database of technical reference information about the enzymes they make available for genomic research. This biolab sells tens of 1000s of products to the biotechnology research community.
As part of their plan to implement a new Content Management System (CMS) and then undertake a major site redesign, the firm’s marketing team recognized that the use of SEO best practices would play an important role in the success of their new website. At the same time, a relatively small budget was allocated to PPC and was managed with in-house resources.
The client’s goal is to increase exposure to their target audience, biotech researchers, and develop new qualified leads, both those who are searching for a specific product and those who are looking for a general source of enzymes to purchase for their firm. Given the wide assortment of niche technical terms involved, determining the key scientific terms to target as keywords for specific product pages is relatively straightforward. However, it is more challenging to improve the home page rankings for general terms, such as “reagents” and “restriction enzyme,” which would best attract potential purchasers.
As the CMS implementation proved more complicated than anticipated, it became apparent that the project needed the undivided attention of the in-house marketing team. There wasn’t enough bandwidth to continually test and optimize PPC campaigns.
At the same time, the client continues to expand its product offerings into new areas which required additional keyword research and campaign design. Technical conferences and their ongoing research publications are another source of new keywords to attract the biotech community to the site.
The client signed up for Inceptor’s SEO consulting and support services to minimize any negative impact on organic rankings resulting from the implementation of the new CMS and design. Since the redesign was expected to be a lengthy process, the Inceptor SEO team also researched and documented some interim optimization steps that would require minimal effort but improve visibility and/or usability for the existing website. These short term improvements included addressing technical issues, such as the proper use of redirects; deploying a keyphrase strategy that focused on conversion goals; improving page relevance for specific terms by optimizing metadata and page copy; and providing guidance for low-cost information architecture improvements.
Nine months after starting the SEO engagement, the client began using Inceptor’s PPC management services with the goal of making the best use of their limited PPC budget. The Inceptor paid search team performed keyword research by leveraging learnings from the SEO team, applied negative keywords, revised ad copy, and restructured the search engine accounts to make tightly defined ad groups.
The synergy between the PPC and SEO teams resulted in expanded traffic and provided additional opportunities for keyword identification and testing:
- While PPC ads may go offline due to budget constraints, organic results are available to searchers at all times. On the other hand, if organic results slip due to an algorithm change, PPC can temporarily ramp up to fill the void.
- Using PPC with well-targeted ad copy for both branded terms and some well-chosen general keywords (along with adequate negative keywords to maintain relevance) helped to attract cost-effective clicks.
- SEO techniques helped overcome the challenge encountered when Google does not display paid ads for infrequently searched, very specific keywords with a low CTR.
- Appearing in both paid and organic search results on the same page helped to boost the total click through rate.
The number of organic visits from non-branded search terms improved by 75% year over year. The top traffic-driving organic terms are specific technical terms, such as “ecori” and “xhoi.” Meanwhile, as a result of the first six month’s of Inceptor’s PPC campaign restructuring and optimization efforts, the paid search Click through Rate improved by 1594% while the number of impressions dropped by 80%. The well-targeted ads and better CTR improved the Google Quality Score and led to a 39% drop in CPCs and an improvement in average position from 2.7 to 2.1. The top performing non-brand PPC keywords include relatively general terms such as “enzyme,” and “gene expression,” as well as some more specific terms like “DH5.“
The CMS implementation is close to completion and the redesign project is still in progress, so the full impact of applying SEO principles is yet to be realized and fully measured. And the PPC program is just getting underway, with improvements anticipated as additional optimization, Sitelinks, and testing techniques are implemented.
Applying paid and organic search to the types of terms for which they are each best suited allows the client to reach the broad spectrum of biotech researchers, whether they are looking for a specific product, technical reference information about certain enzymes, or simply for a reputable source of enzyme products.