Clear Correlation between Paid Advertising and Non-Paid Search Results (updated 2022)
We have been tracking the traffic on our client sites over many years with the help of various statistics software. Most of our client sites now use Google Analytics which helps track their return on investment when using an on-line paid campaign, such as Google Ads.
The correlation between paid advertising (SEM) and non-paid search (SEO) results has been an on-going trend that we have noticed for many years. We wish to debunk any myths of a conspiracy right now, such as Google favouring organic search results. The truth is plain and simple, the more visual your branding the higher your opportunity for clicks.
The graph above is an example that displays two points in time when advertising was turned off and then reactivated. We removed the data for paid advertising in order to show the full effect on non-paid search data. At Point A, where paid advertising was no longer in effect, there was an immediate drop in non-paid clicks. Upon reactivating the paid campaign, we can see at point B an up swing in organic clicks.
IMPAQT states, “The paid & organic report has been incredibly useful in understanding the interaction between paid and organic search, and the overall synergy when they are working together. For one of our client’s key branded queries, we saw an 18% increase in CTR when paid and organic work together, as opposed to only having the organic listing.”
An ecommerce report issued by MarketLive reveals “significant changes” when viewing the mix of paid/organic traffic. Paid search visits made up about a third of total search engine visits (up from 26% the previous year), while revenue from paid search grew to 44% of total search engine visit revenue (up from 40%). Interestingly, search visit growth altogether slowed in the first six months of the year, but paid was up 30% while organic was down 3%.
The report goes on to claim that paid search performed better in all areas except for new visits. This included an increase in conversions as well as average order size, bounce rate and pages per visit.
In the publication “Impact Of Ranking Of Organic Search Results On The Incrementality Of Search Ads”, Google found on a site with strong organic search results, there is an increase in click-through rate for related PPC ads on the same SERP.
The real benefit of these reports is to identify new trends in search and discover potential new search keywords to add to your Google Ad accounts by looking for queries that are organic based.
- Use PPC for valuable insights into your SEO strategies.
- Paid retargeting allows you to serve ads to people who have visited your website.
- SEO and SEM are different channels with unique skills sets that should be managed as a team.
- Focus your PPC strategies where organic results page rank between 4 and 10 with PPC keywords.
- Both channels should align with your vanity (brand) marketing.
- Be careful not to cannibalise your SEO strategies with PPC.