Impact of paid promotions on organic traffic

Do paid promotions have an impact on the organic traffic?

If you are a digital marketer, campaign manager or a web analyst you must have often seen a hike in the organic traffic when paid promotions are being carried out. So why is there an increase? Does paid search affect organic search?

This article will help companies have a better understanding of this relationship and hence finalize better online marketing strategies. In this article, we will take you through the possible reasons and impacts of such a hike in organic traffic along with some graphs and correlations.

Impact of paid promotions on organic traffic

Brand Awareness
Whether it is through a search ads campaign or a display campaign, paid promotions play a crucial role in improving the visibility of the brand. Usually, a paid promotion campaign is perceived to be a direct response tool. But according to a recent study conducted by Google, it was observed that it has a major impact on generating brand awareness. When users start identifying your brand name, the effect of the brand awareness shows up in terms of increased organic traffic.

The Loop Effect
It is observed that the paid and organic traffic have a synergistic effect on each other. In simple terms, when we promote our brand through paid campaigns users come to know about the brand and start searching for your brand through branded keywords. When these branded keywords are used for paid promotions, the overall advertising cost comes down significantly. These branded keywords can be used to boost the paid as well as the organic traffic. A cyclical effect can be observed in boosting of traffic.

Multi-Channel Conversions

Most of the brands are now looking beyond the Last Click Attributions and have started identifying the importance of interaction between various online platforms. Multi-touch models prove advantageous in terms of covering the entire spectrum of point of contacts in users’ journey. You will be able to understand the relationship better between paid and organic traffic, by looking at the funnel through which the user ended up on your website. You can find this funnel in the Google Analytics interface under the conversions tab. Here is how you can see the Multi-Channel Funnel in your Google Analytics account:

Conversions   >   Multi-channel Funnels   >   Top Conversions Path

The above table shows us a clear picture of the effect that paid and organic traffic have on each other as well as the interactions between different online platforms and mediums.

The first row of the table shows us that awareness about the brand was generated through paid promotions and the user ended up on the website organically. It simply means that the paid promotions were assisting those 160 conversions.

Similarly, many times a user gets converted organically but other mediums play a major role in assisting those conversions.

Checking the correlation with R programming

Analyzing with correlation matrix

If you have just started exploring R to analyze your Google Analytics data, click here to go through the steps for importing GA data to R.

NOTE: Set split_daywise = TRUE to avoid the sampling of the data.

 data<- GetReportData(query,token,split_daywise = TRUE)

In this article, we will be importing the overall conversions along with different channel groupings and the type of device from which they were converted.

The following snippet of code will show you the correlation between different mediums for your brand

Correlation Matrix

Here we can see that the correlation factor between paid and organic search is 0.58 (Specific to the brand in case) which shows us that these two have an imminent effect on each other.

The above matrix gives us a better visibility about the correlation between different mediums. Hence, we can deploy our marketing budgets accordingly.

Analysis through data visualizations

Another way and most probably a simpler way to see the effect of paid promotions on the organic traffic is through data visualizations. We can plot the organic user traffic before and after starting a paid campaign, trying to keep the other factors constant. In this article, we will be plotting a graph showing the increase in the organic traffic due to paid promotions with the ggplot2 library of R programming.

So let’s get started!

Here we need to import the user traffic data with respect to the paid and organic medium. We will be filtering this data and just be looking at traffic from branded keywords.

After importing the data, we’ll be plotting a grouped bar chart to see the relationship between the paid and organic traffic.

Code snippet:



ggplot(blog_organicvspaid_data_2,aes(fill=medium,x=yearMonth,y=hits)) + geom_bar(stat = "identity",position = "dodge") +theme(axis.text.x = element_text(angle = 90, hjust = 1))

From the graph, it is visible that initially the organic traffic was low and paid promotions were being used to generate awareness about the brand. After running a paid campaign, we were successful in increasing the online presence of the brand and hence the users started identifying the brand, there was a significant increase in the organic traffic.

We hope that we were able to show a clear picture of the relationship between the paid and organic traffic. If you have come across other methods which show such relationships between different online mediums, we would love to see them in the comment section below.

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