MediaPost published a great article yesterday about the increasing costs of paid search and how marketers are coping by investing in natural search. The article includes many quotes from Tim Kauffold, director of business development at Oneupweb.
The following are some of Mr. Kauffold’s quotes from the article along with some of my thoughts on the issue.
“In most cases, natural and paid search campaigns perform better together than they do separately. Greater awareness of a Web site created by a paid ad can lead to more natural traffic. In similar fashion, people are logically more likely to click on a paid promotional ad of marketers they recognize, such as those they’ve encountered during a natural search.” -Kauffold
I would also add that paid search and natural search campaigns perform better together through shared data analysis. Paid search campaigns provide detailed data about which keyword phrases are performing the best. This data is also great at spotting keyword trends like what keywords have increasing conversion rates and vice versa over a given period of time. Marketers can use this keyword data for their SEO campaigns to optimize content around those keyword phrases. On the flip-side, traffic data gathered from search engine optimization can give insights into user behavior on your website. These insights can help marketers improve the quality of paid search landing pages.
“One of the things that surprises marketers–particularly those who have been using the media for several years–is how the costs are rising. They think, ‘Why doesn’t the same dollar buy me the same volume it used to?’ But there are really big inflation numbers with cost-per-click. It’s still a great avenue, but as more folks jump in, costs are going higher.” -Kauffold
I briefly covered this basic market concept about two weeks ago in our post covering the Kelsey Group’s annual forecast, but it’s worth repeating here. As Kauffold says, paid search is still a great avenue but costs are increasing. Companies that optimize for natural search will reduce their dependence on paid search for leads and customers.
“Paid search is a media buy, and natural search optimization is an investment in the site itself, and that can take some time–maybe even a few months–to see results,” -Kauffold
This statement pretty much speaks for itself, and it is a statement that is important to remember. Many large companies and tech/internet related companies have known this for years. However, many small businesses and franchise companies are just beginning to realize the importance of natural search optimization and how long it takes to see results. If anything, undertaking a search engine optimization campaign is all about building a foundation for the future.