Develop free, lightweight attribution insights for your paid & organic channels
Looking to reallocate or reduce your paid search spend and not sure where to start? Columnist Chris Liversidge shows how you can identify opportunities by comparing your paid and organic search performance data by keyword and device.
When running paid search alongside your organic SEO strategy, it’s essential to ensure you have an integrated strategy and a consistent message in the search engine results pages (SERPs). To manage this, data analysis at the keyphrase level — for search terms where both channels are active — can improve traffic and reduce inefficient paid spend.
Usually, to perform this type of analysis, you’d need to spend six-figure sums for powerful attribution insight tools from Google or Adobe or the like. Personally, I prefer to roll my own for an admittedly less deep, quick insight tool focused just on channels visible on Google’s SERPs.
To map paid search term data to organic, start by pulling comprehensive daily data on all keyphrases driving traffic to your site from Google’s Search Console API. I’ve written about this process before on Search Engine Land, so I won’t go over old ground.
One major change to the described approach, however, is grabbing the data segmented by device. Device segmentation to mobile, tablet and desktop can be matched to AdWords data and allows like-for-like comparison of SERP click-through rate performance, which lies at the heart of our analysis.
Once you have started collecting (and storing) this data daily, mapping data to Google’s AdWords API for matched time periods and devices will enable you to discover opportunities to increase the “halo effect,” wherein a website receives increased click-throughs for both channels when paid ads are visible alongside highly ranked organic results.
Mapping this data together also helps identify opportunities to reduce paid spend cannibalizing organic results where very strong organic click-through rates are occurring.
By extending the data to pull in attribution models used in Google Analytics, you can start making significant improvements to the overall efficiency of your entire search marketing budget by repurposing inefficient spend elsewhere across multiple channels.
In effect, you have a form of lightweight Google Attribution 360 (fka Adometry) insight you can apply to your paid search channel at a fraction of the cost (in fact, for free).