Paid Search ‘drives higher revenue per visit’ than organic listings for Hewlett-Packard

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Hewlett Packard’s US printing division generated more revenue per visitor from paid search than via organic listings, according to a this case study and white paper from Resolution Media and Kenshoo. The study examined the complex relationship between Paid and Organic Search Marketing, to discover the optimal balance on a search engine results page. The results indicated that paid search drove higher net revenue per visit than organic search.

Brand: Hewlett Packard | Sector: Consumer Electronics | Country: US | Partner/agency: Resolution Media and Kenshoo | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase | Format: Paid Search, SEO

Key findings from the report include:

• Paid Search drives higher Net Revenue per Visit (Paid Search revenue minus the direct media costs from those clicks) than Organic Search

• Even with the Organic result at first position, consumers still click and convert on Paid listings 39.6% of the time

• Paid Search is the only viable option when Organic results fall off the first page, garnering 93.1% of a keyword’s Click Share (percentage of total clicks achieved when both a Paid Search and Organic listing appear together)

• Organic Search drives a slightly higher Click Share (52.4% vs. 47.6%) and Net Revenue Share (53.5% vs. 46.5%) on brand keywords versus Paid Search

• Paid Search performance outpaces that of Organic Search for non-brand keywords with a 77.2% Click Share and a 70.3% Net Revenue Share

For the purposes of this study, Resolution Media and Kenshoo analyzed a full year (Feb. 28, 2012 – March 1, 2013) of U.S. campaign performance results from the Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) of Hewlett Packard (HP).

The data set focuses solely on clicks and visits and includes only instances where both a Paid Search listing and (at least one) Organic Search listing were triggered by the same keyword.

The dataset covers millions of visits for each of the Paid and Organic Search channels and addresses more than $10 million in direct online sales conversion revenue for each channel.

“Search is a foundational channel within the marketing mix, and we’re constantly striving for new ways to maximize its performance,” said Mark Grote, World Wide Search Advertising Manager of Hewlett-Packard. “Working with Kenshoo, Resolution continues to provide new perspectives on how to best balance paid and organic search. A lot of marketers can benefit from the insights we’ve uncovered here.”

“Putting campaigns on auto-pilot is not an option, since the paid and organic search marketplaces are in constant motion. Ranking factors fluctuate, competitors enter and leave the market, and consumer behaviors continuously evolve,” says Alan Osetek, Global President of Resolution Media. “Resolution strives to help brands like HP balance the roles of organic and paid search, search within digital, and digital as a critical part of discovery marketing.”


Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at Kenshoo adds, “This research puts to rest the controversy over running paid search advertising for brands that have strong organic coverage. Our study shows that visitors arriving from paid search are more profitable than those arriving from organic search, even when you take into account traffic acquisition costs. Smart marketers, like those at Resolution and HP are embracing a holistic approach to search engine marketing to get the most out of their investment.”

The complete report, entitled The Search Sandbox: Paid plays well with Organic, can be downloaded at


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