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April 30, 2007

Combine Your Search Marketing Efforts

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Finally, a well-known search engine marketing urban legend has been proven true. There is a synergistic effect that comes from combining your paid search campaigns with your search engine optimization efforts. We knew it! If you knew it too, treat yourself to a cookie tonight. (If you don’t like cookies, I will gladly accept your donation to the Lisa Likes Cookie Fund).

Greg Jarboe discusses iCrossing’s recently published Search Synergy Report which proved conclusively that combining search engine optimization with pay per click is more effective than running either a PPC or optimization campaign alone.

Um, duh.

Greg explains the steps iCrossing used to complete their experiment, er, test.

"iCrossing used a random sample of approximately 200 keywords, including branded and non-branded terms spanning both natural and paid search. According to the digital marketing agency, "These 200 keywords are representative of 2,000 unique keywords, engines and medium (natural, paid, or both) data point combinations used in paid search as well as ranked in the first three pages of natural search results on the major U.S. engines (Google, Yahoo!, Ask, MSN, and AOL)."

Once the results were recorded, beaten, and tallied, iCrossing found that a site’s overall online performance improves when the keywords being targeted in your pay per click campaign are also ranking in the organic space. In fact, Greg states that when iCrossing blended search engine optimization into an existing paid search campaign they encountered some pretty impressive results:

  • Clicks increased 91.80%
  • Actions increased by 45.00%
  • Orders increased by 44.92%
  • Page views increased 43.63%
  • Visitors increased 40.69%
  • Time on site increased by 38.91%

You can’t argue with those numbers, not that we’re surprised. Any SEO worth his or her windowed office has always argued that when it comes to your search engine marketing campaign, the whole will always be stronger than the sum of its parts, assuming its done right.

First, it increases your perceived relevance in the eyes of searchers. If they query [cute puppy seller] and both your organic listing and paid listing are ranking well, users will begin to associate you with cute puppies. And let’s face it, cute puppies is not at all a bad thing to be associated with. If users perceive you as a subject matter exert on puppies, they’ll link out to you in order to provide their site readers with additional information.

A totally unfortunate and unintended result is that by having your site rank multiple times on the engines’ search engine result page, it limits the amount of real estate your competition can take up. I know, I know, it’s unfortunate, but such is life.

[If you want to be really greedy, you can also take advantage of Google's OneBox results to get yourself optimum visibility. Local + Organic + Paid Listing = A Happy Search Marketer]

We have always encouraged clients to launch a pay per click campaign to complement their efforts in search engine optimization, and vice versa. When optimized correctly, the two provide a very powerful punch, as well as a stronger, more focused overall search marketing campaign.

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One response to “Combine Your Search Marketing Efforts”

  1. Janna Berg writes:

    I found this very interesting. I am just starting to learn more & more about SEO and this was very helpful to me. Thanx!

    PS…you have a great blog…I have visited often and have been learning quite a bit.



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