Aug 22, 2019

Organic search vs. paid search: how to increase traffic & conversions of both [a reporting template included]

8-MINUTE READ | By Joona Tuunanen & Anna Shutko

Performance Marketing AnalyticsSEO Analytics

[ Updated May 22, 2023 ]

Many marketers are considering what they should invest in more: organic search or paid search. And it’s understandable, since in order to stay ahead of the competition and reach your target audience, you have to deliver the best content, stay on top of your SEO game, and constantly improve your PPC marketing campaigns all while having a limited budget.

We understand. And instead of having to choose between paid and organic we would like to suggest you embrace the genius of the “and” by combining your organic and paid data together to identify opportunities in both areas.

In order to achieve this, you should create reports that bring all the information you need from each data source and combine it in a meaningful way. And in addition, you need to build the reports fast, while having the fresh data easily available.

Sounds quite challenging, huh?

But don’t worry – Supermetrics and OIKIO Digital Performance Agency come to the rescue! Joona from OIKIO has kindly shared a free plug-and-play Google Sheets-based reporting template together with the relevant use cases their team has created. After reading the article and trying out this Supermetrics-powered template you should be well-equipped with the ideas on how you can improve both paid and organic performance.

By default, this template uses data from Google Search Console and Google Ads.

A few considerations from the creators before you can jump into using this template. Firstly, you have to keep in mind that Google Search Console data should be taken more as directional rather than the absolute truth: it is quite volatile by nature, especially outside of the first page of search results.

In case you are not using Google Ads as a data source for the paid search data in the second template, it can be replaced with other platforms (Verizon Media native ads or Bing ads, for example).

Ok, let’s dive in!

A rolling 30-day gap analysis between Google Ads and SEO visibility reporting template

There is no doubt that SEO and paid advertising work better in tandem – a Google study has revealed that the CTR of ads with associated organic search results are higher. In addition, one has to keep in mind that the CTR of different ad types is affected by organic traffic differently.

And I have mentioned only the general trends. Add to this the fact that the relationship of the paid ads CTR and the organic traffic is different, depending on your industry, the size of the company and the nature of the campaign. So in order to stay on top of the game you have to closely monitor both your paid ads and organic performance – and this is where the “30-day gap analysis” template comes in handy.

This template will provide you with some immediately actionable data that can either save you money or give you the search phrases that you should prioritise in your SEO work or in your Google Ads paid search campaigns.

The concept is simple: take the top matched search phrases report from Google Ads and match it up with the SEO search phrases provided by Google Search Console along with relevant data.

Comparing this data helps you answer the following questions very quickly:

  • What are the best-converting search phrases through Google Ads, for which we don’t currently get enough clicks from organic search?
  • Do we get significant organic traffic for some phrases that we don’t target at all with our PPC?
  • What’s the ratio of clicks between PPC/SEO for any given search phrase?

The first question in the above list is one of OIKIO’s favorites. If you know that the term converts through PPC, but you’re not ranking for it in organic search, wouldn’t it make a lot of sense to prioritise your SEO efforts around that term because you have data to prove that it converts?

It’s trivial to build a business case around the work if you have the data to support your recommendations.

If you combine the Google Ads conversion data with expected organic CTR for different positions, which you can now get easily straight from Supermetrics, you can build projections what would be the yearly impact if you could move up in organic search results. That allows you to talk about money and not only about rankings or clicks.

The template includes phrases with branded terms straight out of the box, but it is more convenient to filter those out while setting up the Supermetrics connector. Eliminating them keeps the report cleaner as you’ll most likely rank for your brand terms in any case.

If you would like to change a 30-day rolling gap to, say, a 90-day gap all you need to do is to head over to Supermetrics Queries tab and adjust the number of days in the “Date range type” column accordingly. Refresh the queries after that.

Pro tip: You can build a template with other paid search data source platforms instead of Google Ads (for example, if you are using Bing Ads, you can alter the template to connect it as a data source.)

How to get the template

The template mentioned in the blog post can be found from Supermetrics Google Sheets – based template gallery. In order to use the template file follow these simple steps:

  1. Get the Supermetrics add-on for Google Sheets if you don’t have it already
  2. Open the Supermetrics add-on in Google Sheets
  3. Open the template gallery
  4. You can find the OIKIO template under the “SEO” template category
  5. Click “Add template” button on the template you would like to use and proceed to the account selection according to the instructions
  6. Follow the further instructions from the “Instructions” tab to finalize the template’s setup

Closing thoughts

Supermetrics For Google Sheets is amazing not only at automating reporting and eliminating routine work, but also at bringing in data from multiple sources effortlessly. When you combine the awesomeness of Supermetrics connectors with the flexibility of Google Sheets, you basically have unlimited options at your fingertips.

This template is just the starting point – you can easily customize it to create the report you need or build your own report from scratch by pulling in any custom data you want.

You can connect with Joona from OIKIO on Twitter here.

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