What is Paid Search and Why is it so Effective?
What is Paid Search Marketing?
Paid search marketing refers to any marketing that shows up via search engine networks like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., that are paid for by businesses. Payment structures often orbit clicks or impressions, common payment methods being pay per click (PPC), and pay per x many impressions.
Social media networks have adopted much of search’s payment methods and are often a part of a business’s paid online strategy. Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn can be profitable options for paid online marketing.
Marketers use the terms cost per click (CPC) & cost per thousand impressions (CPM) regularly to describe paid search marketing.
The former term is used for more acquisition focused campaigns, like a business looking for leads or sales from its online marketing, whereas the latter is used for awareness campaigns that aim to get a brand name in front of as many eyes as possible, hence the term impressions. Such awareness campaigns make use of visual ads on the Google Display Network.
In the present day, consumers use the internet as the initiation grounds for a purchase. In a report conducted by Fleishman Hillard, “89 percent of consumers surveyed use internet search engines to make purchasing decisions.”
Similarly, in another recent study by Acquity Group, “94 percent of B2B buyers report that they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product.” With 77% of these buyers conducting research via Google Search, it’s incredibly important to have your business in the results.
Paid search marketing offers businesses the opportunity to reach these consumers in the earliest stages of making a purchase—their first search in a search engine. By taking into account the terms used by the searcher, advertisers can generate ads that are relevant to the searcher’s intent.
If the ad presents what the searcher wants, it is highly likely that they will click it. Paid search marketing is one of the best ways to help a business generate consistent traffic from relevant search results and websites. PPC analysts help businesses optimize their paid search marketing.
Let’s take a look at paid search in Vancouver to find out how ads are served
Paid Search Vancouver:
1. A Vancouverite is looking for legal advice after a work accident which left them injured. The potential client opens up google.com and types in a search for “personal injury lawyer Vancouver”
2. The results page shows a variety of links:
3. Many of the paid search results have the exact first three terms that the potential client entered: personal, injury, and lawyer. The consumer will often click the link that is most relevant to their search, and in this case, after reading the convincing “No Recovery No Fee” titling, the searcher might click on the first, prominent ad.
4. By clicking on a paid ad, the searcher is taken to a landing page on the business’s website. The page the searcher is brought to is customized so as to maintain relevance to the searcher’s intent. In the above case, the advertisement brings the searcher to a landing page on the business’s website catering specifically to personal injury law.
5. The advertiser is only charged when the searcher clicks the ad. The price of the click is determined by an auction that runs for every search query. This auction uses the search engine’s algorithm to determine competitive pricing for the terms used in the search.
6. As you can see, paid search in Vancouver can be highly competitive. We can see 4 ads on that results page, and those are only the ads that won the first-page auction. There could be numerous other ads competing for a visible spot in the paid search Vancouver results. If he or she wants to be competitive, a lawyer (or anyone) should consider hiring a paid search agency in Vancouver.
Paid Search Ad Basics:
The Ad Copy:
Search advertising is dependent on relevant content. In the text forms of search advertising, ad copy must be persuasive and appealing for the searcher. Creating persuasive ads starts with catering to the terms the searcher uses, commonly known as keywords. A paid search agency will perform keyword research for businesses so that they may determine how to structure their advertisements.
It’s likely that a paid search agency in Vancouver facilitated the following ad:
The structure of a text ad is centered on its four line limit. These lines are: the headline, the first description line, the second description line, and the display URL. There are also a multitude of extensions such as: call, sitelinks, ratings, and reviews.
In the above example the headline is the blue title, the display URL is in green, and the description lines, 1 & 2, are in grey. The headline is designed to grab the searcher’s attention. The display URL is customized so as to maintain relevance to the searcher’s search. The description lines are constructed in a way that compels the searcher to make the click.
The following text ad was in the top three ads for the previous auction. The top four text ad positions provide more traffic than anywhere else. This increased traffic comes from prominence on the results page; flowing, readable description lines; and, if applicable, visible extensions.
The first result in the search for “personal injury lawyer Vancouver” is a good example of a top spot creating an effective display for ad extensions. There are site link extensions for business, lawyers, and family lawyers, as well as a location extension. The advertisement also takes advantage of Google new paid search feature, expanded text ads, occupying a noticeably wider area in the search results. This new feature makes advertisements more visible on both desktop and mobile devices.
When a search query triggers paid advertisements, an auction is performed by the search engine. The auction takes into account both the amount the advertisers are willing to bid and the relevance, or the quality score, of the ad. This combination prevents advertisers from forcing out competition by simply spending more money. Ads that are relevant to the search query, have compelling ad copy, and lead to a persuasive, well-structured website, will be able to beat competitors that are relying solely on their bidding amounts.
PPC analysts are dedicated to getting the best auction price for their clients’ ads. This best price is determined through a thorough understanding of a business’s needs and desires from paid search marketing; PPC analysts always keep the goals of the client in mind when optimizing and structuring bidding for clicks.
PPC is transparent. The numbers cannot lie, and PPC analysts stand by that. All of the statistics of the paid search marketing world can be tracked. Most importantly, conversions can be tracked. In the paid search marketing world, conversions are the ultimate goal of an advertiser’s ads; whether it be a purchase, a lead, a subscription, or anything else the advertiser wants the searcher to do in the end. Codes are placed on a business’s websites so that these conversions can be tracked.
By tracking the conversion rates of ads, the efficiency and cost per conversion can be determined for the ads. Using this information, PPC analysts can optimize business’s strategies within paid search marketing so as to meet specific cost per acquisition, or CPA, goals. Many PPC campaigns revolve around both the amount an advertiser is willing to spend in a certain period of time and the cost an advertiser is willing to pay for a conversion.
Paid Search is worth it!
In the ever growing online world of marketing, it has become increasingly important to make sure products and services are being seen by potential customers. Paid search is all about performance, and most businesses don’t have the time to optimize this performance. By consulting with a paid search agency, a business will learn that paid search marketing is more than just profitable—it’s mandatory in the modern marketing world.
If you have any questions, or would like a PPC audit, our paid search agency in Vancouver is available.
Contact the paid search team at Vantage for a free PPC consultation
The next PPC Fundamentals article: SEO & PPC Advertising: A Match Made in Heaven
Find our previous PPC Fundamentals article here: The Difference Between Paid, Organic, and Local Search Results