E-commerce platform MarketLive has released an interesting study based on data from more than 200 website over the first six months of 2013. The study primarily focused on the differences between paid versus organic search when it comes to things like revenue, bounce rates, and snapshots across various market areas.

The study provides an interesting look at where traffic to retail sites comes from, and how it converts.
Paid search traffic went up a not surprising 30 percent, while organic traffic declined by 3 percent. While the decline isn’t necessarily good, it does show that such an increase in paid traffic isn't decimating organic traffic, as many advertisers worry that they are gaining paid search traffic at the expense of free organic traffic.
MarketLive also found the revenue from paid search grew to 44 percent of revenue from all search engine traffic, including organic. Paid search accounted for about one-third of search engine visits, which is a pretty big increase compared to 26 percent in 2012.

When comparing paid and organic side-by-side, there are definitely some differences worth noting.

  • Conversion rates: The conversion rate for paid search was 2.6 percent, compared 1.9 percent for organic.
  • Order size: Paid search averaged $113, which was a 3.3 percent greater increase over 2012, while organic search order size was $109.66 on average.
  • New visits: Surprisingly, paid search brought a lower percentage of new visitors to the retail sites, with 58 percent of traffic being new visits, while organic search accounted for 66 percent of new visits.
  • Bounce rate: These were fairly even – 34 percent bounce rate for paid search with 35 percent on the organic side.
  • Page views: These were also lower for organic search, with 7.1 pages per visit for paid search versus 6.8 pages for organic.


Why keeping the organic search if it is what google wants?