When considering investments in both paid and organic search marketing, it’s always useful to start with your goals and review how you will measure whether achieved. It’s best if these goals are as specific as possible and informed by insight.
I recommend a search gap analysis approach to model consumer search intent (the number and types of searches) using the Google Keyword Planner and then compare that to your current paid and organic search. The latest improvements to Google Search Console make it much easier to compare month-on-month and year-on-year keyword and page-level performance.
To understand consumer intent and how to link this to performance KPIs Google evangelist Avinash Kaushik developed his widely used See Think Do Care model in 2013: Do, Care Winning Combo: Content +Marketing +Measurement!
- See: This stage is comprised of the largest, qualified, addressable audience. There is no commercial intent.
- Think: This stage is the part of the audience that is actually thinking or considering a particular product.
- Do: This stage is made up of that subset of the audience that is looking to buy.
This is effective in showing how different parts of the purchase funnel can be evaluated using measures available in Google Analytics. However, it is less effective in showing how this relates to search behaviour and specific outcomes on a site.
The example that Kaushik gives from the fashion sector relating to audience suggests that people don’t search at the ‘See’ stage since they may be in the potential audience, but they don’t currently have a commercial intent. Yet in the KPI shown above the ‘See’ stage is shown by % New visits