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Video: An Issue in the Paid and Organic Report

In March, RKG’s Matt Mierzejewski detailed some potential uses of Google’s Paid and Organic Report and urged advertisers to start collecting data by linking their Google AdWords and Webmaster Tools accounts. While we still believe there’s much potential for this report, we’ve uncovered one main issue that limits its usefulness: organic data is not filtered to match the same location targeting as paid data.

Learn more about the issue in this video from RKG Paid Search Director Paul Koch.


 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Paul Koch:  Hi, welcome to another RKG video. My name is Paul Koch, Director of Paid Search at RKG. Today I wanted to talk a little about the Paid and Organic Report that’s available within Google AdWords.

Back in March, Matt Mierzejewski talked about this report. He mentioned that it started to become available in August of 2013 and his main recommendation was to pull in Google Web Master Tools data into AdWords and link those two accounts. Once you link those two accounts, you can really start to play with the data and see what is available.

There’s one major limitation that I wanted to dig into today, and it is really understanding the incrementality of paid search. Ideally, we would like to understand what the comparative click-through rate is when organic is only showing, and compare that to when both organic and paid show. The report shows organic traffic and that click-through rate, it also shows when just ads show, and it also shows the comparative click-through rate of when both organic and paid show. Now, intuitively we would want to compare the total click-through rate of organic and paid compared to the organic only, but there’s a problem. The organic traffic is not filtered by just the areas where you’re targeting your paid search ads.

Andy Taylor has a great blog post that digs into the complexities of this and what it means that we need to do in terms of understanding that incrementality. The gist of that blog post is that unfortunately we can’t look at our standard run-of-the-mill ad service. We can’t look at the data that we’re just running all the time and be able to understand the incrementality of paid search. We have to perform a holdout test. And that holdout test is really the most valuable when we have nearly 100% impression share on our ad traffic. The ability to analyze the data when we have less than 100% impression share is much more difficult.

In summary, we think that the Paid and Organic Report is extremely powerful. We think it provides a lot of insights into paid and organic traffic, but ultimately, we think to really realize the full potential of this report, Google should provide some filtering to the organic traffic to where it really matches your ad targeting.

Thank you so much for joining us and please be on the lookout for more in our RKG video series. Thank you.

  • Paul Koch
    Paul Koch is a Director, Paid Search at RKG.
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