Monday, January 05, 2009

Why Paid Search and Organic at the same time.

Lots of discussion on whether Paid and Organic at the same time. Here is my response to one of the postings.

I would like to point out a few other reasons that you want to carefully consider before you decide to stop bidding on your highly relevant keywords/brand names.

1. Competition. It is difficult to ensure other companies will not bid on your brand name. It requires legal action with the search engines, a rigorous set of affiliate guidelines and daily policing as the engines can not be expected to do that for you. As most of us know - a competitor can bid on the keyword as long as they don't use it in the ad text. This is a well used tactic by some of my client's competitors.

2. Paid moves faster than organic. Trying to get the web designers/programmers to update tags and body content (textual not images) to reflect tactics that will improve the words in the search result is a slow moving process for most large companies. But, paid search can be updated instantly to reflect new messaging, like 50% off.

3. Landing pages. You mentioned landing pages as a reason that you may want to continue with paid search regardless of organic results - I totally agree! To me landing pages and websites are different things. Websites give you an opportunity to engage the searcher in a conversation and tell them stories. Landing pages for marketing campaigns are for closing deals (usually). This is not necessarily something all clients agree with but something I feel strongly about.

4. The uncertainty of blended search results. What is the search engines decide to put the shopping cart results ahead of your organic listings. Or they put 4 ads and push your organic results below the fold. Even if you rank #1 in the way we all used to think about it, you may not have a visible result above the fold. I don't believe we will ever be able to control all results as Internet marketers and thus need to cover all bases.

5. Day parting, demographics, localization. I lump these all together because they are switches you can pull to optimize paid search campaigns. You can't do this with organic.

6. Other paid search opportunities. Let's not limit the discussion to pure search results. If you aren't bidding on paid search terms you may not show up in YouTube/video results for your brand names. You may not show up in book results, travel results, shopping results, all of the other aspects of paid search. Even if Google is giving away some of this for free right now - plan on that changing and build it into your budget.

Hope this helps continue the discussion.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 9:52 AM     Permanent Link