Business development 29 July 2015

Organic search versus paid search: From competitors to collaborators

Teaming up paid search and organic search can be used to great effect
Teaming up paid search and organic search can be used to great effect
Organic and paid search are the new power couple. Both effective in their own right each with their own advantages and drawbacks, yet working together they createa formidable SEO partnership. Being present on search engines is a major engagement for etailers, considering that 89 per cent of searches carried out in the UK are done so via Google, visibility is vital.

Organic search consists of being “naturally” selected by search engines to appear in their rankings, paid search guarantees a presence via sponsored links (AdWords etc.). Two universes that have, historically, been considered as separate and even opposing. Organic search is a long game; when taking into account all the actions that SEO experts carry out, the results are often slowto appear. The investment made (be it time involved in optimising a siteorthe cost of paying an SEO expert), won’t show itself immediately, it will take a couple of months to appear on the first page of search results. SEA campaigns, however, create an instant traffic, a “bought” traffic that is paid for every time an advert is clicked on.

Often etailers launch their site on an organic search basis and once theyve reached a certain level of visitors (a few thousand visitors a month), the need to be present across multiple acquisition channels becomes apparent. Analysis of Actinic sites shows that the synergy of both organic and paid search benefits etailers on many levels.

The Double Visibility Effect occupy as much of the first page as possible

Being present on the first page of Google for both organic and paid search dramatically increases the traffic gained through keywords searches. The reasoning is simple; the bigger the percentage of the first page you occupy, the more traffic youll receive. To simplify, when a search query is entered and the searcher is presented with around 20 results (ten paid and tenorganic), with only one link available you are in competition with 19 other links. By guaranteeing a double presence on the first page of results, you take up double the space and gain more traffic too.

Search in multiple phases: the memory effect visit and revisit

A significant number of consumers will find you the first time round through paid adverts and will then “naturally” return to your site having now registered your site name. This phenomenon can be analysed using the advanced segments of Google Analytics. SEO experts like ourselves analyse how internet users who arrive on sites through AdWords campaigns then return by searching a domain name or brand name. We have studied sites that ran AdWords campaigns for more than sixmonths and found that that the number of domain and brand name searches increased by five to ten per centduring this time.

This phenomenon is even more striking when there is multichannel visibility (AdWords, Google Shopping, and ads on the Display network). it’s a logical outcome, as more visibility means that internet users will see your brand or domain name more often, and it is then more likely to stick in their minds, increasing the chances of them becomingfrequent visitors.

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