“Will search ads just cannibalize traffic I would normally receive from my organic listings?” No. According to a recent study released by Google, 89% of all pay per click traffic is incremental and would not have occurred with only an organic search result.
With Google ads and organic results often appearing on the same search results page, many have wondered the effects a PPC campaign has on organic traffic. Google recently released the results of an extensive study, where their statisticians set out to determine the overall gain or loss in traffic that occurs when running PPC ads.
- Study conducted between Oct 2010 and Mar 2011, with 446 campaigns in 4 countries chosen after passing a series of validation checks to ensure data integrity
- The campaigns covered a wide variety of industry verticals including Retail, Finance, and Food & Beverage
- The report compared total click traffic (organic and paid) when search ad campaigns are active versus paused
- Each study produced an estimate of the Incremental Ad Clicks (IAC) attributed to search advertising, which was expressed as a percentage of the change in paid clicks
- The average IAC weighted by the volume of paid clicks in each study was 89%
- More than 64% of the studies had an IAC value greater than 90%
- The IAC variation between industries may be partially due to seasonality trends
This study proves the positive effects pay per click campaigns have on online marketing efforts, with an 89% incremental gain in clicks resulting from pay per click ads. In addition, the reciprocal of the IAC is the pay per click cannibalization rate, which only comes in at 11%.
Feel free to read Google’s full report, “Incremental Clicks Impact of Search Advertising” and let me know your thoughts on the study.