SEO case studies: If you sell aftermarket car parts online and are new to PPC (paid search), or are just focused on SEO, you may wonder what will happen to your site’s existing organic traffic when you start paid search marketing. It’s a frequent question we get often. Here are the results of two auto parts SEO case studies showing actual results before and after we started paid search campaigns.
Plus, at the bottom of this article is some extra information on an SEO/PPC analysis done by Google.
In both case studies total site traffic and sales grew when PPC was added to SEO efforts…good search engine optimization tips to know!
Automotive SEO vs. PPC Case Study #1: Building on High Organic Traffic
For this first automotive aftermarket client Hedges & Company launched a paid search campaign at the end of Week 3 in this graph (the actual statistics and client name are confidential). Week 4 is the first week where any significant results start showing up.
This particular client had decent organic visits to begin with and fairly good online organic rankings in Google and Bing.
Intuitively, you’d expect some organic traffic to drop off when a paid campaign starts and many times you will. But in this case organic visits actually increased!
This first graph shows total organic visits (now called “sessions” in Google Analytics) and total paid visits. This client started out only using Google AdWords and the Google Display Network. By Week 11 the total paid visits actually climbed ahead of organic visits. In fact, for this client organic visits actually increased in Weeks 12, 13 and 14.
In the second graph we compare automotive SEO revenue to paid revenue. There’s a lot of variability in both but you can see by Week 6 (four weeks after the start of paid search), PPC sales exceeded organic sales. Organic sales remained strong, too, and in the last two weeks of the chart organic sales were very strong, not affected by paid search at all.
In this case the client has increased total sales revenue without any drop off in organic revenue. This client’s campaigns are currently migrating over to Yahoo/Bing Advertising Network and we expect a continued rise in total visits and sales.
Auto Parts PPC vs. SEO Case Study #2: Limited Paid Search Budget
This second Hedges & Company automotive client launched a paid search campaign using a limited paid search budget (again, the actual statistics and automotive client name are confidential).
The first graph shows total visits from organic/SEO traffic and paid/PPC traffic. In Week 10 of the graph we did a soft launch of paid search using a limited budget and started this automotive parts marketing campaign only in Google AdWords and the Google Display Network.
Week 11 of the graph was the first full week for paid marketing campaigns.
In this example, automotive organic visits dropped slightly but the net result is an increase in total visits from organic and paid search.
In the second graph showing weekly sales, Week 11 is the first week for significant sales coming from automotive parts paid search campaigns.
The net result of paid search combined with organic search is an overall sales increase and continued sales growth for this client.
More automotive SEO supporting evidence: Google Search Ads Pause Study
Our two case studies are supported by a Google Search Ads Pause Study. This study looked at the effects of pausing paid search ads and before/after search traffic. On PCs, the study showed when an advertiser that held the top position organically paused ads, half the organic clicks were incremental to paid clicks. When advertisers who had organic search results in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th spot, about 80% of PPC clicks were incremental to organic clicks. When advertisers paused ads but had their organic results appearing in positions of 5 or below, nearly all ad clicks were incremental.
The takeaway is that even if you had the #1 position organically, half of the clicks were incremental to organic traffic.
Forget SEO vs. PPC: Look at the advantages of paid search combined with automotive SEO marketing
Online marketing should not be a “PPC vs. organic SEO” debate.
One thing to keep in mind with automotive SEO marketing is that you don’t have complete control of which of your pages shows up for an organic search term. Paid search lets you deep link directly to product pages or landing pages which tends to increase conversions. It sends visitors to specific pages which increases your conversion rate and online sales, and reduces your bounce rate.
Automotive paid search campaigns when combined with automotive SEO marketing can bring a cost-effective, net increase in visits and sales.
Call us if you’re looking for an automotive SEO company
Organic traffic is great, it gives you more real estate on the search engine results page (SERP). You shouldn’t expect this traffic to be “free” because there’s always some effort required to have good organic rankings in Google or in Bing, either on your own or from an automotive SEO company like Hedges & Company. If you need help being found online please give us a call.
Our PPC vs. SEO analysis on Internet Retailer’s website
Update: we appreciate InternetRetailer.com running a summary of these automotive SEO vs. PPC case studies at http://www.internetretailer.com/2014/05/08/how-does-paid-search-impact-results-organic-listings.