Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to social media links Skip to footer navigation
Sign In

Marketing Mixology: Organic and Paid Search

Lucas Stewart

The marketing mix is ever-expanding. But as data sources proliferate, marketing teams can tend to become siloed. Our marketing mixology series showcases specific ways to break down siloes and unite marketing teams around their data, for a more cohesive marketing organization that’s better equipped to drive growth for the business.



SEO and SEM are often considered separately. Even at the data level, various analytics programs can’t even agree on what to call the latter: CPC, Paid Search, Search Advertising… the list goes on.

But when it comes to increasing brand awareness and drawing traffic to your sites, these practices are more closely related than reports tend to show. Both SEO and SEM revolve around a simple process: someone searching for something.

Combining your organic and paid search data can reveal important insights about how to structure your paid advertising budget, and where to increase content generation and optimization efforts to drive more organic traffic. For example, are you paying for a particular keyword, but already rank #1 for it organically in Google? These types of questions let you step above where the data came from, and ask broader questions about searcher intent.

In this example dashboard, you can see a variety of ways to compare organic and paid search data:

Compare Clicks

Organic and paid search rely on the same reigning metrics of success: impressions and clicks, and the ratio their division makes (CTR). Comparing clicks and CTR is the first step to thinking about organic and paid search as connected. This especially plays a role in your “overexposed” keywords (see below).

Though you may dominate a results page with an advertisement and several organic results, the searcher will likely only click once, thus driving down your CTR for one of your programs.

Filter by Non-Branded

While it’s easy to rank organically for branded search results, it’s less obvious that bidding on branded keywords can be essential as well– especially in highly competitive markets.

Dips in branded search result could indicate a competitive problem. A dip in both organic and paid branded search could be more serious– like site penalization issues from Google.

Highlight Costly, Overexposed Keywords

Just how much do you need to dominate the results for a particular keyword? For example, if you’re ranking organically for the top 5 search results, chances are you don’t need to be investing as heavily for the keyword in paid. Make sure to take into account any tendency in your audience to click on a paid or organic result, as this can vary across industry and by keyword group.

Compare Traffic

In most cases, organic traffic outpacing paid as a percentage of overall traffic is a great sign. Monitor this ratio over time for a wide-angle view of your market penetration.

Further down the funnel, there are myriad ways to compare the impact of Organic and Paid search in terms of lead generation and revenue. However, too often Paid and Organic search teams are thinking about searcher intent differently, setting different strategies, and potentially misallocating marketing resources due to this silo.

By harmonizing your marketing data across Organic and Paid, you can mitigate all of these issues.

Want to see how to do this in Datorama? Request a demo.


Marketing Intelligence Report

Marketing Intelligence Report

Explore the first edition the Marketing Intelligence Report for an inside look into how the new growth imperative is affecting marketers across every industry.

Download Now