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​.omni​ture​.com/​e​n​/​p​r​o​d​u​c​t​s​/​v​i​s​i​t​o​r​_​a​c​q​u​i​s​i​t​i​o​n​/​s​e​a​r​c​h​c​e​n​ter