Each Friday, the team at Ark Advance gets together for a Show and Tell session, where we show off our best work to each other and also share insights and learnings into the world of online marketing.

You’d think that after more than two decades in this business I’d rarely learn anything new in these sessions. And you’d be totally wrong. Our field expands and changes so quickly that I walk into each Show and Tell fully expecting to come away with at least one new piece of useful knowledge, and I’m rarely disappointed.

One of the topics recently explored was the challenge of balancing paid advertising around keywords without cannibalising the work you’ve done to rank well through organic search.

Organic search results are those websites that appear on a search engine results page after someone’s typed in a search term. A lot of our work is in Search Engine Optimisation – that is, helping clients appear earlier in those results by finessing their web architecture and content against key search terms.

Paid advertising, on the other hand, is just as it sounds – sponsored ads that generally appear above the organic rankings. While that’s a great position to appear in, it can also be expensive. And when you’re already ranking high in the organic results, that cost could be unnecessary.

Or maybe not. It’s hard to say.

But there is a solution. Although most people know that AdWords reporting tools will tell you how often customers are seeing your ads, fewer people know about the Paid & Organic Report, which shows how often your web pages are showing in Google’s organic search results at the sametime as your paid advertising appears.

With this report set up, you can gauge how your paid advertising and organic search results are working together. And that means you can ensure your online marketing spend is being used efficiently.

Depending on your search terms this can play out a number of different ways. It may mean that when you appear both in organic and in paid the increase in traffic is greater than if you were just there in natural search.  Or – the worse case scenario – your paid advertising brings in no more traffic with it there or not.    

Setting up the report is a little tricky if you’re not tech savvy. You’ll need a free Google Search Console account for your website and link it to your AdWords account. This is one place – among many – where we can help you.

One everything’s set up, you’ll be able to view your organic search results right alongside the stats for your paid advertising (excluding Shopping ads or click-to-download ads).

The report can help you find potential new keywords for your AdWords account by identifying queries where you only appear in organic search right now.

You can also use it to improve paid advertising results and to monitor high-value queries for organic results.

And you can test a range of variables like website improvements, changes to bids, and different keywords. Over time, you should enjoy an increase in traffic for your most important queries at a cost to you that makes sense.

If this sounds a little high falutin’, it probably is. The bottom line is this: Google’s Paid & Organic Report will help you get more value out of your online marketing spend (we know clients who’ve discovered that matching high ranking organic search results with top ranking paid advertising can produce a 10 times increase in the number of clicks compared to when paid wasn’t there).  

The fussy stuff – setting it up and explaining how to use it – is our territory. Call us and we’ll get the ball rolling for you. The few dollars you spend now will repay you many times over down the track.