• http://www.ioninteractive.com allenkristina

    Wow Stephan, great post! “The ultimate goal should be optimizing your ad creative and rebalancing your company’s paid search spend based on the true, adjusted ROAS where synergy is taken into account.” Here are ion we’re big supporters of doing this through continual testing.

  • http://alexavery.com.au Alex Avery – SEO, PPC, Analytics Consultant Melbourne, Australia

    Hi Stephan,

    Good article, and a topic that isn’t covered enough for mine. However, the chart you’ve provided is of little bearing. I’ve seen similar ones before: where the clients switches off a campaign that was 90% ‘own brand’ targeted. Naturally, if they rank well on their own brand and bid on it, and switch the PPC off, the natural result will jump. On larger campaigns with long-tail campaigns and highly segmented product lines I doubt this trend would be repeated. In fact, if the average online retailer, retail finance or travel website switched off their PPC for 6 weeks they’d be in a lot of trouble.

    PPC and SEO are different disciplines with cross-over, to say they cannibalise each other is like saying Facebook will cannibalise email. If you are tracking your Facebook marketing and applying last-click, it will look like your EDM is getting no traction. The only difference is natural and paid results can (but not always) appear on the same page simultaneously.

    Keys to SEO and PPC balance:
    – keyword/SERP gap analysis
    – optimisation/synergisation of PPC and natural listing ad copy/meta description
    – multiple unique keyword themed landing pages
    – analytics/conversion analysis

    This gets done by lots of good search people for lots of clients/businesses all the time. It’s not news, just best practise.

    I would always suggest to a client that they run PPC on their brand. But I wouldn’t tell them to ONLY bid on their brand – and that’s what your chart looks like. I think over-complicating the results with a “synergy ROAS” hack formula for a site that gets 600 visits a day seems like overkill. Too many wannabe statisticians in the kitchen?

    Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.fuelinteractive.com/ briancarter

    We’ve seen the reverse as well; a company stopped running their brand PPC keywords, and their natural search sales dropped. So, it’s case by case.

    Until we’re using multi-touchpoint attribution analytics and we’ve thoughtfully decided how to weight first/middle/last-click, it’s going to be tough to get as deep and accurate as you’re indicating.

    I’d like to see data to support your conclusion that \it’s a wash\– theoretically what you’re saying is true (increases in CPC may oppose the savings in clicks), but you haven’t quantified the increase in CPC enough to make that conclusion.