Enhance Search Engagement With A Complementary Paid & Organic Visibility Strategy
Columnist Thomas Stern explains how paid and organic search efforts can be used together to boost ROI through increased brand awareness and visitor engagement.
Coordinated search strategies increase visibility and drive conversions. Paid and organic search work in tandem to hit the same marketing goals by increasing page authority, developing user awareness and gathering data to continuously improve campaigns.
For the last 15 years, marketers have brought paid and organic search together to connect brands and consumers at key points in the customer journey. By nature, search engines are used to answer important research questions that can lead consumers to take action.
By developing a paid and organic search strategy where one can complement the other and fill gaps in visibility, marketers can increase exposure to content that drives engagement and subsequently generates revenue.
The more exposed your brand is in search results, the more dominance and influence you will have. According to a study by Advanced Web Ranking, on average, 71.33 percent of Google searches resulted in a page one organic click, showcasing the significance of SEO efforts.
Paid search ads also play a big role in supporting the reach of your content for new or competitive keyword phrases; the presence of ads reduces the click-through rate of the first organic result by around 30 percent — so even if you achieve a number one ranking, you’re missing out on clicks if you aren’t visible within paid results, too.
The best way to earn clicks in search is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between paid and organic. To start, marketers should take a four-pronged approach to crafting unified SEO and advertising campaigns:
- Identifying Gaps in the Competitive Landscape
- Keyword Research
- Content Relevancy Cycles
- Visibility Amplification
Identifying Gaps In The Competitive Landscape
SEO provides an opportunity to display highly relevant content directly to consumers searching for targeted phrases. Paid advertising amplifies content in organic gaps and drives unique kinds of conversion-focused engagement and content distribution.
To identify the best highly visible paid and organic content placement strategy, examine the playing field for competitive obstacles and opportunities.
By analyzing the key pain points of consumers and the intent behind their search phrase, marketers can produce content that provides better solutions than currently offered by competitors in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Discovering organic opportunities requires manual crawls of targeted keyword phrases and high-ranking content to truly understand what consumers see. Scout SERPs to see how solutions are presented, and identify why the top listings outrank competition.
If an opportunity to surpass competitor content arises, develop more valuable and visual content, keeping SEO and user expectations top of mind. Keep content direct and informative, removing barriers that may cause users to exit a page.
Organic-focused content developed to fill competitive gaps will require a comprehensive on- and off-page SEO plan that can take many months to build momentum, so consider supplementing slower campaigns with paid ads to boost exposure.
Opportunities in paid campaigns can be discovered through a variety of tools. By entering keywords into forecasting tools, brands can see who currently claims the lion’s share of clicks and identify gaps that can be exploited to drive additional revenue from focused campaigns. Additionally, paid search data can offer rapid feedback by generating immediate traffic on specific keywords. Continuously test content to improve engagement.
Closely monitored data can influence the optimization of paid and organic content to increase engagement. Leverage firsthand data to create smarter content that fills the needs of targeted audience segments to drive additional exposure and customer acquisition from unified search campaigns.
Analyzing keywords to understand how competitors and consumers leverage both paid and organic search leads to unique insights for crafting comprehensive search campaigns. A robust search presence builds upon the opportunities recognized during keyword research to craft relevant and meaningful content, inform SEO initiatives and develop targeted campaign copy and placement.
Look for trends in search terms visibility, evolving user behavior and areas with weak competitive exposure to improve the reach of your content.
Tap into tools that work together to inform your search story, such as Google Analytics, AdWords Keyword Planner and Keyword Revenue Forecasting Tools. Utilize the data to create a two-pronged paid and organic content strategy to dominate SERPs with high-ranking search terms.
Content Relevancy Cycles
Keep your brand in a continuously evolving cycle of content relevancy. Begin by examining keyword research to craft content for each of your most engaging keywords.
Each piece of content focused around a target keyword should be tailored for individual audience segments to enhance engagement opportunities and keep content valuable. This means if you have 20 keywords and five different audience segments, your brand should produce 100 unique pieces of content to keep engagement high.
Once content has been created, distribute across (organic) publication networks and (paid) ad networks. Closely measure engagement rates and responses from each audience segment for individual articles of content to identify what factors drive action.
Utilize data such as clicks, time on site and user flow to identify the top-performing 20 percent of content. This is the content you want to continue to create in an effort to establish search dominance. Disregard the bottom-performing 80 percent of content as the data prove the results are not worth your time.
The content deemed as top-performing can then be leveraged to improve copy and targeting for paid and organic content. This technique improves relevancy and engagement, with SEO and ads supplementing each other to increase exposure in highly coveted search real estate.
Your content is only as good as the results it earns. Increase engagement by amplifying visibility through complementary paid and organic reach. When paired, both tactics can help build trust during a user’s search by increasing page dominance and brand recognition.
Even with a #1 organic ranking, paid advertisements can increase clicks by 50 percent. The more your brand name and content is exposed to users, the more likely they are to connect. Keep exposure high from all search tactics for branded and non-branded keywords to drive engagement.
Landing page optimization is another effective way to build exposure in search, helping to drive conversions on your website by providing concise and valuable solutions to problems faced by your target audience.
Your landing pages tend to rank well in organic search when optimized for specific long-tail phrases and built around consumer intent. You can use what you’ve learned from paid search performance data to inform the meta descriptions, title tags and body copy for future landing pages.
Tools like DoubleClick Natural Search help track conversions from a user’s entire search experience, monitoring organic and paid engagement to gain better insight into customer behavior and campaign reach.
By adding additional search tags to landing pages, marketers can learn more about the combined influence of natural search, paid search and display and increase cross-channel keyword intelligence to construct more cohesive search strategies. Accompanying tools like Google’s Paid and Organic Reports allow marketers to see how often pages from their website are shown in SERPs and which search terms triggered those results.
This information helps marketers better understand how paid and organic search tactics work together to reach searching consumers, identify potentially valuable keywords and gain a universal view of how digital campaigns are attracting views and clicks.
If you’re not using paid search to complement your organic search and content marketing strategy, you’re missing out on visitors. Don’t leave clicks on the table. Leverage proprietary and third-party data to optimize content for organic exposure and ensure your messaging is seen with paid amplification.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.