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Marketers and advertisers have traditionally relied heavily on paid online media because of its ability to track and retarget consumers via cookies. But the ongoing viability of that strategy became questionable the moment Google announced plans to move away from cookies, eliminating the tracking method by the end of 2024.

Alongside the reality of a cookieless future, additional factors are now exacerbating the uncertainty of paid media. For brands to stay on top of the current dynamic—yet still unclear—reality, marketing teams must be able to quickly navigate the challenges of ever-evolving consumer preferences and restrictive data privacy regulations.

That ongoing uncertainty can inhibit marketing teams from moving fast, which puts brands behind the competition if they don't have proper alternatives to Google cookies in place.

Furthermore, as CPMs continue to rise, boosting budgets for paid search will produce lower ROI. Although increasing paid search budgets has worked in the past, the onslaught of new AI technologies and an unstable economy will cause that now-outdated solution to no longer bring the same level of predictable results it once did.

However, it's vital for brands to maintain—and even grow—their brand presence during these times of change to establish and keep customers' trust.

The result? Marketing and advertising teams will be forced to re-evaluate advertising spend and consider new tactics to target their core audience and attract audiences without using cookies.

The obvious answer? A renewed focus on organic search marketing.

The choice is more cost-effective; it works alongside new AI innovations; and it is easier to put into practice than one might think.

It can also increase revenue: Its return is three times higher than traditional advertising campaigns.

Organic search marketing enables brands to forge deeper connections with their target audience, establishing a more genuine presence in everyday lives—fostering trust and lasting loyalty.

Organic Search Reigns Supreme

The new era of search isn't simply on the horizon; it's here—enabling faster optimizations with automation, quantifiable ROI, increased brand trust, higher efficiency, and elevated brand authority.

Marketers and advertisers who prioritize organic search in their advertising strategy, especially during times of economic strain, can expect a faster and higher return on their investment than those who choose to focus solely on a paid media strategy.

It's time for brands to rethink how they look at marketing and advertising budgets as the reliance on third-party data continues to dwindle.

Approaching your search marketing strategy with an "and/both" mentality instead of the antiquated "either/or'' belief—and shifting your budgets to do the same—will help educate teams and prepare them to reallocate accordingly.

For example, teams should consider generating contextually rich, high-quality content that resonates with user intent instead of outdated strategies that focus primarily on keywords.

If your brand isn't showing up when needed, others will. Botify's recent study found that a significant portion of consumers (51%) in the UK and the US said they place more trust in a brand that ranks high in natural or organic search results. Moreover, nearly 50% of respondents in both markets also said they favored brands featured in the Top 5 search results.

In the same study, we also found that instead of clicking through to page two of search results, more than one-third of respondents in both markets said they would change their search terms if they were not satisfied with the initial results.

Those findings indicate the critical need to ensure that a brand's content is featured in top search results—organically.

Organizations that opt to reallocate a portion of their advertising budget toward organic search drive both short- and long-term results, which helps build and sustain brand authority.

Making organic search a key pillar of search strategies not only provides brands with the ability to track consumer behavior in real-time but also allows them to implement agile changes at the exact moment needed to meet customers where they are in their search journey.

Ultimately, that helps to boost brand trust and drive more profitable revenue.

The Evolution of 21st-Century Organic Search

As brands attempt to ensure that they stand out among the competition in this new environment, the secret sauce of organic search is laying the groundwork for creating better brand authority.

Here are the Top 3 reasons the new era of organic search is here now:

  1. Organic search optimizations can now be done automatically. Users' search behaviors are changing more—and faster—than ever. Whereas before engineering teams were able to respond to organic search optimizations manually, that tactic is no longer sufficient to drive the level of visibility required to remain competitive. With new updates in organic search technology, it can now take just days to receive insights about how successful (or not) your webpage is, allowing brands to respond and react in record time.
  2. Organic search can generate revenue impact quicker than ever (sometimes in weeks!). For a brand to remain at the top of its game, it must implement optimizations in real-time. To do that, organic search teams must lean on the support of AI and automation to scale effectively, freeing the team from time-consuming and tedious tasks to put brainpower to use in more impactful ways.
  3. Organic search optimizations can now be evaluated like any other performance marketing channel. Various platforms and tools available to marketers and sales teams make it easier to measure essential KPIs, including conversions, page ranking, and time spent on a page.

* * *

The reality is that cookies are coming to an end. For brands to remain in tune and top-of-mind with their customers, marketers must lean into the untapped potential of organic search and give it the long overdue seat it deserves at the table.

More Resources on Organic Search

How to Structure Your Content for Organic Google Rankings: A Proven Process

How to Adapt to the Zero-Click Phenomenon and Dwindling Page One Organic Search Results

How to Perform a Content Audit That Skyrockets Your Organic Traffic

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image of Robert Rothschild

Robert Rothschild is CMO of Botify, a global enterprise software company enabling brands to use organic search as a high-impact performance marketing channel.

LinkedIn: Robert Rothschild