Paid search marketing is a cost-effective and scalable form of online marketing that connects your ads with searchers who are actively seeking the solution you provide. The most popular and well-known are pay-per-click, or PPC, campaigns, where you bid for ad placement and then pay a search engine like Google a small fee for each resulting click. While that may sound like you’ll be spending a lot of money, a well-designed campaign results in just the opposite. How? By creating ads that are so specifically designed that they reach only those potential customers who are searching for precisely the product or service you offer.
Paid Search Marketing Fundamentals
Online banner ads, together with traditional advertising like TV, print, and radio, are impression based, but PPC ads are performance based. In a perfect marketing world, all three work together to bring you the desired traffic you’re looking for. These ads all drive awareness, information, and sales leads, but PPC offers the closest point of sale. Paid search marketing can be a boon to your traffic and bottom line, but keep these three fundamentals in mind as you decide whether now’s the time to invest.
- Keywords Matter. In paid search marketing, everything starts with keywords, and figuring out the right keywords to bid on will have an impact on how much you end up spending. When people use Google or another search engine, they type specific words or phrases into the search box to find what they’re looking for. The results, whether they’re paid ads or not, appear because they’ve been determined to be relevant to those words. If you want your ad to show up on the page, you need to bid on those keywords. There are many ways to find your optimum keywords, with keyword research tools and analytical data being the most helpful.
- Relevant Ads Get Results. Bidding on the right keywords is just part of the PPC battle. You also need to create eye-catching ad content that is highly relevant to a potential lead’s search query. To score those clicks, you want ads that directly address the searcher’s problem and that lead him or her to the appropriate landing page on your site that offers the solution they need. If you haven’t already, you’ll also want to learn more about Google’s expanded text ads. ETAs now provide text ads now that are 2x bigger than previous text ads.
- Reporting and Analytics Increase Your ROI. If you want the best results from your PPC campaigns, you must know what is and isn’t working. The goal is to figure out how to tweak your campaigns so that over time they become better at attracting your desired audience. Tracking data such as search queries, landing pages, location, and engagement tells you which ads and pages are working. Examining social shares helps you see which content resonates enough with users that they’re compelled to share it with others. Ad networks provide reports on views, click-throughs, and conversions. Once you have data in hand, you can make improvements that bolster ad performance and save you money.
Hubspot, has a great beginner’s guide that covers everything you need to know about paid search. Paid search marketing can be one of the most revenue-generating pieces of your marketing strategy. Just remember that it’s not about simply handing over money to Google to drive clicks to your website. Before making the investment, take the time to understand the type of consumer you’re trying to attract and how much you should pay for each click to draw them in. Take time also to make your content relevant and rich and make it easy for visitors to convert with few barriers and a great call to action. Then be sure to pay careful attention to analytics – both bounces and conversions – to make any other changes that might be needed.