How does performance compare between a paid Google ad, an organic search listing or the two combined? A new AdWords report, recently released by Google, is designed to help answer that question.
The search giant said that the new paid & organic report, which it described as the first of its kind, is intended to help AdWords users "analyze and optimize your search footprint on Google” by comparing paid and organic results, within AdWords. It noted that most search reports had previously shown paid and organic performance separately, making it harder to discern any particular patterns when they overlapped, such as keywords that can be helped along by a paid ad campaign.
On its official Inside AdWords blog, Google pointed to three benefits from the new report:
- Finding more keywords with substantial organic results that can be supported by paid ads.
- Improving the best high-value keyword phrases even more, in either organic or paid.
- Tweaking website improvements or AdWords changes, by looking at paid, organic and combined traffic in one interface.
Google cited digital marketing agency Impaqt, which said it found an 18 percent increase in click-through-responses (CTR) when paid ads and organic search worked together.
To obtain the report, a business needs to verify and sync AdWords and Webmaster Tools accounts. One question being raised, however, is about the quality of the organic search data in Webmaster Tools, since the accuracy of that data is somewhat controversial.
Integrating Paid and Organic
Another question is what impact, if any, the new report might have on businesses that utilize separate pay-per-click (PPC) ad and search engine optimization (SEO) agencies. Some Google-watchers are speculating that, for instance, the report could drive up sales of PPC ads, resulting in less money spent on SEO.
Bill Hunt, writing in Search Engine Watch, notes that organic listings can improve paid clicks, which is “exactly why paid and organic needs to be integrated.” Using the data shown in Google’s sample screen capture, he points out that the paid click through rate jumps to 41.77 percent when both paid and organic are utilized, from a paid-only CTR of 14.95 percent.
“If I had to guess why the click rate increased,” he wrote, “it would be due to brand recognition added by the organic listing or a specific offer for something paid.”