How to Drive Traffic: Paid and Organic Search Working Together

Organic and Paid search results working together

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Quick Preface: The following is a guest post from Brenna Karbel. Brenna is a search professional and shares her vision on the benefits of conducting successful paid and organic search campaigns together.

Enter Brenna Karbel

There are many benefits that an advertiser would see when they combine both paid and organic search.

Three ways PPC (pay per click) helps your organic search results, according to our friends at searchengineland:

  • You can easily test landing pages, headlines, and templates
  • You can get rapid feedback
  • You can get immediate traffic on specific keywords
Google SERP showing paid and organic search results
Here is an example of effective organic and paid search results used together. Notice the green search result also listed in the Ads. This serves as a second ‘Vote’ to the visitor and increases click-through rates (CTR). Click to enlarge.

Testing Landing Pages, Headlines, and Templates

PPC (pay per click) 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 CTR (click through rate) and more conversions everyone wins. An advertiser not using PPC would be reluctant to using these types of tests in fear that they would damage the hard earned organic ratings.


Advertisers using PPC can get immediate results on how keywords are performing. When an advertiser makes changes to ad text though analytics we can see exactly how the changes are performing.

Gaining Immediate Traffic

One frustration that many advertisers share is they want increased traffic for specific keywords. With PPC, advertisers are bidding for specific terms. The ability to appear in the search results in the top three positions is quicker to achieve using PPC.

Why Bid On My Branded Terms?

1) Brand Infringement/Protecting Your Space

If you don’t bid on your terms – your competitors will. Look at 1-800-Flowers. If they weren’t bidding on their own brand, then two other ads would have taken up that ad space, according to our friends at searchenginewatch.

2) User Behavior

Though many people may never click on paid search ads and only click organic, other people are the opposite, or situation based. The evolution of universal search is changing the SERP (search engine results page) into more of a menu. There are videos, tweets, paid search, organic search, local business ads, images, news, etc. With all these options, it’s critical that your brand is an option on this menu. Paid search is a guaranteed way to get placement.

3) Impact on Brand Awareness

Many studies have demonstrated an increase in brand awareness when both paid and organic search listings appear together in top spots. Consumers think highly of brands that they see more frequently. They identify with traditional advertising methodology, the more times a consumer is exposed to the brand the better in any form, or medium.

Google Conducted A Rigorous Study and Reported Some Surprising Results:

A new Google study examining the impact of organic listings on ad click incrementality finds that the click-through rates (CTR) of ads with associated organic search results are higher and that the CTR increased the higher the organic result was positioned. (See image above)

Specifically they found that 66 percent of ad clicks occurred without an associated organic result on the page, it is worth turning that on its head; this means 34 percent of paid search clicks happen with an organic result by the same advertiser on page. If ranking on the first page organically in these instances can help ad performance as well, that’s something to consider.

Have you experimented with an Organic and Paid Search campaign? Please leave a comment below…

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