Paid and organic search work together like peanut butter and jelly: on their own they are okay, but together they make magic! When it comes to PPC vs. SEO, there is only one strategy winner: integrating both. The key to any optimization strategy lies in the data.
In this post, we will quickly take you through linking your Google Ads and Search Console accounts and accessing the right reports to access the insights of both, to optimize your organic and paid search strategy for peak performance.
In short, following these three short steps will give you additional organic data in your AdWords reports, which you can then use to improve your organic reach as well as your search ad performance.
Let’s jump in!
Step 1: Linking Google Ads and Search Account
By linking your Google Ads and Search consoles, you are able to get a full picture of your paid and organic traffic in one comprehensive report. This will help you get a better overall view of what is working, where your missed opportunities are, and whether your Google Ads and Search are working together to reach your ideal shopper.
To do this, you need to link your Google Ads account to your Search Console. To do that, you will need the following: have admin access to your Google Ads account and Search Console site. Once you are ready, here are the 3 steps to link Google Ads and Search Consoles and a video guide for beginners.
Step 1: Click ‘Tools’ in your AdWords dashboard and select ‘Linked accounts’ under ‘Setup.’
Step 2: Scroll down and click ‘Search Console’ details.
Step 3: Follow the prompts to link consoles as shown in Google’s step-by-step guide below:
Important note: The paid and organic report doesn’t include Google Shopping or click-to-download ad data and only includes the performance stats from text ads.
Step 2: Running the Paid & Organic Report
Why is the ‘organic and paid’ report so important? Because with this report you are able to determine how often and where your pages are shown in organic searches and for which terms, as well as the search terms that are triggering your paid search ads. Once you have linked organic consoles to your Google Ads dashboard, you will be able to see search ad performance stats right along with your organic search results.
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You can view some combination data by clicking on ‘Reports’ at the top right of your AdWords dashboard (new) and then add a new report. You can find combination reports by scrolling to the bottom of your options on the left-hand side.
Alternatively, if you want to click the ‘return to previous AdWords,’ you can download a comprehensive report more easily. From the old interface, select ‘Paid & organic’ dimensions from the drop-down menu, edit the data columns you want and then export your report.
Step 3: The Paid & Organic Report Review
The next step after linking your accounts and accessing the data is reviewing your paid and organic report to ascertain where optimization is needed and look for missed opportunities.
The paid and organic report is divided into three main data sections: ad stats, organic stats and the combination of ad and organic.
This report also shows two types of search queries: ‘Both shown’ and ‘Ad shown only.’ ‘Both shown’ is where your paid search and organic listings are ranking for the same query. ‘Ad shown only’ includes queries that are triggered by your search ads and will point to your most popular search terms for ads that you could then implement into your organic search strategy.
There are three main ways to use this data for a seamless organic and paid search strategy for powerful results.
1. Holistically Measure Changes to Your Website
Accessing your organic and paid search report data together will allow you to assess changes to keywords, bids, budgets and how these improvements are impacting organic results, search ad results and your overall combined traffic.
It’s important to remember when assessing this improvement data that the stats will only reflect data starting with when you linked your AdWords account and Search Console and will include all domains that you have linked. If you want to separate the data between domains, you will need to create separate consoles and AdWords accounts.
2. New Keyword and Term Discovery
The data will also point to search terms and keywords that are getting good organic traffic, which you can then implement into your AdWords Search campaigns by assessing duplicate search queries that aren’t associated with any campaigns. Additionally, with the appropriate filters, you can see specific text people are using when searching, which you can then bid on for better ad performance.
3. Use High-Value Queries to Optimize Presence
Another significant benefit of the data collected from the organic and paid report is that it enables you to closely assess high-value queries from your campaigns, which you can use to boost organic reach and vise versa.
Let’s say that you have implemented a highly relevant keyword for your online business, but it is not a popular search term and therefore generating low organic traffic. You can then use this search in an AdWords campaign to boost paid presence while assuring your main keyword positioning of your online store.
There you go – linking AdWords and Search Consoles for a seamless organic and paid search integration strategy based on high-value data.