Learn how organic search can help you recover from booming paid search costs
Companies across all domains recognize the value of paid search ads. These are the search results people see immediately. And when done right, can convince searchers to click and skip scrolling through search results.
This is great and not-so-great. Because more companies are spending money on paid search ads, digital ad costs are increasing. And because of how ads are priced, this means the costs and competition will continue to increase – creating a chicken-egg scenario. What came first: rising paid search ads or the competition?
Unfortunately, this means that many companies are starting to see lower returns on their paid search ad spend. Not good.
Here’s a secret many agencies forget to tell you: paid search needs organic search and organic search needs paid search.
A hybrid search strategy can help you offset the rising costs of paid search and strengthen your overall search strategy.
Keep reading to learn:
- How organic and paid search work together
- Strategies to help you maximize your organic and paid search strategies
2022 Paid and Organic Search Statistics
As you review your organic and paid search strategies, consider these statistics:
- 39% of estimated global ecommerce traffic is generated by search and 35% of this traffic is organic and 4% is from paid search
- 67% of organic search clicks are for the first 5 search results
- 53% of website traffic is from organic search
- 11% is the average click-through-rate (CTR) for paid search ads
- 75% of people say they click paid search ads because these ads make it easier to find the information they want
- 95% of paid search clicks are for the first 4 paid ad results
- Paid search ads can increase brand awareness by 80%
(The Difference Between Organic vs Paid Search in 2022)
Facts on paid search costs in 2022:
- Meta: cost per thousand (CPM) increased 61% YOY, with an average CPM of $17.60
- TikTok: CPM increased 185% YOY, with an average of CPM of $9.40
- Google: programmatic display CPMs increased 75% YOY and search ad cost-per-click (CPC) are 14% higher YOY
- Amazon: CPC increased 14% YOY for sponsored products
- Facebook’s global ad prices have increased on average 47%
- Pinterest: 163% increase in ad prices
- Snapchat: 130% increase in ad prices
(The Price of Digital Ads has Skyrocketed and The Great Digital Ad Price Hike)
This quote sums up one of the core reasons for the booming prices:
“We saw increased budgets, and therefore competition, across all digital platforms as retailers focused budgets away from traditional media.” (The Great Digital Ad Price Hike)
How Organic and Paid Search Work Together
Organic search needs paid search. Paid search needs organic search. Together, paid and organic search allow you to build a smarter and more effective search strategy.
- Keyword Strategy: effective organic and paid search strategies should share keyword data. Paid search uses keyword data to inform ad structure, focus, wording, and messaging and organic search uses this data to guide content creation. Both have the same goal of optimizing for search intent and the customer journey.When organic and paid search share keyword data, you create a stronger search presence, allowing you to reach people across a wider search curve. As an extra bonus, sharing keyword data gives you more data to analyze, providing key insights into what resonates and gets people clicking.
- Enhanced Visibility: the top 4 Google search results are typically given to paid search ads. A hybrid organic and paid search strategy can help you rank in the top of the paid search results and in the top of the organic search results directly below the ads.When the organic search result and paid ad use the same messaging, branding, URL, and company name, people are more likely to click one of the options. The familiarity and consistent messaging helps to build trust and confidence in the usefulness of the search result.
- Short- and Long-Term Marketing: it takes time to see results with an organic search strategy. A paid search strategy can start converting immediately. A hybrid approach means that while your organic search strategy is building awareness and trust with Google, your paid search strategy gives your brand and messaging immediate visibility and SERP ranking.
- Higher Google Quality Score: Google uses Quality Score to rank and rate the relevance of your paid search ad copy, landing page, and keywords. A higher Google Quality Score can help lower your paid search ad cost and help your ads rank at the top of the SERP.
- Better Content: Google and your customers can see through thin paid and organic search strategies. They will not be tricked into prioritizing or clicking low-value ads or links.Paid and organic search give you the depth of data you need to create better ads and content. Use this data to inform your meta descriptions, keywords, landing page content, page title, social media content, website copy, email newsletters, and more.
How To Maximize Your Paid and Organic Search Strategy
To maximize value from your paid and organic search strategy, do this:
Take advantage of your data.
Before you create new ads or content, you need to understand your data:
- What are people clicking?
- Which keywords are resonating?
- What is happens after the click?
- What is getting ranked at the top of the SERP?
- What are your competitors doing?
This data must inform what you do next.
Refresh, reuse, and repurpose high-performing ads and content.
Look for ways to refresh website content or repurpose landing pages to address a new search intent or customer journey focus. Find ways to reuse high-performing ad layouts and messaging with updated keywords or to target a new demographic.
Don’t fall into the routine of always creating new messaging, layouts, content, or landing pages – remember people like familiarity – it builds trust and confidence.
Drill down into search intent.
Search intent is the problem, question, or query a person wants solved. This drives the terms they enter in a search engine.
Your paid search ads and organic search strategy must be built around search intent. You need to know the questions people have, the type of information they’re looking for, where they are in the customer journey, and how they search for information.
Eliminate low-value content.
There are no secrets on the internet – you cannot hide low-value content. Audit your website and your paid search campaigns – refresh anything that is outdated, poorly written, or does not meet your brand and company values.
You do not want people to find this content. And remember, Google includes this content when determining your expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T) score.
Audit your paid search ads.
Audit and review your paid search ads, asking these 6 questions:
- Does the ad align with your PPC goals?
- How and why is your PPC campaign structured?
- Are you using the right keywords?
- Is your ad copy free of errors and does it align with your PPC goals?
- How well is your landing page performing?
- When was the last time you tracked and tested your paid search ads?
Remember E-A-T, YMYL, and the Google Algorithm
You need to keep Google happy. Whenever you create new organic or paid search content or refresh existing content – you need to remember that Google is watching.
Always remember the basics of E-A-T and if you’re a YMYL company, pay extra attention to content quality, backlinks, references, and building your authority.
Read these blogs for a refresher on E-A-T, YMYL, and creating content for Google
- What Wellness and Nutrition Brands Need to Know About E-A-T and YMYL
- Website and Content Quality Checklists: Four Content Self-Assessment Checklists
- Guide to Google Page Experience and Core Web Vitals
Optimize your technical SEO.
Technical SEO is the framework that makes it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and rank your website. The best organic and paid search strategies cannot be effective with low-quality technical SEO.
Use our 8-step checklist to optimize your technical SEO:
- Mobile friendly
- Working links
- Fast website
- Secure website
- XML sitemap
- Duplicate content
- URL structure
Above all else, remember the why behind your paid and organic search strategies.
Communicate this clearly – in your ads, landing pages, and website content – make it easy for your customers and Google to trust you and your message.
The cost of paid search ads is increasing, and more companies are choosing paid search. This creates a costly and highly competitive marketplace.
To offset this, you need to use paid and organic search together.
Contact us to learn more about using organic and paid search to meet your campaign goals, build brand awareness, and to improve your ranking. We’re here to help you.
About the author
Kevin Hawke is the COO/Partner at Know Agency. As the COO at Know Agency, Kevin uses his 20 plus years of digital marketing experience to deliver success to our clients. Prior to working with Know Agency’s list of industry-leading clients, Kevin worked with a variety of brands – including AT&T, General Motors and Campbell Soup. In addition to leading key projects, Kevin uses his technical experience to provide a finely tuned, nimble operating infrastructure. He takes pride in Know Agency’s ability to expand and contract quickly to meet client resourcing and budget needs. Kevin started as a technologist and thrives on solving technical challenges and delivering results for our clients.