Study Finds Integrating Paid and Natural Search Significantly Boosts Online Performance
As the power of search engines has become stronger, marketers have been spending more on both paid and natural searches seeking to get as much visibility on those sites as possible for their companies. Research has shown you often get more than 30 percent more clicks when you combine the paid and natural searches.
But have you ever wondered whether the synergy between natural and paid search could also affect other performance measurements, including actions, orders and page views? That’s what digital marketing agency iCrossing set out to do in its recently released report, “Natural & Paid Search Symbiosis.”
Data collected and analyzed by researchers showed a strong beneficial relationship between natural and paid search to enhance online performance. The research found that online performance is dramatically increased if keywords used in a paid search campaign are also ranked in natural search. The study found that clicks increased by 91.8 percent when natural search was combined with a paid search campaign.
The report also found other double-digit increases, including a 45 percent increase in actions, 44.9 percent increase in orders, and a 43.6 percent increase in page views. Visitors to the site rose by 40.7 percent and they spent 38.9 percent more time on the site.
The study also found that average position of keywords had the most impact of three variables in online performance. The other variables were keyword impressions and keyword spend. Researchers found that a highly ranked keyword used in both natural and paid search performed significantly better than other paid search keywords.
While natural search campaigns alone don’t have the immediate benefits of paid search campaigns, the report noted there are “demonstrable benefits to brand and online performance goals” by integrating natural search into a paid search campaign.
The iCrossing researchers suggest using a “holistic approach” to search engine marketing. Below are their recommendations: