Even if your search engine optimisation strategy is successful it is still important to promote your brand using paid search, according to Susan Minniear at the Official Google CPG Blog.

In a recent post, Susan gives four reasons why businesses should be investing in paid search:

Control – Susan points out that you have more control over paid listings when compared with organic results. Paid ads allow you to control your message more.

Competition – Hitwise stats show that one in seven brand searches don’t end up at that brand’s website. If you are not using paid search to capitalise on your brand, it’s likely that your competitors will be.

ROI – Susan quotes eMarketer stats which show that the conversion rate for brand keywords is almost four times higher than that for non-brand keywords.

The more ads, the better – Some people prefer to click on natural ads, others paid, so it’s best to have all bases covered

This all sounds like good advice, though obviously it’s in Google’s interests to have business spending more on paid search.

Bill Slawski at Search Engine Land has an article which suggests that pursuing a paid search strategy may have adverse effects on your organic search rankings.

He cites a newly granted Microsoft patent which seems to suggest that it could be used to filter out organic results when there is more than one URL pointing to the same page. This is discussed in greater detail at SEO by the Sea.

There is no concrete proof that this is the patent’s purpose, but some have suspected that investing in paid search listings can adversely affect your organic results.

The comments section on Bill’s article makes interesting reading, as two of the people who commented on the article said that their organic listings have dropped after they started buying paid listings.

Since the organic results shift all the time – and Google/Yahoo/Microsoft would be on very thin ice were this to proved true - we’re filing this under ‘conspiracy theory’.

Further Reading:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Best Practice Guide