Search Advertising assessment study guide
About measuring paid & organic search results
You already know that you can use Google Ads reporting tools to see how often your ads are showing to potential customers, and which keywords are triggering those impressions. With the paid & organic report – a predefined report you can view in your Google Ads account – you can also see how often pages from your website are showing in Google’s free organic search results, and which search terms triggered those results to show on the search results page.
This information helps you better understand how paid text ads and organic search results work together to help you reach people searching online, use the organic results to identify new, potentially valuable keywords and gain a holistic view of how your online presence is performing overall in terms of attracting views and clicks.
In this article, we’ll explain what specific insights you can gain from the paid & organic report and why these insights matter.
In order to use the paid & organic report, you’ll need to have a Search Console account for your website, and you’ll need to link that Search Console account to your Google Ads account. Search Console is a free Google tool that gives you data and tips to help you understand and improve your search traffic. Learn more about how to Link Search Console and Google Ads.
How to use the paid & organic report
Once you link your Google Ads and Search Console accounts, you’ll be able to view your organic search results right alongside the performance statistics for text ads in your Google Ads search campaigns. Note that the paid & organic report counts performance of text ads only. It doesn't count statistics from Shopping ads or click-to-download ads.
Below are three simple and powerful use cases for this report.
Discover additional keywords
Use the report to discover potential keywords to add to your Google Ads accounts by looking for queries where you only appear in organic search with no associated text ads.
You can identify queries with a low number of paid impressions by adding a filter for 'ad impressions = 0' or 'ad impressions < X'. If you have multiple accounts, all organic search data will be imported in each account.
- Downloading a paid & organic report in a manager account (for Google Ads accounts with the same language and geo settings) will allow you to find duplicate organic queries and identify queries that have no paid text ad impressions across any accounts.
- You can also add an additional filter to identify queries that contain specific text, such as your brand name or your most important products and services.
Optimise presence on high-value queries
Use the report to improve your presence in paid text ad results and monitor your high-value queries for organic results.
- Identify relevant queries for your business that have low organic traffic volume and target these queries to strengthen your paid search presence.
- Consider showing a more useful, prominent, and differentiated message from your organic listing by tailoring your ad text and using extensions.
Measure changes holistically
As you test website improvements or changes to bids, budgets or keywords, you can more easily see the impact across text ads, organic results and combined traffic. See how changing your keyword bids increases or decreases overall combined clicks for related queries, and how they work to cost-effectively increase your overall traffic for your most important queries.
Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Investment in paid search has no impact on your organic search ranking. Google maintains a strict separation between our search business and our advertising business.
- Organic results are not constrained by your Google Ads campaigns’ ad targeting settings. In other words, your ads are limited by the languages and locations that you target in your Google Ads account, but your organic search listings are not. That means it’s possible to have more organic impressions than paid impressions, even if your campaigns have 100% impression share. For example, if your ad campaign for a given keyword is targeted to the United States alone, an organic impression occurring in Canada will still show up in your paid & organic report for that keyword even though you don't advertise there.
- Your organic data is only reported back to the date that you started importing it from webmaster tools, so you won't see historical organic data from before you established that link.
- The organic data that you see is based on all domains that you've linked to your account. Bear in mind that organic traffic can't be filtered to just a subset of linked domains.
Karen runs a website that sells travel guides for destinations all over the world. When she looks at her paid & organic report, she sees that her site appears occasionally in organic search results for the search query 'Hawaii vacations'. She also sees that the organic clicks/query rate is relatively high, which means that lots of people searching for 'Hawaii vacations' who see Karen’s site listings actually click through to her site. Karen sees this as a great opportunity to attract even more people that are interested in her business to her website, and she decides to add keywords like 'Hawaii holidays' to her relevant Google Ads campaigns.
Understanding the paid & organic report
Understanding the paid & organic report
The paid & organic report is a predefined report in Google Ads. To navigate to the report, click the reporting icon in the upper right corner of your account, then Predefined reports, then Basic. The report is updated once a day.
Here are the columns found in the paid & organic report, and definitions for each metric:
|Ad Clicks||The number of times someone clicked on your text ad when it displayed for a particular query.|
|Ad Impressions||How many times your text ad has appeared on a search results page.|
|Ad CTR||How often people who see your text ad end up clicking on it. CTR can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing.|
|Ad Avg. CPC||The average amount that you pay each time someone clicks on your text ad. Average CPC is determined by totalling the cost of all clicks and dividing it by the number of clicks.|
|Ad Avg. Position||Helps to explain where your text ads rank, on average, on the search results page.|
|Organic Clicks||The number of times that someone clicked on your website's listing in the unpaid results for a particular query.|
|Organic Queries||A web search. This column indicates the total number of searches that returned pages from your wesite over the given period.|
|Organic Clicks/Query||The number of clicks that you've received on your organic search listings, divided by the total number of searches that returned pages from your website.|
|Organic Listings/Query||A listing is when a page of your website is returned as a search result. This column indicates the average number of times that a page from your website was listed per query.|
|Organic Avg. Position||Average position is calculated by taking the average top position of your listing (or multiple listings) for each query.|
|Combined Ads and Organic|
|Ads and Organic Clicks||This column represents the number of times that a person clicked on either:
|Ads and Organic Queries||A query is a web search. This column indicates the total number of searches that returned pages from your website in the organic search results or triggered one of your text ads.|
|Ads and Organic Clicks/Query||The number of clicks that you’ve received on your text ads or organic listings divided by the total number queries that either:
Though they're not shown by default, you can add Keyword, Ad Group or Campaign columns to your report by clicking Columns > Modify columns > Ad stats and selecting the column type that you want to add.