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5 Basic Insights On Effectiveness Of Paid Search And Organic Search

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Paid search and organic search are seen as vital tools by marketers to attract more customers through the different search engines. They fully understand and realize now that paid and organic search are not substitutes but complementary to each other. For example, when one searches for keywords “Buy shoes online”, he / she may get the results as shown below, wherein the same retailer features in the organic as well as the paid search space.



However, the next big question that arises in the mind is that which kind of search is more useful in attracting more customers and eventually converting them into sales? In order to improve their ROI, businesses intend to know whether they should focus more on paid search or organic search. On one hand, paid search result in more PPC expenditure while organic search results in higher expenditure on internal resources who optimize the code and keywords to bring the website to the top of search engine results.

To overcome this dilemma, data from over 200 e-commerce websites with a collective turnover of $1.5 billion in 2013 was studied and the following analysis surfaced which provide quantitative insights between the effectiveness of paid search and organic search.

1)      Average Conversion Rate – Visitors through the paid search links had an average conversion rate of 2.6% as compared to the average conversion rate of 1.9% through the organic search links.

2)      Average Order Size – In terms of order size value, paid search visitors had a slightly higher average order size of $113.33 as compared to $506 from the visitors of the organic search.

3)      Pages Per Visit – Visitors from the paid search links visited, the pages more often (7.1 pages) than the visitors from the organic search (6.9 pages).

4)      Bounce Rates – The bounce rates were comparable for both the type of searches. It was 1% lower in the paid search than the organic search.

5)     % Increase In New Visits – The percentage increase in the new visits through organic search (66%) exceeded the percentage increase in new visits through paid search (58%). Thus, though organic search brings more traffic to the website in absolute numbers, the conversion rate is better for the paid search.



The above parameters suggest that paid searches are performing better than the organic searches in all the areas except the % increase in new visits. Though organic search brings more traffic to the website in absolute numbers, the conversion rate is better for the paid search. Additionally, people spend more time on the website and order more when they visit it through a paid search link.

The following trends in the advertising mix of paid and organic search were also observed, which reinforce that paid search is gaining more popularity than the organic search in the recent times:-

1)      Paid search visits comprised of 33% of the total search engine visits in 2013 as compared to 26% in 2012.

2)      Revenue achieved from the paid search grew from 40% in 2012 to 44% in 2013.


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  • There are 2 comments

    • 5 years ago

      Smita Pawar   /   Reply

      I think paid search receives faster visibility, but not more clicks than organic search. Organic search is more reliable and it gives better & faster keyword results on the search page than paid search.

    • 5 years ago

      hair loss solution   /   Reply

      Very good information. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!

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