Home – New Forums Tech talk Organic vs. Paid Search Results: Organic Wins 94% of Time

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  • #979735
    JohnW
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    Google must hate these sorts of reports…

    Organic vs. Paid Search Results: Organic Wins 94% of Time

    “…based on a sample of 1.4 billion searches conducted by 28 million UK citizens in June 2011”

    “Search engine users overwhelmingly click on organic results on Google and Bing by a margin of 94 percent to 6 percent.”

    “Who are those 6 percent clicking on PPC ads? Women (53 percent of them) are more likely to click on paid search ads than men, who click on ads 47 percent of the time.

    Age also is a factor. Younger searchers are less likely to click on paid ads – 35 percent of ads are clicked on by searchers age 34 or younger. But as age increases, so does the number of people clicking on those ads, as 65 percent of ad clicks come from searchers age 35 and older.”

    There is a time to recommend Adwords and a time to avoid them.

    A personal opinion…

    Many Adword campaigns are wasting money. Any campaign I’ve been asked to look at I’ve found between 25% – 45% wasted on the wrong search phrases. It is also very difficult to use Adwords in B2B markets and that is where most businesses reside. B2B marketer’s keywords often get wasted on consumer’s use of the same terms. I looked at one B2B client’s Adwords recently. He thought he was paying around $2 per click but when you eliminated the obvious consumers clicking his ads, his real cost was in excess of $70 per click.

    What are your experiences?

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1116649
    Divert To Mobile
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    Id be interested to see if similar statistics would present themselves in an Australian survey.

    Steve

    #1116650
    tonyk
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    No real surprises there.

    #1116651
    Vossy
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    Hi John

    The fact that organic wins is a little like saying people prefer TV content to the ads. This is a given and the numbers have always been that way..and create the very strong case for link building and onsite SEO strategies.

    However, it also does not take away the case that it is possible to use adwords (and any other low response marketing channel – like DM or telesales) to buy profits off the page – for B2C and B2B.

    The huge issue in my mind (and as you note) is the that Google makes it deceptively simple to start an adwords campaign which is set up incorrectly – mixed search and display, mixed keywords, mixed channels, little thought about landing pages etc, that just result in so of the problems that you mention.

    Then – as with other channels – a business owner may struggle to get decent cost per sale performance from the marketing channel.

    #1116652
    Vilson
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    Hi John,

    Two more things here..

    Even though it is 6% for PPC, it Gives $ 50 billion to Google.

    There are many people, they do not know the Difference between PPC and SEO, they just click on any first page Search Results.

    Create Online Test or Quiz on ScoreBell
    #1116653
    Aidan
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    Hi John,

    I think you’ll find that report was discredited for a number of reasons including many results pages not even having AdWords ads on them!

    From my experience I’d say the ads in the premium spots are seeing very high CTR’s (30% is not uncommon) on high commercial intent searches.

    Naturally ads on the side have much less traffic, as low as 0.25% depending on the purpose of the ad and its copy. There are many merchants who do lots of very low CTR ads quite deliberately as a branding strategy.

    #1116654
    MatthewKeath
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    I think a difference needs to be made between commercial and noncommercial keywords. For this to be relevant you would need to distinguish between the two, not just count the total searches and total ads clicked.

    For ‘Carpet cleaning Melbourne’ you would expect a large amount of people to be clicking on the ads, but people searching for ‘is Lady Gaga a man or a woman’ would not click on a ad – I highly doubt ads would even be shown.

    Most of my personal searches are for non commercial reasons. But when I do search for a specific product or service, I do click on the ads.

    #1116655
    Mrs Fox
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    It doesn’t change the fact that paid search is more targeted and transparent than other forms of advertising.A study that can make such comparison after factoring out purchase-driven searches would be more helpful.

    #1116656
    Shane Walker
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    Hi JohnW! It’s Shane Walker here.

    As a SEO professional, I provide both organic search results and paid listings for my customers. I find overwhelmingly that the organic listings are far more successful. The biggest problem with paid advertising is that it can get into a bidding war depending on whom else wants to bid for the same search term as you and you can pay more and more.

    As soon as you stop paying for that ad, the ad goes away. Whereas with organic results, it takes a little bit longer to get the initial results but once you do, they stay around forever and provide a better return on their investment for the customer.
    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    #1116657
    seocourse
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    Shane Walker, post: 132504 wrote:
    As soon as you stop paying for that ad, the ad goes away. Whereas with organic results, it takes a little bit longer to get the initial results but once you do, they stay around forever and provide a better return on their investment for the customer.
    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    I don’t think you need to explain to John how PPC traffic vs Organic traffic works Shane… I have the weird feeling John W has a pretty good idea.:cool:

    #1116658
    Stuart B
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    Is this really surprising to anyone?

    People trust organic / natural information more than they trust information that is paid to be placed in front of your face… No way!!! 😮

    #1116659
    Nikonomicon
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    I have two related businesses (or at least two webpages set up) – one is fairly specific, one is a bit more vague and general. Both were on AdWords for a while.

    The specific one – for commercial product photography – is set up with a very specific market in mind, a tiny number of keywords, and a massive number of negative keywords. The ad gives good returns and beats the organic results hands down.

    The less specific one – for modelling, art and music photography – is by its very nature less specific (and much more competitive) and got hit after irrelevant hit through AdWords for almost no gain. Almost all the work from this website has come from word-of-mouth, local advertising, and organic searches. The cost of the AdWords was phenomenal (glad I was watching my campaigns) and the searches were almost all irrelevant.
    There’s no AdWords campaign for this site anymore…

    Moral of this story? Google AdWords can work, but specificity is the key.

    matt

    #1116660
    Nathan Hartnett
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    I agree that it is probably dependent on the nature of the search. For our retail sites, we found that Adwords and Facebook Ads could still drive reasonable traffic, but not only was the cost too high, but our natural search traffic consistently converted more than our paid traffic. The only PPC we run for any of our sites anymore is comparison shopping.

    Cheers,

    #1116661
    themot
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    I used to totally ignore PPC but in the last 6 months I have come to rely on it more and I plan to try and use it as one of the main drivers of traffic to my sites. Im trying to slowly ween myself off organic search because frankly it’s just too unreliable. All you need is Google to update it’s algorithem or a competitor to attack your site with negative seo (which happened to me recently) and your ranking can dissapear very quickly.

    At least with PPC I know it’s there as long as I keep stumping up the cash to keep it going. The return on investment isn’t as good as organic ranking but the key for me is it’s reliability. At the start of the year I was 100% relying on organic rankings to generate my revenue, im now down to about 50% and I want to get it down to at least 30% ASAP.

    Chasing organic rankings is a fools errand for a commercial business.

    #1116662
    themot
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    Just to add to the above also…

    I think a lot of the big players online have also started to realise that trying to chase big organic keywords online is a waste of time. A lot of the bigger guys I compete against in not only my niche but other I have notice now heavily focus on paid online advertising rather than organic rankings. The key to success online in the future will be learning how to make paid advertising profitable. In my mind Google know they are giving too much away for free with their organic results and are hell bent on making them more and more volatile to push people towards adwords.

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