So, what is paid search?
I’m glad you asked. Paid search is the process of getting your website to appear in both the paid listing section of a search engine, and in other high traffic areas around the internet. This includes paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing, but also on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and more recently, Instagram. Ads can be text based, image based, or anywhere in between.
What does paid search look like?
Well, that depends. It is affected by what industry you’re in, where you’re advertising, and how much you’ve allocated to spend. With so many customers hitting the internet to find information about future intended purchases, it is more important than ever to capture these leads where they are.
Paid search is also very flexible. You can target a broad audience, or a very specific one. You can also narrow it down to targeting a specific postal code, city, or even a set of people who are interested in the same thing, and intending to purchase it.
That word ‘intending’ seems important…
Because it is. You want to capture the attention of people who already intend to buy the product that you sell. You just want to get to them before everybody else does. Paid search is like a race. The gun sounds, your campaign starts, and you’re off. Your results vary based on everybody else in the race and depend on a whole lot of factors including how many competitors there are and how much they’re spending in comparison to you.
You can use paid search to drive traffic to your website, or to accomplish more specific goals.
How do I know if it’s working?
Just like any other form of advertising, it’s important to measure your return on investment. By connecting goals and conversion metrics to your campaign you can see the leads you are generating. What qualifies as a lead is something that you come up with on your own. Whether it’s someone filling out a form, calling your company, inquiring about an item, or finding directions to your business – you can track the success of it all.
Where should I put my efforts?
There are many places where paid search can be run. One of the most popular is through Google AdWords. AdWords allows for you to advertise on the Google search network as well as on millions of Google’s partner websites. You can also advertise on social media. Where you want to use paid search depends on where your audience is, where your competition is, and how much you have to spend.
It also depends on where else you are marketing. Paid search can provide a boost to your other marketing activities. Because people will visit approximately 11 touch points for a specific vendor before making a decision, your online activities can provide a boost to your offline activities. Whether somebody starts their search based on traditional marketing or not, chances are they’re going to be taking a peek at your website or social media, and using a search engine to get there.
If you’re not using online paid advertising, chances are you are missing out. Approximately 67% of the online buying process is now done digitally,** meaning at one point or another the consumer is going to be looking for you. Will you be there to meet them?