Internet Retailer posted an article today citing research from WebSideStory that argues conversion rate from Paid and Organic Search is about equal.I hope you aren’t misled by the article. Let me be clear first, I’m not going to discuss the difference between paid and organic search; You are being misled in that a 9% difference in conversion rate is hardly equal.
The study goes on to conclude that the average difference in conversion rate between paid and natural is a mere 9%. This does a disservice to marketers trying to convince their e-commerce peers why conversion improvement is so important. Most online retailers should do everything possible to improve conversion rate a mere 9%. A 9% difference to a $100M annual business is $9M in incremental sales. Marketers who can not increase advertising budgets and have not been successful increasing traffic to their store but can raise conversion rate 9%, deliver 9% better results. Focus on your conversion rates. Test, Optimize, and design your store based on conclusive evidence of improved conversion, not designer’s attitude or opinion of how your store should look and feel.
Both paid and organic search should both be, for your business, key marketing activities. Disregard the conversion difference in this case, manage paid search to the numbers that perform for you and keep in mind, Organic is still (essentially) free. On the back end, dedicate time and resources to your conversion rate and growing your busy becomes second nature.