The search engine results page (SERP) is a deceptively complicated place, even if it looks simple on the surface. That list of links served up after a search is a mix of paid placement ads, local search results and carefully optimized "organic" content, and the more of the SERP your business takes up, the more likely you are to see valuable customer clicks coming through to your website.
Business owners are understandably wary of paying for search results when their site already ranks well organically. Why pay for more when you're already well-placed for free?
There are a few good reasons for doing so.
Synchronize Your Search Results
First (but not foremost), three (or more) links are better than one. Put simply, if you take up more real estate on that elite first page of Google, your business is going to see more traffic as a result. If customers miss the paid section, then they can still see your business’s optimized local listing and even your website farther down the page.
More importantly - and less well-known - is that a variety of research (including regular analysis by Google) shows searchers are generally more likely to click on organic and local search results when they have just scrolled past a paid advertisement. Think of it in the same way that big brands with TV adverts often reinforce their message through repetition at the end of an expensive ad spot. The beauty of a paid search is that you only pay when someone clicks, so less money is spent on people who end up ignoring your message. It acts as a form of branding and a way to validate your business.
Another important area to consider for SEO synchronization is the social media presence of your business. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ are increasingly taking up the top spots of the SERPs when businesses are active and popular on those channels. Once again, these links provide extra space for your business and less for competitors.
All of these factors make it well worth the time to synchronize your search results with a mixture of paid, organic, and social SEO.