In Chinese philosophy, yin (the shady side) and yang (the sunny side) describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. In digital marketing, yin and yang apply to the way organic search and paid search work.
Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the the process of obtaining a natural placement on search engine rank pages using keywords, keyword analysis and link popularity. The goal of SEO is to attract users organically without paying for it.
Paid Search (Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Pay Per Click (PPC)) is where web site owners pay an advertising fee to have their web site search ads shown in a top placement on search engine pages or display networks. The goal of SEM is to ensure search visibility.
Although 80% of people clicks on an organic listing first. Whether they go to organic search or paid search, 33% click on the web listing in the first position, and 90% of all click occur on the first page. So, as Ricky Bobby says, “if you ain’t first, you’re last”
How do you get the most out of organic search and paid search. Here are 12 ways to make organic search and paid search work better together.
- MORE “SHELF SPACE:” It’s no secret, when you have 2 listings you own more real estate and chances of being clicked.
- INCREMENTAL CLICKS: Google research shows even with a #1 organic search ranking, paid search ads provide 50% incremental clicks.
- GREATER CONVERSIONS: Even though roughly 80% of clicks on a search page occur on organic listings, 42% to 48% of conversions happen against paid traffic according to Forbes. That means paid ads work after a would-be customer knows what they want to buy.
- ORGANIC LINKS + PAID LINKS = MORE CLICKS: Studies show users have a higher propensity to click on paid links if your organic link is listed, as well the other way around.
- MORE COMPELLING COPY: Take your best performing ads in terms of click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate and try applying those headlines and ad copy into your meta descriptions and title tags. Additionally, take copy from top performing organic pages and see how they work within paid ads.
- FASTER RESULTS: It can take months to see progress in organic search rank. The ability to appear in the search results in a top position in paid search helps carry your brand while building an SEO presence.
- BETTER HEADLINES AND LANDING PAGES: Paid search makes it possible to test landing pages, headlines and templates without hurting your organic traffic. When an advertiser can learn what is most effective and achieves better click through rate and more conversions, everyone wins.
- COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: There are many ways and tools for organic search and paid search for competitive intelligence. Identify who the top competitors in organic search are for a particular keyword with Keyword Spy. Find relevant long tail keywords, see what competitors’ bid and their PPC ads with SEMRUSH. Use these tools to identify competitors’ keyword priorities and strategies.
- ACHIEVE CAMPAIGN GOALS TOGETHER: Want to see how PPC & SEO work together to achieve your campaign goals? Link Google Webmaster Tools to Google AdWords which provides additional insight into the relationship between paid and organic search campaigns. Using the Paid & Organic report effectively shows any instances where a potential customer might have seen paid search results, organic search results and paid and organic search results together on the same results page.
- MORE WEB TRAFFIC: It is plain and simple; with more links pointing to your website at any given moment there is more opportunity for increased visitors.
- COMBAT NEGATIVE PR: Occasionally, someone will say something negative about your company. It happens, and when it does, combined PPC and SEO efforts can be great damage control. A great example was seen during the Gulf oil spill. For some time afterward, BP paid for PPC ads linked to the keyword ‘oil spill.’ The PPC ad led to a page on BP’s site about the cleanup effort. They wanted to make sure that whenever someone searched ‘oil spill,’ BP’s PPC ad was at the top of the list. Use this technique to help tell your side of the story.
- TARGET MORE PRECISELY USING SOCIAL: The social media landscape is changing dramatically, and part of that change has been the emergence of highly targeted advertising opportunities. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube (owned by Google) can serve up ads targeted to incredibly specific groups of people. Using Facebook user profile information, it’s possible to show an ad only to 22 year olds living in Kansas City who are interested in motorcycles and horticulture. It may be a small group, but it’s precise. The data that you collect from these campaigns uncovers granular details about your target audience to help refine your organic and paid search strategy.
Did this convince you of the yin and yang organic search and paid search? Could it benefit your business if they were working better together?