Joe Meloni

A report from Wordstream suggests that earning top spots in organic results within Google search is growing increasingly competitive since the launch of Panda. Moreover, many of the companies Wordstream works with have seen a growing amount of clicks from paid search ads in recent months.

WordStream found more than 64 percent of its clients‘ traffic resulted from paid search, rather than organic results. The study suggests that user behavior is shifting to focus on search ads. But before marketers give up on SEO, they might consider recent data from AYTM Market research, indicating that more than half of consumers never click on paid ads.

Companies using content marketing campaigns as part of SEO can make their campaigns more effective by creating strong, relevant articles. Despite Wordstream’s findings, Brafton has highlighted comments from Google’s Avinash Kaushik that point to the value of organic website content in directing prospects to a conversion funnel and guiding them through it – even if searches on brand terms and other queries that are generally deemed good for PPC produce the ultimate conversions. A frequent mistake marketers make with web marketing, Kaushik said, is assigning too much credit to the final channel a prospect interacted with prior to converting. Meanwhile, the cross-channel nature of the web dictates that prospects see content from several parts of a company’s overall web presence.

The Wordstream report demonstrates that a PPC campaign is a fantastic way to attract site visitors, but it’s unlikely to succeed without relevant landing page content. Plus, good content can help brand’s overcome what Wordstream identifies as the „SEO battle“ of executing adequate strategies. Ninety-two percent of marketers cite content creation as effective or highly effective for SEO, and developing quality content that focuses on informing prospects and other website visitors will drive search ranking even as Google continues to iterate.

In the end, marketers shouldn’t give up on SEO, but they should also remember that PPC is a critical component to a web marketing strategy. Both channels can be fueled by quality, branded content. Brafton recently highlighted the paid search strategy of Landmark Bank, which adopted principles from content-driven SEO to drive paid clicks. The company used keyword-rich landing pages to improve the relevance of its site and saw 360 percent more paid traffic, as well as 30 percent organic referrals from Google.