The search engine results page is full of ads. Some of the ads are referred to as organic search results. Companies use SEO (search engine optimization) tactics to help optimize their website to show in the organic space as search engines won’t charge to show here. The only charge to the company is what they pay their employees to create, analyze and optimize their website. The other ads are known as PPC (pay per click) ads. As the name mentions, companies pay to place these ads on the results page. Ideally, a company will use both tactics to take advantage of the available space. The use of both tactics can have a lot of advantages including the following two big themes.
Vertical Response wrote a good article that touched on this subject. One advantage of having both tactics is the keyword research that can be shared and utilized on the paid and organic search strategy. Understanding what keywords are generating organic traffic can show keyword expansion opportunity in the paid search program. However, a lot of organic search queries aren’t being passed to companies from the search engines. Therefore, many companies are taking advantage of the PPC keywords to help with their website optimizations. If certain keywords are having success in the PPC program, the company could look to include these on the website.
Another shared learning can come from paid search ad copy. If certain ads are performing well from a CTR and conversion standpoint, certain words could be incorporated into the website meta tags. Understanding paid search conversion performance is an important idea. This helps companies understand what traffic is more qualified and worth targeting. When writing meta tags or adding additional keywords to the website, this should be the ultimate goal.
A third cross shared learning can come from the landing pages. Understanding the landing pages that lead to conversions can help companies identify areas of opportunity. The actual search queries will have a lot of weight towards the end conversion rate but analyzing landing page performance at a high level can be crucial for identifying good or poor performing pages. This could lead to landing page changes or editing of the current page design.
A search engine results page only has a certain amount of room. It’s important for companies to try and take up as much real estate as possible. The BrightEdge Company wrote an article that touched on this subject. When showing organic ads only, the clicks obtained depended greatly on the ad position. The graph below demonstrates this idea by showing the relationship of organic clicks and the ad positioning.
PPC ads allow companies to have an additional listing on the page. With these ads having a chance of being in a prime position, they can help companies attract more clicks. The incremental clicks vary depending on the ad position as shown in the following image.
These results won’t be the same for every company and situation. However, it shows the opportunity paid ads provide to companies only leveraging the organic space. This type of study has been discussed by a lot of companies including Google, Yahoo, iProspect, and Kenshoo. Although the exact numbers vary, the overall story is the same.
Are you looking at paid and organic search together when generating new strategies?