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BizReport : Search Marketing : July 17, 2012

WordStream: Paid Search Ad Clicks Exceed Clicks on Free Organic Listings for Commercial Keywords

What impact do all the bigger and more engaging sponsored ad formats have on the average Google searcher? A new study by search engine marketing software firm WordStream reveals some interesting insights into PPC vs. organic clicks for high commercial intent keywords.

by Helen Leggatt

wordstream logo.gifThe amount of screen real estate taken up by sponsored, pay-per-click, ads on Google has increased dramatically. Click-to-call ads, social ad extensions, product listing ads and other more engaging and targeted new ad formats have attracted marketers looking to more accurately target prospective consumers via paid search.

WordStream's study found that, while organic searches continue to attract more clicks than paid search, pay-per-click advertising beats out organic clicks by almost 2:1 for keywords with high commercial intent.

"Keyword searches with high commercial intent - meaning, keywords where a searcher is looking to buy a product or service (for example: "buy stainless steel dishwasher") - are worth far more to businesses than your basic informational keyword searches (for example: "who is Thomas Edison")," explains WordStream in a recent announcement.

"Our research found that for these valuable, high commercial intent keyword searches, paid search advertising listings gave the "free" organic search listings a resounding beat-down."

With 97% of its revenue coming from search advertising, Google relies significantly on the sale of keywords. UK search marketing agency SearchCatalyst recently revealed the most expensive keywords*.

Four of the top five most-expensive keywords were financial terms. "Insurance" turned out to be the most expensive. This term can fetch up to $54.91 cost-per-click on Google. The terms "loans", "mortgage", and "credit" were all within the top five.

* Update: WordStream advises that the SearchCatalyst data was taken from 2011 WordStream research

Tags: organic search, paid search, pay-per-click, PPC ads, search engine optimization, search marketing, search trends

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