Razorfish‘s “Department of Searchology” has produced a report claiming that, at least for brands, both paid search and search engine optimization are important, and even that they are more effective together.
One of their more interesting findings was this:
Before a consumer clicks a Paid Search ad, the probability that the consumer already visited the site’s homepage through Organic Search is very high. Our research showed at least half (53%) of conversions and revenue happening through Paid Search are preceded by Organic Search visits within the previous 7-days…
…For Branded Keywords, Organic Search visits impacted the Paid Search visits by 81% indicating the cyclical switching between Paid and Organic listings.
So they’re seeing visitors do research first, but then later, after they’ve mulled over their potential purchase, they do a search again, and are in this case more likely to click on the PPC ads, perhaps because the messaging is more action-oriented, and they think it’s a faster route to their goal of making a purchase.
So what to make of this? If you’re still building your brand, you should still focus your PPC efforts on generic terms to snag comparison shoppers, but it’s worth running a test of paid ads on your own brand to see if you can convert those comparison shoppers more effectively when they’re finally in a buying mood.
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