Organic and paid search work in a similar way. You ask a question (search query) and results based on their relevance to your query are returned. The returns for paid are based on an advertising auction, where the organic results are based on the relevance of content on your website, matching the search query.
Organic ranking takes a considerable amount of time, content and effort to rank highly on search engines. In comparison, paid search can be relatively easily and quickly achieved. Paid search results are only allowed once per website (per category). Competing against big chains with big budgets is achievable. In contrast, top organic search tends to be filled up by bigger budget players.
Paid search will always show above organic listings. On a desktop (PC/Laptop/Tablet), Google will display up to 4 adverts above any organic listings, which means that organic listings get pushed down the page. Having an organic and a paid listing showing on page one of the search is ideal. Being shown twice on a search return builds trust and increases the likelihood of a customer clicking onto your website.
See the example in figure 2. The search term used was ‘opticians eye test.’ The top three returned listings were all paid ads.
The nature of the ad auction means that, independents can compete for a share of the top listings with bigger chains. Because of the nature of pull adverts like Google search, they tend to drive actions such as appointment bookings consistently. Hence why we have focused on this element for a detailed example in figure 3 below.
The case above would suggest that pull-based Google search ads are the best at driving engagement in the eyecare sector. In many cases, this is true and this is the logical place to start. But as with any type of marketing, different channels affect responses at different stages of the buying cycle.
Having a balanced marketing plan will have a larger impact than any individual tactic or channel. Look at a 12-month view and review, and try not to think month-to-month.
In the second part of this blog, we’ll detail out the customer journey, the importance and real impact of push adverts and how remarketing can help turn “curious clickers” into a customer for life.