Marketers to Support Organic Search with Paid Search Campaigns

Why spend good money on a paid search campaign if you can get the same exposure to clients through organic search?  After all, search campaigns aren’t cheap. Google has studied this topic and finds that marketers who use paid search are generating searchsignificantly higher traffic on their sites than they would get with organic search alone. Now that consumers are using their smartphones to search for products and services, Google has updated its research and contends that paid search also helps send traffic via mobile devices.

Two years ago, Google researchers found that "89% of traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks."  The incremental percentage of clicks a marketer can generate as a result of adding paid search to an organic search campaign breaks out as:

  • 50% when the organic listing is at the top position on the search engine results page
  • 82% when organic is between 2–4 on the page
  • 95% when organic is at 5 or higher

Knowing how paid search plays out in the mobile space is increasingly important to advertisers. Over half of consumers have smartphones and 61% of these consumers search on these devices every day. Do the same rules apply to organic and paid search in the mobile space with respect to the traffic a campaign can generate?

Shaun Lysen at Google studied AdWords accounts across a number of industries and found that significant traffic to these sites would not take place if the paid search advertising wasn’t happening. Paid search drives 89% of incremental mobile clicks in general. In some industries, such as local and classified, the percentage is much higher – 97%. For other verticals, the incremental click rate is:

  • Retail 86%
  • Technology 97%
  • Travel 85%
  • Health care 83%

Lysen’s analysis takes budgets, ad clicks, organic clicks and organic impressions into account. He notes that advertisers often want to know exactly how much profits and revenues are driven by using paid search but emphasizes that each marketer would have a different outcome in a study like this.

The bottom line seems to be that marketers are much better off when they combine an organic or SEO campaign with a paid search campaign.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.