PPC and SEO Work Well Together

When dealing with the complicated world of internet marketing, there are numerous headaches to getting a web site noticed. Whether it is the competition or the clutter, really driving prospective customers to a site can be a hassle. Some seem to think internet ads are the best way to go, while others would rather crawl their way though the ranks of search engines to come out on top. While many internet companies search intently for the solution, the true answer is easier than it may appear. The answer is BOTH: Paid search ads and natural search optimization together work more effectively and efficiently than either by themselves.

*12.6% of conversions credited to natural search were preceded by ad clicks

*Searchers use nearly as many branded searches as non-branded searches

*Branded ads increase new visitor traffic by 12%

Some internet businesses stick to one or the other, but the truth is that they are an effective tag team for many reasons. Most companies aren’t the number one result in an online search results page immediately when they begin their search engine optimization, so while your web site climbs in search rankings internet ads keep you in the customers immediate search results.While your natural rank may not show immediately, your ad will. This supplementation will lead to valuable traffic as your ad can drive interest to your web site. Many companies believe they are done with advertising once their site has a sufficient rank. Sadly, this is not the case. Many times customers’ searches are too long, too specific, or just to general. Paid ads can help insure that your relevant page is still displayed even in these instances. Another benefit with the saturation and supplementation of both elements is it can aid in brand association, so that customers think of your product or service in a particular category due to its dominate presence in a search.

A successful marketing campaign must include both advertisements and a high ranking natural search result. In the highly competitive internet market no company should simply be satisfied with a decent ranking or clever advertisement. Using both strategies ensures that you are receiving the maximum return on your investment. – J

Case Study: Better Together – YSM Staff

Yahoo! helps LendingTree test the benefits of combining paid and organic search

Who: LendingTree, LLC, an online lending exchange that connects consumers with multiple lenders who compete for their business.

Objective: Yahoo! and LendingTree wanted to quantify how using sponsored search ads and paid inclusion listings together increases traffic.

Products Used: Sponsored Search and Search Submit Pro

Results: During the study, combining the two products drove a 61% lift in online visitation.

The Challenge

LendingTree assumed that adding Search Submit Pro, which lets businesses create natural search listings, to its Sponsored Search campaigns would drive extra traffic, but it was just that: an assumption. But now they wanted to better quantify the assumed benefit of a combined Sponsored Search and Search Submit Pro campaign. Yahoo! commissioned comScore, a research firm that analyzes consumer Internet behavior, to conduct a study that would find out how much Search Submit Pro helps increase traffic, consumer engagement and conversions.

“We had an assumption of the benefits of using Search Submit Pro and Sponsored Search on the same page but we didn’t have a way to value the impact,” says Robert Pettee, Director of Search Marketing at the Online Lending Exchange.


In the span of three months, Search Submit Pro listings were turned on or off every Thursday, while Sponsored Search ads were always active on the first page of results during the campaign period. Test panelists were placed in two groups: one group was exposed to LendingTree Sponsored Search ads only; the other group was exposed to a combination of LendingTree Sponsored Search and Search Submit Pro listings.


They found that the two products were greater than the sum of their parts—in other words, combining Sponsored Search and Search Submit Pro on the same page can potentially build more traffic than using each product separately.

  • Yahoo! Search Submit Pro advertising drove a 61% net lift in online visitation among exposed searches.
  • Exposure to Search Submit Pro listings drove a 135% lift in natural listings clicks and a 21% net lift in sponsored ad clicks.

Branching Out

LendingTree is now looking at landing page options that can take greater advantage of the increased traffic garnered by Search Submit Pro participation.

“We now have a better understanding of the whole picture and are now less apt to change our paid search budget,” says Pettee.

— Roger Park, Manager, Marketing Communications