SEO and paid search are often viewed as mutually exclusive. This is sometimes due to the fact that search visibility is already achieved through SEO, and paid search is seen as unnecessary. Here are four reasons you would benefit from running a paid search (AdWords) campaign, even if you already have a successful SEO strategy.
1. Organic Rankings Are Volatile; Ad Rank Is Not
Organic rankings are volatile. One day you’re in the top five for a high-priority keyword, and the next day you’re nowhere to be found. With Google’s constant algorithm updates and user-interface changes, organic rankings seem more volatile and unpredictable than ever.
This is not the case with AdWords. Once you have the right mix of quality score and budget, your Ad Rank (your ad position relative to other ads) is fairly consistent. Paid search campaigns require a fair amount of work to achieve the right Ad Rank at the right price, but you have far more control over the ranking of your ads than you do over your organic search rankings.
2. Earn Twice the Visibility
The Google search results pages contain a lot of information, all of which competes for searchers’ attention. So, while being listed on the first page is great, being listed twice is even better, particularly if both your organic search ranking and ad are listed in the top three organic and top three paid positions respectively.
Furthermore, if your competitors are listed once on the first page for a priority keyword, while you’re listed twice, you have double the visibility and are at a clear advantage if the rankings are comparable.
3. Increase Click-Throughs
A natural byproduct of increasing search visibility is increasing clicks to your website. Even though clicks are not a measurement of success, they are a prerequisite for conversions.
Google conducted a study in 2012, which concluded that 50 percent of clicks generated by paid ads are not replaced by organic clicks when the ads are absent and the website has a first position organic search ranking. The study also shows that as the organic search ranking decreases, the percentage of clicks not replaced by the paid ad increases. This implies that organic search alone cannot drive as much traffic to a website as organic search combined with paid search.
4. Increase Probability of Conversion
By increasing traffic to your site, you also increase the probability of conversions. Some agencies report increases in conversions as high as 200 percent as a result of combining SEO and paid search. While your conversions may not necessarily increase 200 percent, it is logical that they will increase as a result of higher search visibility and more traffic to your site.
With the right execution, a paid search campaign combined with an already successful SEO strategy can deliver traffic and conversions that you are missing out on by relying solely on organic search.