PUBLISHED: Jan 12, 2016 4 min read

Why Pay For Clicks When You Rank High Organically

Many advertisers aren’t convinced that they should be running paid ads. They often ask, what’s the point of paying for clicks when I have organic links on the first page for free? This is a fair question. That’s why we’ve listed the many reasons to use pay per click advertising when you rank high organically.

Also, remember that 80% of website traffic is directed to your site through search engines. That means the brand strategy you have on the SERP is critical to your site’s success. So before ruling out paid ads, let’s find out what you’ll be missing out on.

Immediate Targeting Capability

Besides the fact that paid ads always appear above organic when at the top of the page, they also don’t take months to get there. Paid ads can appear immediately. Plus, unlike organic, they can reach specific users through various targeting methods, like region or time of day.

50% Of Ad Clicks Do Not Get Captured By Organic

An organic listing cannot make up for all the clicks a paid ad would have generated if it’s removed. Organic falters when it comes to replacing this traffic. The common ruling is that 50% of the ad clicks you could have recieved are not replaced by the organic link. Or more dramatically, the Search Ads Pause study that Google conducted found that for organic rankings above 5, 96% of ad clicks are actually incremental.

A/B Testing With Paid Ads

The key to a link’s success is A/B Testing. Paid ads enable you to do this. You won’t know what copy works until you try it. The cost of losing out on these valuable insights is enormous. That’s the difference between a user clicking on your ad over a competitor’s.

Paid Ads Generate Higher Conversion Rates

Various studies show that paid traffic drives higher conversion rates than organic links. In fact, they say it’s 35% higher (particularly for e-commerce). That’s a huge difference.

PPC Deters Competition

The bottom line is you need to be at the top of the SERP because if you’re not, your competition will be. Paid ads get you to the very top and helps enlarge your real estate space. Needless to say this also increases your chances of stealing users from the competition.

ppc and organc links


But it’s not just that paid ads are awesome all by themselves. There’s a symbiotic relationship with the presence of both paid ads and organic listings on the same page.

Top Organic Listings Drive Higher Paid Ad Average Positions

When an organic listing shows at the top of the page, the Average Position for the paid ad is actually higher than if the organic listing was lower or not present.

The Presence Of Both Paid & Organic Links Builds Credibility

When a user sees multiple links for your brand, it makes your company seem more established and omnipresent. It builds your credibility and trust with the user.

Reach Different Stages Of The User Sales Funnel

So the user sees your brand everywhere on the page now. But what also happens with the presence of both link types is that you can now better reach a user at various points in their sales funnel simultaneously. In other words, you’re enticing a larger audience. An organic link speaks to the user at his/her initial stages while a paid ad reaches the user at the more transactional stage.

PPC & SEO Bring Increased Profits

According to a PPC and SEO study conducted by NYU, “the positive association between paid and organic listings increase advertisers’ profits by at least 6.15% when compared to profits in the absence of either of them”. That’s reason enough right there.

Basically, running paid ads even when your organic links are in the top positions is vital for a strong, robust digital strategy. It’s the smart thing to do. Not only do both link types work beneficially while deterring competition, they also increase your traffic (in a shorter amount of time) and conversion rates. Without the paid ad there, organic links are going to struggle to make up for the opportunity cost of the additional ad clicks that they would have received.