The news that has been much talked about lately in the SEO industry is the study conducted by Wordstream, which uses convincing statistics, shows the bias of Google towards paid search results at the expense of organic results.
Presented as an infographic, the study compares the performance of the two SEO formats under different fronts, and it is easy to see that the results are clearly in favor of paid ads, for example:
When searching under keywords with high commercial value, paid results get 64.6% of clicks, compared to 35.4% for organic results.
In terms of available floor space, AdWords results occupy 85.2% of the space of a search results page, compared to 14.8% for natural results.
The first three results on one page, often AdWords ads in most competitive industries, get a total of 41% of clicks, compared to just 8.9% for the first natural result.
For the SEO specialist warns there is nothing new because we already know that Google aims to commercialize the search results as much as possible. Achieving these goals, therefore, requires the favoritism of the AdWords platform, for example, by adding a host of advanced advertising options such as retargeting, click-to-call, and the famous site links.
Even if we sometimes forget it, Google is a commercial entity, which must meet the expectations of its investors. With 97% of Google’s revenue from research, it should not be surprising that Google must continually aim to monetize its achievements.
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— I Think An Idea (@ithinkanidea) September 24, 2019
SEO is becoming more difficult
The Wordstream study also demonstrates how difficult it has become (and risky!) to categorize a site using SEO strategies.
Indeed, the latest updates from Google, the Panda, and the Penguin, were released in the wild with the goal of devouring sites abusing tactics of inbound links manipulated, or using low-quality content. These updates continue to wreak havoc, while Google launched very recently version 3.9 of Panda.
Add the element of negative SEO, a danger that hangs over the industry, without forgetting the organic results often including several links of the same domains, and the difficulty bar is raised, thus gradually eliminating the instability of the research results that Google is trying to divest itself.
In light of this study, the question that we are entitled to ask is: should we stop our SEO efforts to focus solely on AdWords?
The answer is rather between the two.
Promote synergy between the PPC and SEO
We usually advise the clients to use both methods, SEO and PPC, both at the beginning of a new project and during SEO efforts.
Pre-campaign – launching a new site or before starting your campaign
Following the launch of a new site or before you start your online marketing campaigns, an AdWords campaign can bring you several tangible benefits:
Test your conversion rate: Before opening the traffic valves, it is better to know if your site is able to convert. By routing qualified visitors through purchased keywords, you will quickly know if your site is the machine to convert that you believe or if changes are needed.
Test your landing pages: What is your visitors’ perception of your product/service pages? AdWords allows you to direct traffic to a specific page on your site, so you can immediately test your visitor’s reaction on the critical pages of your funnel.
Identify Successful Keywords: Identifying AdWords high-performing conversions keywords will guide your choice of keywords to target within your SEO strategy. If a paid search term converts, chances are very good that it will convert organically.
During your campaign
Generally, we do not stop my AdWords campaigns, even though SEO is gradually growing and starting to yield its first fruits. Here are the reasons why:
Perceived credibility: There is a little formal study on the subject; however, the user tests confirm that a website found in the first paying AND organic links demonstrate a high credibility rate. In addition, you will occupy more space on the search results, so a better propensity to get the clicks of the researchers.
Conversion rates may vary: The conversion rate of the same keyword may vary if it comes from a paid or natural result, hence the importance of testing it.
Users click on different channels in their search cycles: It is shown that visitors in the first stage of their online searches are able to click a natural result. Their quest for information then filled, the user becomes buyer is now highly likely to click a paid result to view offers, and perhaps buy. That’s why an online conversion can have multiple collaborative sources, making the multichannel option under Google Analytics so convenient.
Protect your brand: Many competitors will not hesitate to rely on your trademark to attract your prospects and customers. If this is the case, you will have to retaliate by buying your name and its different names and pick up the top of the search results.
Discover new keywords: Finally, Google AdWords allows you to expand your keyword targeting, and discover opportunities that you can then target through your natural content.
Obviously, the decision to keep the PPC active while your SEO pays is, of course, related to your budget. If it is restricted, you can reduce it to only bet on the keywords under which you are invisible organically or those whose ROI is demonstrated. It’s all about measurement and analysis.
The two major benefits of SEO are the fact that you do not pay for your clicks, and also that the organic and editorial results emanate an impression of credibility and authority from an industry. By using Google AdWords to leverage these benefits, even more, you create the perfect synergy between the two methods that will result in increased business goals online.
The risk is obviously huge for Google, which could alienate its customers by removing all transparency and neutrality of search results, two elements that have helped build the Google brand since its beginnings.
The threat also comes from social search engines, like Bottlenose, which aims to index real-time information from 2.0 communities, so searches are less likely to be manipulated at the commercial level.
But leave this problem to Google. In our case, we SEO specialists, is to develop a versatility in different strategies and tools within our reach, and find the method to create a perfect synergy that will help your company or customer to maximize its online visibility.