What is Organic and Paid Search Synergies? Strengthening your position in Google Search will require a sustainable strategy for both Paid and Organic. Learn more in this blog post written by Senior Digital Specialist Mihalis Tsiropoulos.

Introduction

Why should you even care?

Long-term wins (particularly pertaining to SEO) do not happen overnight and require greater organisational commitments. Given the added complexity of managing SEM, where more control is in the hands of an agency, with SEO it is more difficult to predict the actual potential impact. 

By gathering and leveraging insights across both Organic and Paid traffic from the search engine result page, we can start creating synergies between the two channels.

Below is an overview of just some of the benefits that our clients have gained from Organic and Paid Synergies:

  1. Greater understanding of user behaviour across channels
  2. Greater understanding of user intent in search
  3. Higher Conversion Rate due to more relevant Landing Pages
  4. More relevance increases Quality Score resulting in a lower Click Cost 
  5. With more real estate in the SERP we see an increase in Organic Conversions 
  6. A clearer outline of content’s potentials with high impact
  7. Higher Rankings and Visibility for existing Keywords
  8. Visibility and Rankings for new Keywords 
  9. Better prediction of performance in both channels
  10. Reduced risk of Google Penalties

 

Our main purpose with bridging paid and organic traffic data is to utilise learnings of our users and become more relevant with our presence in search.

How does it work?

Strengthening your position in Google Search will require a sustainable strategy for both paid and organic. However, working in silos only is reducing the overall efficiency and therefore implementing a consistent process for building synergies between Organic and Paid would benefit both channels in search.
The logic is to first master both channels before one can create synergies.

For ages, Precis has primarily been a paid search agency. Excelling this at a level that has granted us acknowledgement and awards (Find out more here), but within the last several years, we have expanded our understanding of search and working with search as a whole obviously demands including organic data as well.

By applying our data-driven approach to search and leveraging attribution, we have been able to orchestrate harmony between both search channels by looking at similarities and differences in user behaviour.

So building synergies between Organic and Paid search demands a holistic strategy that understands how both channels can work separately and conventionally.
The aim is to dominate search for all relevant search queries.

Search synergies

You can think of search dominance as a space rocket with two engines that must run smoothly, both individually and in conjunction:

  • Engine 1, SEO: Organic search results can be controlled by having web page listings that match the user’s search query (SEO).
  • Engine 2, SEM: Paid search ads can be controlled by optimising and bidding on keywords that match the user’s search query (SEM).

In both cases, we optimise for relevance, and as each rocket engine is maintained and monitored continuously, new opportunities to optimise the overall output occur.

In order to explore the opportunities of bridging the two channels together, the optimal approach is to apply the user journey funnel to map out correlations between user intent with the Organic and Paid setup. 

By letting the user intent dictate the potential of synergies, we will experience a stronger dominance of the search engine result page and own more real estate by simply striving for being present in both Organic and Paid results. When search queries are higher up the user journey funnel, the proper presence and preferred type of results tend to be organic only. This can be illustrated in a table, where we divide between the different intents behind a search query. The division can simply be developed by underlying words or topics that clearly show the intent:

Informational Commercial Transactional Navigational Local
What Comparison Buy Brands Nearby
When New Cheap URL City
How Used Voucher Brands + URL Area
Why Review Find Address
Can Price friendly Shop Where
Should Exclusive Free delivery
Can In fashion Brand+Product name

User intent

The user’s intent of a search query is the underlying motivation for the user by searching for just that query.

The intent can vary depending on how the query is structured, and this is particularly important when we want to utilise this data for building synergies between Organic and Paid since this is where we are able to detect if the search query indicates the potential of a commercial or transactional search.

Understanding that user intent must correlate with how we orchestrate our marketing communication across Organic and Paid search place us in a much better position to ensure domination of search by acting on search query insights.

user journey in organic and paid search

Utilising learnings from both paid and organic search

By implementing Google Search Console in Google Ads, we have access to the paid & organic report, where we can see how often we gain traffic on the same search queries from both channels and thereby better understand how paid text ads and organic search results complement each other.

This report is working well for obtaining insights, and the next step is to take action on these learnings.

Ads and organic text snippets

By extracting the keyword report, we can first look into optimising our Title Tags and Meta Descriptions from those pages, where paid traffic performs well, but organic is struggling.

Simply extract all your ads and implement headings and descriptions as title tags and meta descriptions. We can expect that this will be common for transactional searches.

At the same time, if we experience that organic is outperforming paid traffic, and the user intent is still low funnel we can extract our title tag and meta description and implement them as headings and description lines in our Google ads.

Optimising organic rankings

Looking at paid performance on a landing page level, we can also extract information about how we can optimise HTML tags in general. Looking at anything from heading tags and structured data to traffic from devices and search term reports enables us to quickly understand if there is potential to either implement more relevant HTML tags or optimise the ones we already have.

As an example, we could see that specific ads with more actionable headings were performing better in our shopping ads. Therefore, we added this actionable term into our heading tag on all product pages and saw an increase in organic rankings due to the fact that they were now correlating more with user intent.

Optimising relevance – Quality Score

The absolute best learning to act from is the overlap between search queries that truly shows, when relevance is high and when it is not.
Identifying what search queries both have the potential of performing cross-channel and at the same time use them as topics for creating more relevant landing pages that match the user intent will automatically increase the overall relevance not only for the page but for the whole website.

Quality Score is a system for Google to decide the CPC and Ad Rank for an ad. Quality Score is a combination of Expected CTR, Ad Relevance and Landing Page Experience. 

By making sure that Google has indexed and understood a website’s content according to search queries, you have a higher potential of improving Quality Score, since ads would then become more relevant both according to search queries, but also according to the actual site.

Final thoughts

In this post I have only included a simple approach to building synergies between paid and organic search. In the rapid development of both channels the opportunity to locate new methods to bridge SEO and SEM is never ending.
I hope that this can inspire you to jump into it and if you have any additional thoughts, feedback or even the solution on how we can bridge shopping feeds and structured data on product pages, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

Mihalis Tsiropoulos Senior Digital Specialist