paid search and organic: building your complete search strategy
search engine marketing is a form of advertising in which site publishers bid on specific keywords for the opportunity to be listed above organic search results.
organic search engine optimization (seo) is unpaid efforts to rank higher in search engine results pages (serps), including but not limited to:
- content for seo.
- link building.
- targeted traffic generation through social media.
- technical seo.
organic search results have significantly higher click-through rates than paid results. the top organic listing on page 1 of serps has a ctr of nearly 32, meaning it commands the biggest chunk of search engine traffic. despite listing above the first organic search listing, paid listings have an average ctr of a little less than 2%.
on the other side of the seo world, you have paid search engine optimization. paid search is a form of digital marketing where search engines allow marketers to show ads on a search engine result page (serp). paid search advertising works on a pay-per-click model — meaning that you don’t pay until potential customers click on your ad.
by contrast, the conversion rate of paid search results is more than 10x that of organic results. paid search can also help industry newcomers who want to grow their business build some much-needed brand awareness. low ctrs aside, paid search listings are still sitting pretty at the top of page 1.
when it comes to both paid and organic search, the key to success lies in visibility on the serp. by using both strategies instead of just one, you’ll be better positioned to maximize your visibility and presence. at brafton, our sem consultants know how to merge the value of seo and sem in a complete, highly tailored, prescriptive online marketing strategy.
brafton: your sem and seo specialists
brafton’s sem consultants take a holistic approach to paid search to ensure it serves specific marketing goals – and they track every campaign each step of the way and pivot as needed to improve outcomes.
even the most experienced marketers can find it difficult to develop an seo strategy that produces meaningful business results and a high return on investment. search engine algorithms are constantly changing, making it tricky to determine why your rankings suddenly slipped overnight. fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone.
by collaborating with content strategists and seo consultants on the larger marketing strategy, our sem experts ensure that no ad spend is misplaced. they also assess how other variables might influence the performance of your paid search efforts – lack of organic online presence, relatively poor search engine ranking, subpar meta descriptions, unengaging landing page copy and unintuitive site ux – and provide guidance on how to keep those factors from foiling your sem success.
powering your digital marketing strategy with paid search
maximizing the value of paid search advertising requires a clear end goal. brafton can help you assess that end goal, and identify the opportunities to use paid search to achieve them:
supplement your seo efforts
organically improving online presence is a long game. it takes time and effort to rank for keywords, build up your backlink profile and optimize your site for maximum search visibility. paid search can help generate traffic, however little, in the interim.
build brand awareness
strategically targeting certain keywords for paid search can help get your listing in front of your target audience. even if the ctr isn’t great, your presence on serps can improve brand recognition for a low cost – because with paid search, you only pay when a user clicks on the ad, but there is still some value in them just seeing it. case in point: paid search can build brand awareness by 80%.
improve local seo
google offers local service ads that local service companies such as electricians, plumbers and other local services can use to generate leads. unlike traditional paid search, ad publishers pay per lead, with a lead being a phone call, message or booking made through the ad.
create remarketing lists for search ads (rlsa)
google ads and other platforms make it easy to target users who have already visited your site. this is one of the most powerful features of paid search, and one of the most effective ways to supplement your seo campaigns by retargeting deeper-funnel leads.
our sem consultants can also manage other ppc campaigns through the google ad network, content syndication channels, social media networks and other platforms. they can help you diversify and optimize your ad spend across these different networks to maximize results.
in-depth keyword research
search engine marketing is a type of pay-per-click (ppc) marketing. each click on the paid listing comes with a fee called the cost-per-click (cpc).
highly competitive keywords that many site publishers are attempting to rank for on both paid and organic search results can have a cpc of $50 or more. however, solely going for the most popular keywords won’t produce the results you’re looking for. instead, the trick to successful keyword research is to find the balance between the most competitive and least competitive keywords. using this approach, you’ll start gradually seeing the growth across your web page’s traffic, visibility and overall brand awareness.
brafton’s consultants work within the google ads and bing ads platforms, and consult other keyword research tools to create lists of industry-specific keywords within your budget and that align with your target audience’s search intent.
if your page has a high quality
score, you can earn a lower cpc
rate and beat out higher bidders.
landing page and metadata optimisation
every paid ad needs a landing page destination after a user clicks. on the google ads platform, a “quality score” is given to that landing page. the quality score is based on the performance of that web page, including its ctr, keyword relevance and various other factors.
if your page has a high quality score, you can earn a lower cpc rate and beat out higher bidders.
brafton’s sem consultants can make recommendations for how to improve quality score of the landing pages you use in your paid search ads in several ways:
in addition to identifying optimal keywords, we can conduct additional research that will improve your page’s relevance to those keywords. our in-house team of writers can optimize existing copy or craft new copy to help improve the quality score of the page.
our consultants test the efficacy of different landing pages for various keyword campaigns. this can help improve quality score, more precisely target the right audience and boost overall customer conversions.
ux and design audits
we can assess your landing page’s ux using heat mapping and other forms of analysis to ensure that it’s optimized to drive conversions. we can also build out custom calls-to-action and help you optimize forms.
meta description analysis and updates
meta descriptions for paid search listings have a significant impact on ctr. our consultants can craft keyword-optimized meta descriptions for each of your ads that encourage prospects to take action, and conduct a/b testing to make data-driven decisions about what descriptions perform the best.
sem with purpose
search engine marketing is only valuable when it’s integrated into a larger marketing campaign.
brafton’s sem consultants will take the time to understand your business objectives and marketing goals, and help you develop paid search strategies and other marketing services that will actually move the needle.