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Why do paid visitors convert better?

   
9:48 am on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



My paid visitors outperform my non-paid visitors by a factor of just over 3-1. By paid I mean having clicked on an ad in my adwords campaign and by non-paid I mean a visitor coming from search results.

Both are coming from Google search pages only (I don't advertise on the network) but I can't figure out why there is such a disparity.
1:17 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



my only insight into this is my own personal experience as a user.

if i'm looking around/researching i'll often avoid the ads on the search results, if i'm actually looking to buy i'll generally click them
2:02 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't think every searcher is like topr8 but I'm sure there is a certain percentage like him.

To me, the reason is simple. Most organic links are not an ad and often, they don't give a reason for people to click them. The idea is to use a good page title and description tag, but it seems the description is not always used. In PPC, you have almost total control and although more limited in space, you can make some pretty compelling ads that people click on which can help in pre-selling your product. Not to mention that keywords can be more laser targeted. Check your logs, you may find people finding your site naturally on all sorts of keywords you never would think of. That's why paid often converts better.

I never ran figures but 3:1 seems a very high ratio. Keep in mind too that your ads or your organics position will influence the conversion rate. Usually, nearer the top of the page, the higher the conversions for both. But even if conversion rates are higher in lower positions (the difference is rarely huge), you want to be at the top because the difference in click rate will make up for it and generate more profits and better ROI.
2:42 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Also, depending on how you're structuring your campaign, if you're using match type, you'll potentially get a much better hookup with user intent with phrase or exact match in AdWords, than an idle user cruising the SERPs who may or may not have been actually looking for you.

And we all know how Google's definition of "broad match" works - even more so for organics.
3:13 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My paid visitors outperform my non-paid visitors by a factor of just over 3-1. By paid I mean having clicked on an ad in my adwords campaign and by non-paid I mean a visitor coming from search results.

Both are coming from Google search pages only (I don't advertise on the network) but I can't figure out why there is such a disparity.


Are you doing a comparison on the same set of keywords?

I have similar experiences to Topr8 where I click on organic during the research phase and if I don't have a specific retailer in mind, will later click on paid ads to make my purchase.
3:32 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)



after_hours poses a great question. First thing you want to look at is if you're actually comparing performance by same set of keywords. You'll have to dig down into your analytics program and see what keywords are generating organic traffic.

If these are the same as what you're bidding on for paid search, then this is cause for optimization. Something as simple as changing up your page title and meta description could help improve your conversion rate significantly. If you are not receiving traffic from same/similar keywords as paid search, maybe you're just listed for low converting keywords in natural search?

In my experience I generally see a similar conversion rate from natural/paid when compared on keyword level. The advantage with paid search is you can easily customize and enhance your message.
9:37 am on May 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Are you comparing the entire site traffic or just the landing pages? From what I see, organic SERPS can bring a lot of traffic to category pages, may come from users looking for "free widgets",etc. - things that do not convert as much as a paid visitor who is taken directly to the item listing page.
6:14 pm on May 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



yep, which keywords is the first question - your organic info seekers will be reading your how to articles (for example), so your organic CR will suffer. but, like netmeg, i'd say even for the same set, you may be converting higher on paid due to match type. if you've got talented ppc help, they should be asking you what your goals are, and figuring out how hard to push beyond the tightest match types and highest CR keywords, so that in the end, your volume and ROAS goals will be the driver of whether your same set paid CR is above, below or on par with your organic traffic.