Media Impact on Paid Search

Historically, paid search has been known as a “pull, not push” media. It’s simple: you show an ad on the SERP when consumers are searching for your products. As a result, media designed to build awareness or consideration can have a direct impact on your search performance. In other words, how brands purchase media on one channel can have a direct impact on search volume and can influence paid search campaign performance. At Catalyst, we see this time and time again across our portfolio of clients. Here are a few of our favorite examples that showcase the synergies between search and other media channels.

Search & Social

Consider a basic consumer interaction: You launch a new paid social campaign to help drive consideration of your product or offering. These ads might drive directly to your page or to your website, so maybe you examine clicks as a KPI. However, this is only half of the picture. When evaluating all of the social campaign performance data, you might not realize that social campaigns can also drive potential lifts in search queries.  Consider the below chart that plotted out impressions for branded search queries:
Search Volume

Outside of a dip in volume due to a holiday weekend, you can see there are a few noticeable peaks in search interest. Now, here is the same chart, but with arrows indicating when there were high-reach paid social ads in market.

Search Volume


As you can see, many of those search volume lifts coincide with the social ads. For this particular client, at the peak of lifts we observed search volume increases as high as 43.1% compared to similar days when the brand did not have any paid social advertising live. This means more traffic and more visibility for your brand, which ultimately means better business results.

Due to findings like this, Catalyst always recommends a highly integrated approach to search and social. The two channels should be used in tandem to maximize performance and uncover deeper consumer insights. For more specific examples of how search and social work hand-in-hand, check out our latest social media webinars:

Or, download a copy of our whitepaper, “Why Search + Social = Success for Brands.”

Search & TV

Imagine this: A consumer is sitting on the couch watching their favorite program and then your brand’s TV commercial airs. After watching or while watching, that consumer in inspired to learn more about your brand, so they head to Google to conduct a few searches. Sounds familiar, right? This is very common consumer search behavior, making TV and search a key area of integration and synergy.

Consider the below charts. These show search volume for one of Catalyst’s client’s branded search terms. The first chart shows search interest during the week. The second chart shows search interest over the weekend.

Impressions GraphImpressions Graph

Now, compare those charts with these which highlight when TV spots ran.

Impressions on TV spots

During the week, after the standard mid-day peaks in traffic, there is also a noticeable increase in search interest around 8 pm. That peak occurred when a national TV spot ran during a popular program that with very high viewer reach. This peak represents an almost 50% increase in search volume from 8 pm – 11 pm compared to the same time on the same day when the spot didn’t run.

TV spot impressions

This second example had two national spots running during programing similar to the above example. In this scenario, both TV spots had large peaks and valleys from these TV spots. The TV spots created a 30% increase in search volume vs. the same day and times during previous weeks when the TV spot didn’t run.

In both examples, TV spots created significant increases in search volume. It’s important for brands to have strategic search campaigns live during these increases to capture the consumer interest. To see additional examples of strategy search and TV integration, check out our webinar with Bing, “The New 1+1=3: Using Search Marketing to Amplify TV Buys.”  Or, download our whitepaper on how to amplify the performance of other channels, like TV, through search.


These three examples only scratch the surface when it comes to the impact that other media has on search volume and paid search campaign performance. You may consider search separate from TV, banners, and radio, and TV, but your consumers don’t. Given this, it’s important for brands to understand and leverage the relationship between these different channels so that you can maximize your brand’s holistic success.

Ready to take search out of a silo? Drop us a line at With 20 years of search experience, Catalyst is an expert in developing highly integrated search programs that maximize cross-channel synergies to drive better business results.

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