The Complementary, Not Combative, Relationship Between Paid and Organic Search

By aiwpadminSeptember 6, 2018

By John Egan

Wine and cheese are a classic pairing—prosecco and parmesan, chardonnay and Gruyere, and riesling and ricotta are some of the top combos. Yet in the marketing world, paid and organic search frequently aren’t paired so naturally.

Experts say a disconnect between paid and organic search could be detrimental to your marketing efforts. Rather than being separate, they say, paid and organic search should be a complementary duo.

“Developing digital marketing campaigns that combine SEO with PPC is not only necessary for achieving prime listing positions, it’s now the only way to maximize traffic and conversion opportunities,” Julian Connors, a digital marketer who’s done work for big-name brands like Procter & Gamble and Papa John’s, wrote in an article published by Search Engine Land.

During an Oct. 4 session at LeadsCon Connect to Convert in Boston, Erik Solan, vice president of client services and strategy at Vertical Measures, and Rachel Schulties, executive vice president of agency services at Digital Media Solutions, will explore the traffic and conversion opportunities presented by blending paid and organic search. The session is titled “The Battle Between Paid and Organic Is Over … Combining Search Strategies for Revenue Growth.”

Among the takeaways from the session will be how to integrate paid and organic search into current marketing plans, which reporting metrics are most important for paid and organic search, and what benefits can arise from better collaboration between paid and organic search initiatives.

“The customer journey continues to change as more consumers use digital search for products and services on the path to conversion,” according to a description of the Oct. 4 session. “Marketers must implement both paid and organic search strategies to make brands visible at the right moment with the right messaging for the right consumers.

“It’s time to stop thinking about paid vs. organic, as both search strategies have a place in the marketer’s playbook,” the session description goes on to say. “In today’s digital landscape, smart marketers leverage both paid and organic search tactics that inform and optimize the win.”

In the Search Engine Land article, Connors noted that when he was organic search manager at P&G, the digital marketing team made an effort to combine SEO and PPC strategies—an effort that yielded positive results.

Alignment of SEO and PPC allowed the P&G team to:

  1. Modify the organic keyword strategy, enabling creation and optimization of new content to rank within various geographic areas.
  2. Adjust the PPC budgets, letting P&G run ads in the most popular markets and in the most effective periods.
  3. Align ads with the offline marketing schedule, maximizing awareness and conversions.

Overall, according to Connors, these steps triggered a:

  • 30 percent increase in organic traffic
  • 25 percent increase in paid clicks
  • 35 percent savings in ad spending
  • 20 percent increase in quarterly profit

“Most digital marketing agencies are built with SEO and PPC sitting on opposite sides of the building,” Connors wrote. “Both teams work tirelessly, developing keyword strategies, creating unique content, and employing a number of tactics that focus on attracting online consumers.”

“Even though each team uses different systems and tactics to drive conversions,” he added, “there is a tremendous amount of critical data that can be used to create a synergistic and harmonious relationship, bolstering results for everyone.”

To learn more on what’s driving today’s customer acquisition, performance marketing, and sales, join us at LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert this October in Boston. Register today.

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