62% of consumers don’t know the difference between a paid and organic search result according to Pew Research. And honestly, why should they? They don’t care if the click costs a company a dollar or not, they just want the best result.

And even though 70% (or more) of all search result clicks come from organic listings, the market spends almost 6 times the amount on PPC efforts rather than SEO. I’m not sure if that is right or wrong.

What I am sure about, is that we have lost sight that SEM is a combination of PPC and SEO; everything engaging the consumer. Most companies have separate groups to manage these distinct disciplines – as they should since they require unique skills to succeed. However, these two search results should work together.

Without argument, the SEO teams should strive to get as many high ranks results as possible. On the other hand, the PPC team needs to manage their campaigns based on what is happening with the organic results.

PPC marketers have complete control over their ads while SEO is less flexible. The goal of PPC marketers is to generate the highest possible amount of relevant search volume at the most efficient cost in order to drive revenue. While this seems pretty obvious, it is much more difficult to accomplish.

The starting point to achieve this goal is to gather organic and paid search data in a single system. You need the typical paid engine data along with the organic engine data tied to traffic, conversion and revenue data from the site side. Having just click data and comparing the ratio of paid to organic click share is meaningless.

Some examples:

  • Let’s say the SEO team succeeds in gaining the first ranked organic listing and that link is generating a good volume of clicks. However, if those clicks are returning a high bounce rate, then the traffic isn’t valuable. Or if the landing page isn’t geared to drive a conversion, then the PPC team should test various paid listings and landing pages to move visitors through the funnel to compliment that organic listing.
  • Another possibility – your competition is generating traffic off an organic link where you don’t have an organic listing. You need a paid link there to compete for that traffic.

No matter the situation, the goal is to find the right balance between organic and paid listings in order to generate the most relevant traffic possible without cannibalizing your organic listings – looking at combined revenue for both organic and paid links over the cost is the true measure.

Here at Adobe, data is our DNA and we deliver the tools to help you manage and automate efficient search campaigns which drive revenue. Come learn about our new SearchCenter+ release at http://www.omniture.com/en/products/visitor_acquisition/searchcenter