Over 90% of all searches take place on Google, which almost undoubtedly means a similar percentage of your site traffic comes from the big G as well. However, within the broader frame of your Google searches, your site traffic can be further broken down into two separate sources. Dependent on your search engine optimization and search engine marketing efforts, your users will find your site via either organic or paid search, respectively.
Organic Search Vs. Paid Search
When a user searches for your product or service on Google, the search engine results page (SERP) shows a number of site links, ranked by quality and relevance to the search. These organic search results provide a number of relevant selections from which the user can choose the result they feel may most meet their needs. One reason users rely on Google to this extent is precisely due to these rankings; choosing one of the top five search results is a relative guarantee the landing page will be high-quality, relevant, and secure.
Paid search, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like – page owners pay to place ads at the top of Google’s SERP. These ads very closely resemble actual SERP results – particularly featured search blocks – and users tend to see them first. Since you wouldn’t bother paying for an ad if it didn’t target users likely to click through to your page, search engine marketing – or the practice of developing paid search ads to increase visibility – relies heavily on some of the very same metrics as SEO.
What Are the Most Important Pre-Click Search Metrics?
As mentioned, similar metrics can be used to analyze both paid and organic searches, both before and after the user clicks on your page. These metrics are conveniently located in what Google calls a Paid & Organic Report within Google Analytics. First, however, you’ll need to link your Google Ads and Search Console account; this action will allow you to view your paid and organic search metrics side by side.
Pre-click, the most crucial search metrics to watch across these two search types, include:
- Impressions – Viewable for organic and paid search, impressions are the number of times your ad or a URL associated with your page appeared in a group of search results that were viewed by a user.
- Average position – Viewable only for organic search, average position refers to the average ranking your page received on a Google SERP after a search.
- Top and absolute top impressions – Viewable only for paid search, these metrics refer to the location of your ads on the SERP.
- Clicks – Viewable for both organic and paid search, clicks refer to the number of times a user clicked on your URL or ad.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR) – Viewable for both organic and paid search, CTR refers to the percentage of users who viewed your result or ad and eventually clicked through to your page.
Viewed side by side, you can perform an analysis of how many times you appear on both channels for a particular keyword or query. In this way, you can view instances in which you are strong organically and avoid paying for ads targeting those keywords. Similarly, you can highlight areas of need and focus PPC campaigns there.
Post-Click Search Metrics
Of course, the click is not the end of the story. You also need to determine what users do after they view your page. Post-click search activities are also visible via Google Analytics, and metrics are similar across both paid and organic search. The most important metrics to view for post-click activities include:
- Conversions – You decide which conversions mean the most to your business. For you, a conversion may be a purchase, a lead captured, or even a specific page visited or video viewing.
- Conversion rate – This metric delineates the percentage of times an interaction you define, such as an ad click or impression, results in a conversion.
- Post click conversions – These conversions take place after the user clicks on your ad or URL.
- Post view conversions – These conversions take place after the user views your ad on the SERP.
Use Google Analytics to view these organic and paid search metrics and determine which of your targeted keywords most often lead to users actually converting to become clients. Similarly, you can determine areas of need and focus SEO or SEM efforts to optimize for these areas. With the use of post view conversions, you can learn a great deal about how effective your ads are even if users choose to navigate to your page in another way.
Ease Your Analytics Efforts.
At Vizion, we know how to utilize tools like Google Data Studio to provide supremely accessible, beautifully displayed data across both sources. This way, your most key metrics are available for more actionable insights, providing you with the best course of action to move forward with your SEO and SEM efforts. Ready to get started with Google Analytics and Google Data Studio? Reach out to our team at your earliest convenience.